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How to Get More Bone Broth into Your Diet, with Justin Mares


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Bone broth is common in traditional cultures—but, despite its impressive health benefits, it’s not a staple in the Standard American Diet. In this episode of Revolution Health Radio, I talk with entrepreneur Justin Mares about the health benefits of bone broth, more ways to get this nutrient-packed food into your diet, and what it’s like to run a business in the ancestral health space.

Revolution Health Radio podcast, Chris Kresser

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Justin got started with bone broth
  • Why we need bone broth
  • The changing landscape of Paleo products
  • What’s in store for Kettle & Fire
  • What it’s like running an ancestral health business

Show notes:

Everybody, Chris Kresser here. Welcome to another episode of Revolution Health Radio. This week I’m going to be talking with Justin Mares who is the founder of Kettle & Fire Bone Broth. He started Kettle & Fire with his brother after his brother suffered a terrible knee injury and was looking for foods to help with recovery. And now Kettle & Fire is sold in 6,800-plus stores and is available on KettleandFire.com.

I really love this company. For many years, it was impossible to buy a high-quality bone broth in the store. And Kettle & Fire has changed that. And I became an investor in the company because I really believed in their vision and how they were transforming the landscape with healing foods like bone broth. So I invited Justin on to talk about his backstory, how he got interested in bone broth. We’re going to dive into the benefits of bone broth and then talk a little bit about the issues with commercially available bone broth, why he started Kettle & Fire, and what it’s been like to run a nutrient-dense, whole-food company in this current environment.

I know a lot of you out there are interested in this topic and have asked questions about it. And I’m personally interested in it as well because I think changing the availability of food products and shifting how we spend our money and where we direct our attention as consumers is a really important part of this movement. So I hope you enjoy this conversation. Let’s dive in.

Chris Kresser:  Justin, welcome to the show. I’ve really been looking forward to this.

Justin Mares:  Yeah, thanks for having me. Super excited to be here.

How Justin Got Started with Bone Broth

Chris Kresser:  So let’s start a little, I always like to start with the backstory. How did you come to this? How did you get interested in bone broth and starting a company dedicated to bone broth?

Justin Mares:  Yeah, it’s a funny story. So I don’t know if many people know this, but I started this company, Kettle & Fire, in late 2015. I started it with my younger brother, actually. So he was living in Philly with my parents. He was 18 at the time when we started the company. I was living in San Francisco and was working in the tech space, traveling a lot and doing CrossFit. And with all the travels and everything and doing CrossFit, I wanted to make sure that I was giving my joints and gut health the support that I wanted.

And so I was trying to incorporate bone broth into my life. But every single time I traveled, I just didn’t have time to make it. And when I went to the grocery store or some restaurant, they just never had it available. And so that was my experience. And then a couple months into 2015, my younger brother Nick and co-founder, he tore his, all the ligaments in his knee playing soccer, basically, and was bedridden for—

Chris Kresser:  Ouch.

Justin Mares:  Yeah, it was bad. And so he was bedridden for seven weeks after his surgery and was just talking to me about what can I do to recover? What foods can I eat? What things can I take in to help accelerate this process? And when I recommended bone broth, he looked everywhere for it in the Philadelphia area and just couldn’t find it.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah. You could find broth, but not bone broth.

Justin Mares:  Yeah.

Chris Kresser:  Right?

Justin Mares:  Yeah, exactly.

What makes bone broth so good for you? And, if you don’t have the time to make your own, how can you work more of this superfood into your diet? Check out this episode of Revolution Health Radio to find out. #paleo #nutrition #chriskresser

Chris Kresser:  I mean, now you can. Now you can find Kettle & Fire almost everywhere possible. But at that time, there was just the really thin broth without any of the good stuff in it, right?

Justin Mares:  Yeah, exactly. And so between the two of us, we figured that we both had this problem. So decided to start a business, Kettle & Fire, that’s solved that problem.

