Q & A: June 19, 2011

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1. Question: Bone Marrow Extraction?

Hi Ann Marie,

Thanks for your faithfulness in answering questions. I have four young children and a hungry husband so we cook about 2 chickens/week for broth and meat in addition to beef/fish broth once a month or more. About halfway into cooking, I will often break the chicken bones and let them cook another 12 hours in the pot. However, is there a better way to extract the marrow from the narrow chicken bones? It’s so easy with beef, but Dr. McBride talks about it eating the marrow from chicken too. Sometimes I’ve inserted a sharp object into one broken bone-end to try and push the marrow out the other, but this doesn’t seem to profit much considering the time investment. What am I missing? Blessings!

— Lisa


The best way to extract marrow — and all the nutrients — from the bones when making stock is to add a little vinegar or something else acidic to the pot. I always add a few tablespoons of vinegar to my crock pot when I make beef or chicken stock.  There is no need to crack the bones — if you simmer them long enough, they will just fall apart when you are done cooking the broth.

How long you simmer the broth depends on the type of bones you are using. Obviously, the longer you simmer, the more nutrients you can extract into the stock. Beef bones are the thickest, and so they take the longest. Chicken bones are not as thick so they don’t take as long. I usually simmer beef bones for 24-36 hours, chicken bones for 12-24 hours, and fish bones (and heads and tails) for 4-12 hours.

If you buy marrow bones, what I like to do is roast them first. Eat the roasted marrow from the bones — it’s great as an appetizer. I like to put it on toast with some parsley, olive oil and chopped onion. Then you can take those bones, after you’re done scooping the marrow out, and throw them in your stockpot.

Here’s my recipe for chicken stock.

You can read more about marrow on this thread on CHOWHOUND.

2. Question:  Homemade Mayo Oil Combo? / Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool?

Hi Ann Marie – I love the weekly question and answer sessions! Very informative.

My question is about homemade mayo.  I have got the method pretty much down (I use a Bamix high powered immersion blender – I’ve only had failures with the Kitchenaid and the food processor to date) but I can’t find an oil or combo of oils that seems healthy enough and tastes good.

Usually when I use extra virgin olive oil the flavor is too strong and the color of the end product is unappealing – greenish.

I have tried mixing grapeseed oil (which I considered a compromise in order to get a neutral flavor), a more refined olive oil and expeller pressed sesame oil, but still didn’t like the flavor — I’ve since realized I don’t like the taste of grapeseed oil.

I know some recommend using a mix of coconut, olive and sesame but I am dubious and I would want to use a flavorless coconut which I need to get back into my kitchen (right now I’m just using Virgin coconut oil for some ‘chocolat-y’ treats).

I would love specific brand recommendations and ratios that make a tasty and healthy mayo.  I have seen several recommendations for Chaffin Orchards but I’m wondering if their oils would have too much flavor to make a fairly neutral mayo — the main thing I want it for is tuna and chicken salads for lunches.


PS – Another question – is swimming in a chlorinated pool dangerous or bad for us?  I’ve been to our pool twice and have noticed a headache both days. I’m wondering how much if any nasty things I’m absorbing through my skin when going into a chlorinated pool.


Chaffin Family Orchards is the only olive oil I recommend for making homemade mayonnaise. I know lots of people experiment with other “lesser quality” oils. But why mess with Mother Nature? Olive oil is the original and best oil to use for mayonnaise.  When Julia Child wrote her first cookbook, she only recommended olive oil for mayonnaise.

The problem is the quality of the olive oil. Most olive oils are adulterated these days. So you think you’re getting olive oil, but it’s been cut with cheaper oils like canola or who-knows-what. Read this article in the New Yorker to learn all about it.

Furthermore, most modern olive growers pick their olives early in the season. This is because it’s easier.  Later in the season, particularly here in California, we have our rainy season. Who wants to harvest olives during a monsoon? Not only that but they have to weather the storms and risk losing their precious crops!

Chaffin prides themselves on the extremely mild taste of their olive oil. When I tasted it the first time, I was absolutely blown away. I had never in my life tasted such a mild olive oil.

Oh, and the third reason — they use only Mission olives. Mission olives produce a much milder oil. But Mission olives don’t grow just anywhere — they grow in Northern California.

