Chicken broth, along with vegetable and beef broths, have become a staple in many homes because they are so easy to use. Plus, they enhance the flavors in your foods and soups, making your meal more enjoyable for the whole family.
As with any meal – homemade is always best, but not always possible. On our busiest nights I love the convenience of dumping chicken broth in a pot, adding pasta shells, veggies and shredded chicken and bam – dinner is ready! But as you probably know, not all broths are made the same way nor use the same ingredients.
Finding a healthier broth is not a complicated process, there are just a few ingredients you want to stay away from and others that you actually want to see in the label.
Here are 4 things you should avoid when buying broth:
MSG (monosodium glutamate):
You might have heard to stay away from this ingredient before, it’s found in many processed foods since it’s used to enhance flavors. MSG is a controversial topic, with studies showing we should stay away from it as well as people defending that it’s safety. In cases like this I err of the side of caution and keep my family away from possibly harmful ingredients.
MSG has been linked to breathing difficulties, chest pain, headaches and migraines, numbness or burning pain in the mouth, and swelling of the face. MSG can also contribute to weight gain and could increase blood pressure.
MSG is also known under different names: monosodium glutamate, calcium glutamate, glutamic acid, yeast extract and it can also be hiding in natural flavors.
Sodium (in high levels):
Americans eat on average about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. However, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt! (Source)
Depending on your diet, you might be better off sticking to a broth that’s low in sodium. Always check the label to make sure you are not taking most of your daily dose of sodium in one pack of broth. You will be surprised to discovered at the amounts of sodium in most store-bought broths!
GMO’s (genetically modified organisms)
GMO’s have not proven to be safe and as a mother of two children, I don’t want my kids ingesting foods that have been genetically modified. A lot of vegetables have been genetically modified to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate, an ingredient in the weed killer Roundup.
Glyphosate has been linked to cancer, organ toxicity, poor gut health, and reproductive and development issues. To learn more about glyphosate, click here.
The best way to avoid GMO’s is by buying products that are non-GMO. And if you are concerned by glyphosate, you can avoid both glyphosate and GMO’s by buying organic.
BPA (bisphenol A)
If you’re buying canned broth, stock or soups you might be ingesting BPA. BPA is an endocrine disruptor and has linked to affecting cell growth, fetal development and fertility issues. For more information on the effects of BPA, click here.
The easiest way to avoid BPA is to stay away from any canned foods, soups, broths or stocks.
Now that we know what to avoid in broth, what is the best natural broth?
There are several companies selling organic broths but I love to stick to brands that are very transparent about their entire production process and that sell broths that are as close to homemade as possible, made with only natural ingredients.
Best store bought broth
Earlier this year I was invited to go to Barcelona, Spain to visit the Aneto headquarters. Aneto is a company that has been making natural broths for over a decade. I jumped on the opportunity because there’s nothing like seeing things with your own eyes.
I wanted to see if Aneto was really keeping up with all the claims they make.
One of the things I love the most about doing a factory visit is that you get to meet the people behind a brand. Aneto’s administrative small is relatively small, giving it a very homey feel and 100% control of their product. Every single person I met worked at Aneto because they love the product they create and what the company stands for. I knew just from that this would be an amazing tour, but what I discovered shocked me.
First, they took me to visit one of the organic farms they source their vegetables from. What impressed me about the farm, besides the fact that it’s 100% organic, is that this farm employs teenagers who have dropped out of school or immigrated to Spain. They teach them work habits, like how to be on time and finish your tasks; basically how to be a responsible adult. Once the teenagers are ready, they leave for others jobs because they have acquired the skills they need to move on in life.
Learning this about this organic farm made Aneto that much more special to me! It’s a company giving back to its community!
The next stop on the tour was the factory where all the broths are made. Before walking in I had to cover myself in protective clothing and remove my watch, earrings, and any accessories I was wearing. They take quality control seriously and I love that.
When we walked in, the first thing I saw were two people chopping massive amounts of vegetables. What’s fascinating about their broth making process and what makes them so unique is that they make their broths exactly like you would make them at home, except they do it in giant pots that hold 3000 liters.
The first step of the process is to get the ingredients ready. This part is all done by people, like you and me.
They only make very few batches of broth at a time and they sanitize all their pots before making a new type of broth in it. So, if you’re buying a vegetable broth, so you won’t be getting any chicken in it.
Every single ingredient they use for the broth is stuff you would find in your home: vegetables, meats, olive oil, salt, etc. They use 100% natural ingredients and every single one is listed on their label. If you’re buying a chicken broth, that’s what you get: real chicken cooked with real vegetables in a giant pot. Aneto is the closest to homemade broth I have been able to find (and confirm with my own eyes).
Aneto’s broths are gluten-free and non-GMO. They also don’t add MSG nor use preservatives on their product but what I love is how transparent they are about the process and the ingredients they use. Their labels always specify every single ingredient used.
After the broth is made is immediately packaged to preserve freshness and quality. I think this is why their broths taste so good!
Their price is a little higher than other broths on the market, but I personally like my family to have food as close to homemade as possible so we’re willing to pay the extra buck or two for this broth.
We have had many times their broth, with nothing else added to it, and it is so tasty! Not only are you getting a 100% natural broth but one that tastes good even alone.
Where can you buy Aneto broths?
Aneto sells all kinds of broths, from vegetable broths to seafood broths. They even have a broth for cooking paella!
Do you have any questions about natural broths or Aneto? Leave them in the comments.
Disclaimer: I was NOT compensated for this post. I just wanted to share with you what I learned after visiting Aneto’s factory.