Chris Kresser:  That’s amazing. I want to talk more about the business in a little bit. I think it’s really interesting to me. You know I’m active in this space and I believe that creating companies that embody this vision and this mission that we have of increasing access to nutrient-dense whole foods and making that available to a broader population and actually getting the attention of bigger food companies and making it part of the mainstream food environment is a critical part of this movement. And so I’m always really interested in hearing a little more about what’s it like to be working on the front lines there. Because that’s not what I do. But it’s of interest to me. So I want to come back to that in a little bit.

Why We Need Bone Broth

Chris Kresser:  But let’s start by talking a little bit about the benefits of bone broth. You mentioned of course joint health and healing from soft tissue injuries like Nick had. But let’s go into a little bit of detail on this.

Justin Mares:  Sure. Yeah, I mean, I can chat about it or you can take the reins.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah.

Justin Mares:  You have a much better background to talk about this than I have.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, so, I mean, and of course this is something I’ve covered a lot on the show and on my blog and in my email, so most people who are listening probably don’t need a ton of detail on this because they’re already on the bandwagon, so to speak. But yeah, I think about it as, like, we talk a lot about mismatch between our modern diet and lifestyle and our traditional diet. The one we evolved for.

And I think a lot of the nutrients in bone broth, like collagen and glycine, are nutrients that we used to get a lot by eating nose to tail. Eating the parts of the animal like the shanks and actually the ligaments, the collagen tissue, the brain, the organ meats and the other parts that are less commonly consumed today. Gave us this glycine and collagen. And that is a really, it’s kind of like half of the protein equation, right? You have the lean proteins that are good for muscle building and scaffolding and all of that. And then we have the glycine, which is really crucial for the soft tissues, it comprises the cells of the gut lining, it’s critical for joint health. It’s really important for detoxification and repair, and I think of it as sort of like the yin and yang protein relationship.

And we also know that some of the studies that have shown that higher protein intake is associated with increased cancer risk, that’s almost certainly just higher intake of methionine without enough glycine, what you get from bone broth. So it’s really critical, and it’s something that, unfortunately, in the modern diet is not really part of the equation anymore. Most people, especially if they’ve transitioned, they were influenced by the sort of low-fat dogma. They’re eating boneless, skinless chicken breasts, they’re eating lean beef instead of like oxtail or shanks or chuck roasts or something like that. And they’re not really getting any collagen in their diet.

Justin Mares:  Yeah, totally. I mean, I think that if you look at the modern diet versus how our ancestors ate a couple thousand years ago, one of the biggest nutrient or dietary gaps that you would see is the presence of amino acids, collagen, and the like. Just because today, almost no one that I know, and I have a lot of friends who are Paleo or live that way, eat organ meats on a regular basis. Almost very few people that I know aren’t eating the nose-to-tail way that our ancestors did. And so I think that, like, bone broth is uniquely interesting in that it has a nutritional profile that’s really hard to find elsewhere. And also something that’s just like convenient, delicious, and easy for the modern person to work into their diet.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, that’s particularly true. Because, like, organ meats are not that. I mean, I think there are more options now that make it a little bit easier, like Epic has the beef liver bites.

Justin Mares:  Yep.

Chris Kresser:  I don’t know if you’ve tried those. Actually, a lot of people who don’t like liver actually do like those and eat them. So you can, that’s one easy way of getting some organ meats in the diet. There are companies like US Wellness Meats that are selling like some of the traditional braunschweiger and paté and stuff like that, that are a little more palatable for people. But it’s not super easy. Most people aren’t going into the supermarket and picking up a bag of organ meats and then eating them, whereas you can definitely for bone broth. And they provide different benefits, of course. So the bone broth is really rich in the glycine and collagen.

And then the organ meats have things like super-high amounts of B12 and choline and things like that. But when you put them together, I think that’s when you really get the benefits of all of, like you said, all of these amino acids, collagen, the gelatin, the glycosaminoglycan, proline, glutamine, and then the minerals that you can get from the broth, especially when it’s slow cooked and simmered, which we’re going to come back to. So, I mean, again, I’ll just briefly mention some of the health benefits. I have an article called “The Bountiful Benefits of Bone Broth: A Comprehensive Guide.” So if anyone wants to really go deep into the science on this, just Google that and we’ll put a link in the show notes. But there are hundreds, probably thousands of studies linking the nutrients in bone broth to better skin health, better metabolic and cardiovascular health, better muscle health and joint health and bone health. Improved performance, better gut health.

