By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
The Standard American Diet (also known as SAD) is severely deficient in many vital nutrients. This includes iodine, which is vital for the function of many body processes.
The recent nuclear disaster in Japan has motivated many people to raise their iodine levels, in the hope that this will prevent them from absorbing radioactive iodine. Most people who do this use supplements. There is a risk in using supplements, because iodine is only needed in minute amounts, and an overdose of iodine can cause problems ranging from minor to serious. While I am not a doctor, and am not giving medical advice, I always prefer to get my nutrients from food to the extent possible. I believe that this is the most natural and efficient way to get nutrients, along with any as yet unknown cofactors that enable the body to digest them properly.
The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price usually had much more iodine in their diets than modern people. One of the most common ways they got this iodine was from eating seafood. Some seafood contains a significant amount of mercury, a substance that I avoid as much as possible. However, small fish and shellfish contain very little mercury.
Seafood contains many other vital nutrients in addition to iodine, especially when the whole fish, including the head, is eaten. Fish bones are a terrific source of minerals. The organs of the fish, some of which are within the head, are full of nutrients. One of the best ways to get nutrients from seafood is by making a broth. There is an old South American saying: “Fish broth will cure anything.”
Our ancestors ate only wild fish, taken from their natural habitat, and that is a tradition I follow. Farmed fish are almost always fed a diet that is not natural for seafood, usually including processed soy, and they are not the same as wild fish.
This soup is simple to make, delicious, and loaded with iodine and other nutrients. The use of small fish avoids the mercury problem, and the ginger and garlic reduce the odor, while enhancing the already fine flavor. The fish sauce adds even more nutrients, while further improving the flavor. The long simmering causes the fish to break up and release their nutrients into the broth.
2 pounds wild whole smelt, with the heads, fresh or frozen
2 gallons filtered water
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 (2 inch) piece organic ginger, crushed
4 cloves organic garlic, crushed
1. Put the fish into a large stainless steel stockpot. There is no need to cut up the fish, they will break up as they simmer. Add the vegetables and the water.
2. Heat the pot until the water begins a strong simmer. This will take a while because of the large volume of ingredients and water.
3. When the water is close to boiling, remove all the scum that rises to the top with a skimming spoon. This can take a long time, but it is necessary to remove these impurities.
4. When the scum is gone, add the fish sauce.
5. Cover and simmer gently for at least 8 to 10 hours, or even longer. The fish will break up into the broth.
6. Strain into mason jars, cover, and refrigerate once the bottles have cooled down. Use or freeze within five days. If you freeze the broth, you can boil it down to a concentrate, place in safe plastic freezer bags when cool, and rehydrate when you thaw it at a later date.
Tender Grassfed Meat contains a number of broth recipes for grassfed meat.
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