I should also mention that you don’t always want a mild olive oil. It’s nice to have a spicy, peppery olive oil on those occasions that you want that (I like it in salad dressings). But for mayonnaise, you need it to be mild. In Julia Child’s day, I bet they used to pick the olives later in the season. I think they pick earlier now because it’s convenient and safer (just a theory, but I bet I am correct).

Yes, swimming in a chlorinated pool is bad for us. Chlorine kills our good gut flora. And we do absorb it through our skin. Not good!

I have noticed that I feel so much better after swimming in a saltwater pool. I do not like swimming in chlorinated pools anymore. When we get a pool one day, I will make sure it is a saltwater pool. That said, I wouldn’t worry about it if you can’t find a saltwater pool. Just don’t go swimming in a chlorinated pool every day. And eat more fermented foods/probiotics.

3. Question:  Raw Milk WWYD?

I live in Oregon and so I have to get raw milk from herd shares. The area that I live in is high desert climate and there is only grass about half the year. The other half of the year all of the farmers around my area give either alfalfa or hay (both treated with pesticides) and they all give GMO grain (presumably) at milking time to calm the cows. The local herd shares run 7-8 dollars a gallon.

I don’t like the idea of consuming milk from cows eating GMOs and pesticides especially for the high price.  There IS a local farm that makes raw milk 100% grass fed (they only milk during the season with grass) without chemicals, so I have been making sure that we get a few servings of that each day. I purchase Straus low-temp pasteurized, non-homogenized milk to have at the house which we don’t even go through a 1/2 gallon a week.

If we had access to grass-fed organic raw milk, I would make a point to drink it and give some to my daughter. I guess my questions are (sorry it took so long to get here): Would you still get raw milk of this quality? I have a 2 year old daughter who is still nursing so I don’t feel like she is missing much getting breastmilk and eating the raw milk cheese, but she won’t be nursing forever and I wonder if I should reconsider down the road.

Is there anything we are missing by only having the raw milk, grass fed cheese and not just straight milk? We also use organic grass fed butter and ghee that are not raw. It is just so hard to justify paying a premium price for what I don’t think is the ideal product for my family. WWYD?

Thanks in advance!


Are you SURE they are giving GMO grain? Maybe you can ask them. I don’t have a problem with a little grain at milking time, as long as the cows are grass-fed and eat hay in the winter. Maybe you can ask them if they’d be willing to switch to organic grain.

Hmm but yeah, I don’t love that it is not organic hay. That’s too bad.

Where do you live? Have you checked out realmilk.com? I also really recommend checking in with a local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Chapter leaders always know the best places to get raw milk locally. You may be able to find a local farm that sells organic, grass-fed raw milk.

If it were me, I would reach out to a chapter leader and see what is the closest place I could get the best quality milk and I would make the drive. You might be able to find some local folks who would want to join a co-op. Then you can take turns making the drive to pick up the milk. I drive 45 minutes to an hour each way to get my milk (it’s cheaper out in Glendale at the hub store). I buy 20 or 30 gallons at a time and store it in my chest freezer in the garage.

I would personally not buy pasteurized milk. Sally Fallon-Morell says that pasteurization damages the protein in the milk. It’s OK if butter and cream are pasteurized.

Sally actually says if you can’t find raw milk,  you are better off buying organic grass-fed cream and adding some water to it.  She even says if you can’t get organic cream, you’re still better off drinking cream than not drinking it at all. You just have to do the best you can.

Also, if you can’t get good quality organic grass-fed raw milk or cream for your daughter, be sure to feed her extra bone broth. I’d give it to her daily. She needs the calcium.

4. Question:  Facial Hair Growth?

Hi Ann Marie,

Any insight into why I get black stubby hair growing on my chin sometimes?? I have fears that it is related to something hormonal?

Thank you in advance for answering,


I think it is hormonal, and it also seems to come on as women age. When I started getting melasma (dark patches on the face — I looked like I had a faint mustache!) in my early-thirties, I also started getting those little black hairs growing on my chin and the sides of my face.

After several months on a traditional foods diet, I could see my melasma fading. After a couple years, it was completely gone! I still get a stray hair every now and again on my face but they are lighter in color, not as coarse, and they are more infrequent. And the melasma is totally gone.