Because as I mentioned, the cells in the colon need glycine. Digestion, detoxification, liver function, kidney health, eye health, brain health, immune function. I mean, it’s one of those things. It’s like, I’m always looking for what are those levers that you pull that have multiple beneficial downstream effects? The simple changes that can have the biggest impact. And obviously just a nutrient-dense diet overall is one of them. I think sauna is up there. Exercise, of course. And I would put bone broth in that category for sure.

Justin Mares:  Yeah. I completely agree. I think it’s not like bone broth, you incorporate it into your diet and everything is fixed. But I do think that unlike a lot of other things, yeah, if you start eating maybe a bunch of kale every day, like, your body is probably getting those nutrients in other ways. Like, it’s not going to have the sort of massive impact that I think giving your body the nutrients that it’s not getting in other dietary forms can have.

Chris Kresser:  Right. And of course, that’s especially true if you’re eating a diet that doesn’t have these nutrients.

Justin Mares:  Yeah.

Chris Kresser:  And that can be a lot of different diets. That could be a vegan diet, but it could also be, like, a Paleo diet that is really built around lean muscle meats, which is often the case for people, especially in the early days of Paleo. It was like a lot of, it’s changed now, but a lot of the cookbooks were all lean meats. So it was one night it would be steak and vegetables and the next night it would be boneless, skinless chicken breasts or something. And there was still a little bit of the fat phobia that was happening there.

And if you do that, that’s the only situation, as I mentioned earlier, where I do get a little concerned about excess lean protein without glycine and all this stuff in bone broth and without the nutrients in organ meats. I think there is actually some pretty solid research suggesting that could increase cancer risk. So that’s why I’m always harping on this issue. Drink the bone broth, eat nose to tail, eat sea vegetables, make sure you’re eating this more diverse rich nose-to-tail type of diet that our ancestors ate. Because we don’t have a lot of research behind a diet that is just a whole lot of lean muscle meat without any of that other stuff.

Justin Mares:  Yeah, I completely agree. That’s a really good point.

The Changing Landscape of Paleo Products

Chris Kresser:  So you had this experience where you were traveling a lot, it was hard to find bone broth, Nick was injured, he couldn’t find it anywhere. How did you approach that? If that wasn’t happening at that time, what did you guys set out to do differently, and was it difficult initially to source the products? I mean, this wasn’t already an established market.

Justin Mares:  Yeah, no, it’s a great question. I mean, when we started the business, we saw a couple things. I’m firmly a believer in the Paleo, ancestral way of eating and a lot of the stuff that you just touched on. At the same time, though, I also recognize and pretty firmly believe that if you want to change someone’s behavior, the easier you make that behavior change, the more people will opt in to it.

And so what we were seeing, when we were looking at the bone broth market, was if you wanted to incorporate bone broth into your diet, you kind of had two options. Option one was you go to your local farmers market, Whole Foods, whatever it is, buy a bunch of grass-fed bones, learn how to make bone broth and cook it for 24-plus hours while stinking up your house, causing marital issues.

Chris Kresser:  Remind me to tell you a funny story about that after you finish.

Justin Mares:  And so that was one option. And for a lot of people, cooking anything 24 hours in today’s modern world is just not super feasible. And then the other option was you go out, mostly to a farmers market, and you buy a massive bag of frozen bone broth. Put it in your freezer and whenever you want some nutrient or you want a cup of bone broth, grab it out of the freezer, take an ice pick, chip off what you want into a cup or onto your stovetop, heat it up and do that. And so we just saw these huge barriers to the average person actually consuming bone broth.

And so what we decided to do is spend a lot of time, and it actually took us about a year, figuring out how we could package bone broth made with high-quality ingredients, 100 percent grass-fed bones, long cook times, all of the good stuff, into a package that was still convenient and didn’t require freezing or refrigeration or anything like that. But also didn’t use any additives, preservatives, or any of that nasty stuff that was in all the other products that were out there.

