Chewing on bones is not considered cool. In fact, it is considered to be bad manners in many cultures. Yet one thing has been found in just about every place where Paleolithic people used to live—a big pile of bones, cracked open.
In addition to this, every meat eating animal chews on bones. Since animals never do anything without a reason, and know how to get great nutrition from their natural food, I thought there must be something to this. So I put my inhibitions away and did the natural thing. I chewed on the bone of a rare, barbecued, grassfed, Porterhouse steak.
Was it good? No. It was great. It was fantastic. It was satisfying. It tasted so good. It made me happy. And, when I was done, I had a huge, wonderful, comfortable feeling of satisfaction, in a way that was new, yet felt so familiar.
The Blessings of Bones
Meaty bones are full of nutrients. Not only is there the bone itself, full of minerals, there is the meat that is right next to the bone. That meat is saturated with nutrients from the bone, and has unbelievable taste, texture, and flavor. There is an old saying, “The nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat.” That saying is true. I tasted it.
There is also the fat next to the bone, which is rich, tasty, and so satisfying. The fat from grassfed animals is very nutritious, containing vital nutrients such as the perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a known cancer fighter that also promotes muscle growth and burns fat. Both omega-3s and CLA diminish to almost nothing after the typical stay in the feedlot, which is why grassfed meat is by far our best source of them. See Health Benefits of Grass-fed Products.
And there is the bone marrow. It is almost universally accepted that all those bones found in piles at Paleo sites were cracked open for the bone marrow, one of the most nutritious substances known.
When you chew on the bones, your teeth and saliva cause minerals to enter your mouth from the chewing process, and this is the tastiest way I know to get vital minerals.
Any way you look at it, the bones of grassfed animals are nutrient-dense, to say the least.
The Chewing of the Bone
Just before I started chewing on the Porterhouse bone, I was wondering if there was a right or wrong way to do it. Not to worry. My mouth and teeth knew exactly what to do. I gently bit off and chewed the delicious morsels of rare meat, white fat, and everything else that would come of the bone. My teeth gently chewed on the bone itself. The taste and satisfaction was so wonderful it is hard to describe. A wonderful feeling of contentment came over me as I chewed on the bone, enjoying the taste and nutrition it gave. The glorious flavor of hot bone marrow permeated the meat and fat, giving it a fantastic, satisfying taste. I chewed slowly, savoring every magnificent morsel. It felt so right, so natural. So familiar. I finally understood why the dogs I used to have were so happy to have a real bone.
It took awhile. When I was finally done, I felt healthy, satiated, and utterly satisfied. I also felt very happy.
Why is bone chewing considered bad manners? My guess is that the custom was created to stop people from fighting over the bones, since there often would not be enough to go around.
Chewing on bones is a good thing, for nutrition, taste, and the sheer pleasure of it. I cannot think of a more Paleo way to eat.
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