5. Question:  Nursing a Baby with a Dairy Allergy?

I have a 2-month old nursling who appears to be bothered when I consume dairy, raw or pasteurized. I have trialed dairy items off and on the last few weeks and most recently, I trialed what I thought would be the most tame item (raw milk kefir) but it seems to be a fail.

I heard of someone giving their child lactose pills and the mother was able to consume dairy. (1) What do you think of that and (2) I am very discouraged if I am unable to eat dairy during our whole nursing relationship! I end up eating more carbs to stave off hunger, and it makes me sad. Will we possibly be more successful if I wait longer before trying it again (most has been a couple week so far)?

I have given her infant probiotics but that doesn’t eliminate her response to the dairy.



This is a sign of abnormal gut flora. It just means the baby does not have adequate numbers of good bacteria.

The reaction to the raw milk kefir was probably just “die-off”. Start slow with the kefir. Maybe just 1 teaspoon a day. See if she reacts. Slowly increase by a teaspoon every few days until you are drinking a full glass a day.

As far as probiotics go, most of them just don’t work. I know from personal experience. I had symptoms that would not go away after a month on store-bought probiotics and then I tried Bio-Kult (purchased online) and my symptoms disappeared within 3 days.

Until you restore the balance of good flora in your baby’s gut (and in yours), I would stay off dairy. You might also just check to make sure you are not allergic to gluten. It’s a good idea to limit sugar and starches as well, as these foods fed the pathogenic bacteria.

I recommend that you read [easyazon-link asin=”0954852028″ locale=”us”]Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia[/easyazon-link]
by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to learn more.

6. Question: Forbidding Babies Honey?

So as I prepare for the birth of my first child, I’m curious as to your stance on the practice of forbidding of honey from babies.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan on spooning the stuff into my baby in mass quantities! I approach this simply out of curiosity — my parents fed me honey as an infant for colic and it didn’t harm me (and yes, actually took care of the colic) so I’ve always been intrigued by that. I understand the medical reasoning for not giving a baby honey but let’s face it, a lot of what we do goes against the established medical way of thinking.

So in your opinion, do you consider raw honey to be THAT dangerous for a baby?



From what I have read, the best cure for colic is probiotics. Colicky babies have abnormal gut flora (not enough good bacteria).

It is recommended that we don’t feed babies honey until they are at least a year old. According to Baby Center:

Honey can contain spores of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which can germinate in a baby’s immature digestive system and cause infant botulism, a rare but potentially fatal illness. These spores are usually harmless to adults and children over 1 year old, because the microorganisms normally found in the intestine keep the bacteria from growing.
To be on the safe side, don’t cook with honey (in baked bread or pudding, for example) if your baby is going to be eating the finished dish. While the toxin is heat sensitive, the spores are difficult to kill. Commercial foods that contain honey, like ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and baby food, are safe for your baby because they’ve been heated enough to kill the spores.

I would use maple syrup, sucanat, or another natural sweetener for your baby. That said, babies don’t need to eat sugar. When my daughter was under a year, she happily ate liver and pretty much whatever else I gave her. She didn’t eat any grains anything sweet at all her first year — except for fruit and breast milk!

7. Question:  Getting Rid of Candida?

Hi there! I read your posts about healing yourself and getting rid of candida and I have a couple of questions. You said that you gave up “sweets” for a couple of years — did you also give up all fruit and nuts to heal candida the first time? I am breastfeeding and on GAPS diet… and also plagued by candida (debilitating allergies). I don’t do any sugar except in fruit (and honey, but I can cut that out). What do you think was most essential to your healing of candida the first time?

Thanks for your help!


No, I did not give up fruits and nuts. I just gave up gluten and all forms of sugar except honey, and I avoided starches.

It’s a misnomer that we want to “get rid of candida”. We don’t. Everyone should have candida (a form of yeast) in their digestive tract. When people say they have “candida” what they really mean is they have an overgrowth of candida.

When we don’t have enough good bacteria in our gut, we end up with an overgrowth of yeast and pathogenic bacteria. The reason for this is that one of the main jobs of the good bacteria is to kill off the bad bacteria — and keep the yeast in check.

If I had to say what was most essential to my healing, it was avoiding the foods I was allergic to and taking STRONG probiotics (I didn’t know about fermented foods and bone broth back then, but I believe those are equally important).

The GAPS diet with adequate therapeutic grade probiotics and fermented foods will help you heal.

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