And so we spent like a year, literally a year. We had to call over 350 different co-packers. Co-packers are like the industry term of people that you work with to manufacturer your product. We had to talk to hundreds of different ranchers, or grass-fed ranchers, that had bone capacity and figure out how to make a recipe, how to package it in a box so that it wouldn’t go bad, but also didn’t use any additives or preservatives.

And so after a year, we finally found a manufacturing partner that could work with us on our process, which is a pretty demanding process. We had a very high bar for ingredient quality. We cook every single batch for more than 20 hours, which as a manufacturer, is kind of a, it was hard to find someone. Because they’re used to making soup for—

Chris Kresser:  Right, they’re like, “What are you talking about, 20 hours?”

Justin Mares:  Yeah. Right exactly. If you’re Campbell’s or Pacific, everything you make, you’re cooking less than, like, three or four hours. And to use all your manufacturing equipment and tie it up for 20 hours, it’s quite expensive. And so it just took us a really long time to figure out the recipe, find a partner that would work with us. And then figure out the packaging process. But once we did, the response from the community was pretty exciting, and immediately it was something where we felt like, “Wow, this is something that people really want.”

Chris Kresser:  Yeah.

Justin Mares:  Which was super exciting.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, and the cooking, just for people who aren’t aware, the cooking for that length of time is what really makes it nutrient dense. It’s what releases the glycine and the collagen and the minerals from bone and improves the whole profile of the food. Which is why when we said earlier that you couldn’t find bone broth in the store, that’s really kind of the definition of bone broth, right? It’s simmered and it includes the bones in it and is simmered to the point where it has all of these nutrients, and that’s what distinguishes it.

Just as, like, a visual test, the way you can tell the difference is, I mean, if you open up Kettle & Fire, for example, or you make your own bone broth, you’re going to see that gelatin, that collagen and gelatin. It’s going to be obvious that it’s a thicker broth than something like Pacific or Campbell’s.

Justin Mares:  Yeah.

Chris Kresser:  So here’s my story. Many years ago when I first got into all this stuff, it was actually my first exposure to this nutrient-dense approach to eating was through the Weston Price Foundation, not Paleo. And the Weston Price Foundation, as you may know and many listeners know, is really big into bone broth. So it was like bone broth in everything. And so my wife and I at the time, we were living with a good friend of ours and her daughter. And so we were making bone broth, like, every day. It was just we always had broth simmering on the stove. And I don’t remember the exact timeline, but do you remember the movie Juno? Did you ever see that?

Justin Mares:  Yes.

Chris Kresser:  So there’s a line in Juno where Juno says, “What about Katrina De Oort? You could totally go out with Katrina De Voort.” And then Bleeker says, “I don’t like Katrina. She smells like soup.” Have you ever—

Justin Mares:  Yep.

Chris Kresser:  “And her whole house smells like soup.” And so we saw that, we watched it with my friend and her daughter. She had said the same thing. She’s like, “I don’t like coming home because our house always smells like soup.” It’s totally true.

Justin Mares:  That’s awesome.

Chris Kresser:  It’s a small price to pay for nutrient-dense broth.

Justin Mares:  Oh, I know.

Chris Kresser:  It’s notable, right?

Justin Mares:  Yeah. I mean, shortly after we launched the company—it was hilarious. We had a woman who was basically going through some, like, a gut-rebuilding protocol. And so she was drinking one to two boxes of bone broth a day. I think she had Lyme disease, that it just totally wrecked her gut health a couple years previous. And so she emailed us in all caps, it was like, “Your product is saving my marriage. My husband didn’t want to come home to me cooking bone broth all the time, and now I don’t have to.” And she was just so thrilled about it. It was hilarious.

Chris Kresser:  That’s funny. Yeah, I mean, we still occasionally, we’ll make our own broth. But I have to say, you’ve got to choose your battles, right?

Justin Mares:  Yep.

