Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Nutrition Science Experiment

We did our first science experiment today.  This is from Janice VanCleave's Biology for Every Kid    (and while I was looking for the link to this book, I saw that she also has a  JVC Food and Nutrition for Every Kid  that looks cool and I bet would be useful for this study). 

Hmmm......well this will be interesting.   I was just rereading the experiment and it says to use an uncooked chicken bone - we used cooked ones.  I don't think it will make a difference, but we'll see.

So you take a chicken bone (apparently uncooked), and wash it and get all the meat off it and let it dry overnight.   Put the bone in a jar and cover it with white vinegar.  Put a lid on it and wait 7 days.  As time passes, the bone will become soft - starting at the edges and working towards the middle.  You can take it out every couple of days and feel how it's changing.   At the end of the 7 days, it should be a soft, rubbery bone that can be twisted.

Minerals in the bone cause it to be strong and rigid.  The vinegar removes the minerals, which makes it soft. 

If you make homemade chicken broth (way preferable to store bought broth b/c of lower sodium and much much much higher nutrition contents), you will want to add a cup or so of vinegar to the broth while it cooks.   This helps leach the minerals out of the bones and into your broth.  And no, you can't taste the vinegar.   This is why I think using cooked bones for the experiment will probably be fine - I always use cooked bones in my broth.  Homemade broth is also why 'Chicken Noodle Soup' is supposed to help you get over a cold - real, homemade soup with homemade broth actually will!   "Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons--stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain."    Here's a great article on homemade bone broths - Broth is Beautiful

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