We chat to Catherine Farrant, the brain behind the best bone broth on the shelves, Ossa Organic.
What was the inspiration behind launching Ossa Organic?
In 2013 I fell pregnant with my first son and it was then I became interested in learning how to nourish my body through food.
I started reading and searching for knowledge and that’s how I started to learn about ancestral nutrition. That is eating wholesome, natural, organic foods like eggs, well cared for meats, animal fats and vegetables like our ancestors did thousands of years ago. They ate to heal and used food as medicine and a way to prevent disease.
One of the key cornerstones of ancestral wisdom was bone broth and its healing benefits. I experimented in my kitchen and began drinking it every day. I loved finding new ways to enjoy it; I started having it every morning instead of coffee, putting it in my smoothie, using it as the base for delicious soups and casseroles and even using it to cook pasta and rice instead of water.
Once I had seen the benefits for myself I wanted to take bone broth from our family kitchen to other family kitchens – and the idea of Ossa Organic was born.
How did bone broth improve your health during pregnancy?
Prenatal vitamins made me feel very unwell so I researched individual minerals and vitamins that I would need to supplement in pregnancy (for example folate which can be quite hard to get enough of from diet alone when pregnant) and then found out how to get everything else I needed rom real food.
Bone broth played a huge part in my pregnancy and healing post delivery. I had no stretch marks, clear skin and a strong stamina throughout (I was actually able to work out gently and walk daily up until I delivered). I felt so nourished, strong and vital. My digestive system, gut and immune system was stronger than ever before and has been ever since.
My family has been eating a low inflammatory, paleo and gut healing diet ever since – with bone broth at the heart of it, of course.
I highly recommend the book The First 40 Days by Heng Ou, who stresses the importance of bone broth as an ancient healing food to prepare mothers for birth and aiding recovery.
What are the health benefits of bone broth?
Bone broth has been consumed in various cultures around the world for up to 2,500 years as a healing elixir. It has so many health benefits.
Studies show that the regular consumption of bone broth can help people with chronic digestive issues, such as a leaky gut syndrome and IBS, improve their condition.
Bone broth promotes internal healing as well as regulates bowel movement. It acts as a broom for the digestive system and is full of healing and connective-tissue-building compounds such as collagen, amino acids and gelatine, scientifically proven to repair the gut lining.
Overall, it is the perfect base to build a diet which encourages healing and restoration from modern ailments such as bad gut health, adrenal fatigue, stress, lacklustre skin and tight joints.
You work with your husband Michael, what are the pros and cons of working with a partner?
My husband is a Director at Ossa Organic. On a day to day basis he offers me moral support. I am able to lean on him for his fresh perspective and loving support. It has been so helpful to have this while I grow and run the business. Michael also has a really logical approach to problem solving and helps me rationalise and approach challenging situations with a clear and calm approach.
In terms of cons, Michael works full-time doing what he loves and this means that although he supports me running Ossa Organic he isn’t involved in the day-to-day running of the business.
How do you balance work and family life?
I have taken time over the past decade to design the life I’ve always wanted. This has taken hard work, discipline and courage. I am realistic about what I can do in the time I have and I take it one day a time. I find it important to remind myself daily to be kind to myself. I love what I do and the balance I have worked hard to create, feels wonderful to me.
Having children has taught me to take care of myself first, whereas I would usually prioritise my husband and family which can be tough to adjust to. Somewhere in the blur of motherhood you learn this hard knock lesson.
I only recently quit my job as a Partner in a wealth management firm. That allowed me more room to breath and focus on what I believe I am called to do.
There is nothing like making a plan for your life and then working hard to bring all the pieces together. It’s like the Secret, you can manifest anything if you want to.
How has the range grown since launching in 2015?
We have expanded the range organically to be a full and well-rounded offering of gut healing, restorative foods.
We’ve gone from bone broth to bone broth soups, and traditional Tallow; we clarify butter to make traditional organic ghee and have recently launched and formulated a magnificently revitalising raw and organic apple cider vinegar tonic.
All our products are made using the highest quality organic ingredients and focus on tradition not trend.
We also upcycle bones that would have otherwise been incinerated to make our bone broths, cooking on up to 98% renewable energy. This has earned us a BCorp certification where we were award honouree status for the Environment.
What are your favourite ways to use Ossa’s Bone Broth?
I drink a cup or two a day heated on the hob with fresh chilli and seasoned with pink himalayan salt. Sometimes I’ll have half an avocado literally plopped into the mug for some extra good fats. I also use it in all my cooking in place of water or a stock cube.
When you are not busy working, what do you do to unwind?
I believe in the power of hot and cold therapy so I try get in the sauna 3-5 times per week for 30 minutes. I use this time to zone out, meditate and visualise my goals.
I also attend a monthly gong bath (sound healing) at our local church hall. It happens around the full moon and I find the experience so grounding and relaxing.
I find that exercise is a great way for me to unwind; I do my own yoga practice and I am exploring handstands and animal movement training.
Finally, I love to read and after going through a hard time I discovered a beautiful book called The Artist’s Way. This gorgeous book encourages you to play and nourish your inner child which has been a revelation for me in my day to day life. I make sure play is something that I practice every day which is lovely when you have children.
What tips can you give to young mothers struggling to juggle it all?
Love yourself and use the journey of motherhood to rediscover your inner child. Play with your children and let them guide you to design the life you have always wanted. I always say that kids are good for your business; my kids inspired and helped me to birth mine.
What is the 14 Day Gut Reset?
Our gut is the gateway to good health. The 14 Day Gut Reset is a two week guide to support improved gut health. It includes a comprehensive gut guide and a range of Ossa Organic foods to help restore your gut health and kick start your body’s natural healing process.
The gut reset starts with a bone broth fast which is followed up with natural and fermented foods to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria. You’ll also be encouraged to avoid inflammatory foods including commercial dairy, gluten, wheat, sugar and alcohol which are all toxic to our microbiome. Food on the gut reset challenge is nourishing and restorative, such as bone broth Shepherd’s Pie. You won’t go hungry!
People that do the gut reset challenge tend to experience increased energy, better digestion, a faster metabolism, mental clarity, a stronger immune system, brighter looking skin and restful sleep — typical benefits of having a healthy gut.
The 14 Day Gut Reset costs £100 and can be purchased from Ossa Organic direct.
Where can you buy Ossa Organic products?
Ossa Organic is available in Planet Organic and Whole Foods Market, Ocado, Selfridges and Farm Drop. The range is also available at various other small health food shops.
Do you have any other health or beauty products that you swear by?
Yes! I put castor oil on my eyebrows and eyelashes every night – it’s a miracle natural growth and thickening serum. I also use our Tallow (grass fed beef fat) whipped with essential oils for the most nourishing and bioavailable body butter you could ever find.
In terms of health I swear by taking activated charcoal for food poisoning, sick bugs or after a night of drinking alcohol as it absorbs toxins from the body.
How do you go about sourcing your ingredients?
Quality, care and function are at the heart of sourcing all our ingredients. We source local and organic certification is paramount.
When choosing a bone broth, it should be made from highest quality bones from animals that are grass fed to organic standards. The most nutrient dense bone broth is slow-cooked for at least 24hrs.
What’s your motto?
“To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people just exist, that is all.” Oscar Wilde