Chris Kresser:  And the main obstacle before was, I mean, there wasn’t any option. It was either make bone broth or not have it. And now with Kettle & Fire, it’s really super easy and simple. And I don’t feel like I’m making any sacrifice there. And there’s a whole bunch of stuff we used to make, like sauerkraut, we made our own sauerkraut in the big crock. We made our own kombucha. We made kefir and kefir water. And when you put all that together, it’s kind of a full-time job.

Justin Mares:  Yeah.

Chris Kresser:  And when you’ve got other full-time jobs and kids … I still like to do some of that stuff when I have time. But it’s really nice to have the option not to do it. And that’s what’s so cool to see, just in the time that I’ve been doing this, in the last 10 years. At that time, when I first started, it was really hard. You could walk into a store and there wasn’t a lot that you could get to help meet all of the various needs that you have.

And now I can go into a store and I can get really great raw sauerkraut, I can get kefir that’s made with whole organic milk, and I can get water kefir. I can get kombucha. I can get bone broth. I can even get Epic liver bites to help me get more liver in my diet. And I just love what I’m seeing in this industry. Like you said, the response has been so strong because people are hungry for this stuff. And as you also said, they want it to be easy. They don’t want to have to totally turn their life upside down in order to make it.

Justin Mares:  Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s the biggest important point is that people, it’s often hard for people to prioritize their health, especially if you’ve been living a certain way. You have a bunch of habits that you’ve built up, a bunch of crappy foods or lack of motion or lack of movement or whatever it is, that are just kind of bad habits that build up. And a society that truthfully doesn’t prioritize personal health at all. I think it just becomes really easy for people to fall into a set of unhealthy habits. And the harder you make it for them to change, I think the more resistant they are to that change and the less likely they are to actually make the meaningful lifestyle and health changes that they need to make.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah. We’re big into behavior change. As you know, we have a health coaching program, and I read a lot about that, and there’s a saying in the behavior change research world, “shrink the change,” which is essentially exactly what you just said. Make it as small as possible and as easy as possible, so that the person can experience success and the benefits of it right away. And that then gives them the confidence to move forward and keep doing it, right?

Justin Mares:  Yes, exactly.

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What’s in Store for Kettle & Fire

Chris Kresser:  And that’s just how our psychology works. So it’s pretty important. I’m going to give you this question because I don’t want to say anything I’m not supposed to. You initially just started with beef broth, then you had chicken broth and a couple different varieties of chicken broth, which are great. And now there’s some new stuff happening, which I’m aware of as an investor. But how much can you tell us about the roadmap and the current products that you have, and then future things that you’re thinking about?

Justin Mares:  Yeah, so right now we basically have a line of bone broths and then another line of bone broth-based soups that are our current product line. And then in the next month, like four to six weeks, we’re launching two things I’m super excited about.

So one, I’m a big believer in keto, and we’ve seen a lot of our customers who are doing keto or trying out a ketogenic diet, and kind of similar to my earlier comments around the easier you make something, the more likely people are to make that behavior change. We have heard from a lot of our customers that are trying keto that it’s just really difficult. There are not pre-set meal options. There’s a lot of things they have to give up or whatever to stay to a very strict ketogenic diet. And so what we’re launching is a line of bone broth-based keto soups that I think are going to be pretty phenomenal. Not only are they keto-compliant, so it’s a super-easy, ready-to-eat meal on the go that fits your macros, but we also include a bone broth in it which has a bunch of electrolytes, which helps with people who are just starting keto and kind of trying to get over the keto flu. And so we’re launching that, which I’m thrilled about.

And then second, we are launching another line of seasoned, kind of sipping bone broths. So a couple ones with spices, one with coconut milk, one with turmeric ginger. Basically make it as easy as possible.

Chris Kresser:  The pho.

Justin Mares:  Yeah, the pho. They just make it super easy to pour in a mug, heat it up, and enjoy a pre-seasoned bone broth that’s delicious.

Chris Kresser:  I was pretty excited about both of those. As an investor, I sometimes get the chance to try these out before they’re ready. And I don’t do keto full-time—I do cycles of keto occasionally throughout the year. So maybe once every three months, I do like a three-week keto cycle. And sometimes I do, during the week, I’ll do three or four days of keto and then two or three days of more just kind of standard Paleo type of approach, Paleo template.

So having the keto bone broth was super helpful. Because there are times where I’m busy and I just don’t have as much time as I want to prepare a full meal. And I can just have a soup that’s super nourishing and satisfies that appetite and keeps me within the keto program without having to do too much in the kitchen and clean up a bunch of dishes in the middle of the day.

Justin Mares:  Yeah.

Chris Kresser:  And then I thought the broths are really cool too because bone broth is great and it’s awesome, but if you’re consuming the same flavor of broth every day and you’re not bothering to create your own soups by adding herbs and spices and different flavors, then that can get a little bit monotonous or repetitive. And so that’s always to me the most time-consuming part of making soup, is, like, choosing the seasonings and flavor profile. Like, is this going to be like a pho, is it going to be more like a curry type of flavor? Is it going to be more like a savory mushroom broth type of flavor? And having that variety, for me at least, is super important. Because I can get really tired of just the same broth flavor. Maybe because I’ve been doing it for so long.

Justin Mares:  Ah, me too.

Chris Kresser:  So I was grateful for those different flavors. I’m looking forward to that.

Justin Mares:  Yeah, no, me too. I mean, we’ve been working really hard. As a company we’ve been around just about three years, and this is, by far, the largest number of new products we’ve ever launched. So it’s been quite some time in the works. We’ve had to do a lot on the operations side to prepare for this, but I can’t wait to get everything out into the world.

What It’s Like Running an Ancestral Health Business

Chris Kresser:  So what have been some of the biggest challenges you guys have faced in starting this company and running it and scaling it? I know you said initially it was finding a manufacturer and packer and people who could meet the rigorous standards that you have. Now you’re at a different stage of growth. You’re looking at scaling up and adding more products. What have been some of the challenges or difficulties that you faced?

Justin Mares:  Yeah, it’s a great question. The answer is we’ve had quite a few. But one of the things that happened that I think all of us were unprepared for was just how quickly the company grew. And so what we thought would be kind of a nice little side business or side project that some people in Paleo would be into and it would be like a cool business, a great way to connect with that community that I’m a part of, we just saw that there was much, much more demand for bone broth than we could’ve even expected.

And so pretty quickly we realized that buying the amount of bones that we need to keep up with production and doing so while still keeping our ingredients standards high, like 100 percent grass-fed, grass-finished, GAP level 4 for those who know whole foods animal welfare rating. We’ve had to talk and interview and chat with a ton of grass-fed ranchers to buy the number of bones that we need just to manufacture our product. We’re now in 6,800 stores across the country. We sell on KettleandFire.com. And we’re selling a lot of bone broth.

And so given that, we are quite possibly the largest purchaser of grass-fed bones in the country at this point. And that is just a really hard supply chain to build and scale. And that’s something that we’ve had to do effectually on our own.

Chris Kresser:  Right. Yeah.

Justin Mares:  So that’s been challenging.

Chris Kresser:  That’s interesting. Do you think the increased demand for this is impacting the supply? Have you had any conversations with people?

Justin Mares:  Yeah.

Chris Kresser:  Because at one point, probably not much of a demand. I mean, I know I used to be able to go to the butcher and they would almost give me the bones. And now they’re selling them.

Justin Mares:  Yeah.

Chris Kresser:  They’ve caught on. And even with organ meats, they would also used to, I use to just be able to get them almost for free. But now the local butcher shop, they sell them. So I’m curious what you’re seeing. I mean, it’s not so easy for someone to just create a pasture-raised farm real quick to meet the demand. And I’m sure there’s a lag time there, but I’m just curious what you’re seeing there.

Justin Mares:  Yeah, so, it’s really interesting. Unfortunately for us, if you want to get really into the weeds in the bone broth supply chain, bones are pretty, what they call “inelastic” to demand. So basically if you look at where bones are coming from, they’re coming from grass-fed cattle that have been generally raised and killed for meat. And so the price per head of cattle is often around 12ish hundred dollars. And so you’re buying, the price of that cattle’s bones might be like $10 to $30, somewhere in that range. And so we’re often looking at the cost of cattle being around 1 percent the cost of the total cattle. And so even if bone broth demand goes through the roof, it’s often not the case that ranchers will respond to that demand for bones by growing more cattle. Yeah, because it’s just not profitable.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah.

Justin Mares:  And so what happens is our bone costs go up and we have to lock in huge purchasing contracts with ranchers that have raised cattle and have bones that meet our high standards.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, that sounds tough. And I mean, maybe the solution to that is going to be indirect, which is a higher demand for pasture-raised meat, which would then increase the supply. Because that’s the other 99 percent of the revenue for the cow that the ranchers are getting goes for the meat, and then you get the side effects of that essentially with more bones.

Justin Mares:  Yeah. Exactly.

Chris Kresser:  So I hope everyone’s listening, can hear this, and will vote with their wallet whenever possible in terms of purchasing pasture-raised meat. I really do believe that as consumers, that’s one of the ways that we exercise our voice and make our desires known is by what we purchase. So it’s super important to continue to shift this conversation because there’s a growing clamor these days for vegan or plant-based diets. We’re seeing, like, the EAT-Lancet study and their initiatives to, advocating for vegan diets in schools.

And I’ve heard from, I wrote an email awhile back about WeWork who is, I have an office at WeWork, and they’ve implemented Meatless Mondays where they encourage everybody to go meat-free at WeWork and their employees. And there’s no doubt that factory farming is problematic on every level, nutritional, environmental, ethical. But there is another way. And that other way will only be sustainable and possible if we all vote with our wallets.

Justin Mares:  Completely agree.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, it’s activism that is also good for your health and tastes a lot better.

Justin Mares:  Yeah.

Chris Kresser:  Well, and then when you look forward in terms of what the next steps are for Kettle & Fire, what do you have in mind?

Justin Mares:  Yeah, it’s a great question. So I think that in general, our mission is to bring bone broth back into the American diet and the American way of eating. And so I think that we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us. Even three years ago when we started the company, my brother, who’s now 23, would go on dates and talk to people, strangers, and would do the same where it’s like, “Yeah, I started a bone broth company,” and people had no idea. And that’s happening less and less now. I think bone broth is getting more popular, but I think we still have a way to go.

If I think about how powerful the stuff is and how good it is for people’s health, I would love to see a world in which drinking bone broth is effectively as common as drinking coffee or tea. And I think that we are in a position and we’re going to be the company that can help make that happen and help bring the health and healing benefits of bone broth to more and more people all over the country.

Chris Kresser:  Nice. Well, thank you and Nick for the great work that you’re doing. It’s awesome. Just on a personal level, I really enjoy the products. And it’s great to have something so easy and convenient to recommend to all my patients and all of the clinicians and health coaches we’re training and loving the new products that you’ve come out with recently. So congrats on all of that.

Justin Mares:  Thank you. Appreciate it, yeah. I appreciate your support from very, very early on. You’ve been a huge supporter of ours, which is awesome.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, it was very easy to see the need for this. So I’m glad you guys stepped in to fill it. And thanks, everyone, for listening today. Keep sending your questions in to ChrisKresser.com/podcastquestions, and we’ll talk to you next time. 

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  1. Oh, BTW, those bones came from cattle from our herd, raised entirely outside on mother’s milk and excellent permanent pasture. Getting a couple home killed is an opportunity to get the metatarsals (my favourite for BB) that supports th legs that would otherwise be lost at an abattoir, not tomato the cheeks, tongue, liver, heart, kidney, skirt and the first couple of stomachs for compost. And not to forget a hoof or two for the dogs, another favourite!

  2. I leave my BB in the tractor shed for 48 hours in the crock pot. Saves on household odour, and she isn’t so keen. At 67, one gets to know the limits…

    The dogs don’t seem to mind; they know they will get the fat and overcooked bits of meat when it’s finished. Yum.

  3. Would consuming this bone broth be the same as consuming gelatin or collagen powders?