“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
When Paul Taparauskas dedicated his kitchen to creating a healing elixir for his sick wife Irene back in 2012, he didn’t know it would one day be found in the kitchens of Americans everywhere.
However, if you knew Paul, you’d have guessed this might be the case.
A notable chemist and a serial entrepreneur, Paul had created everything from bacterio-static agents for the underwear Apollo astronauts wore in space to natural sleep aids. It was only natural, then, that the bone broth he spent months perfecting would one day become a commercial success. That bone broth went on to become LonoLife — the portable, ridiculously tasty and highly nutritious bone broth we’ve all come to love.
We thought it was high time we sat down with Paul (and his wife Irene) to ask him why he settled on bone broth as a support for his wife during her cancer treatment, how he thinks it helped her, and just how he managed to land on such a delicious recipe.
Can you tell our readers a little about your background as a food scientist?
I studied chemistry in college and really enjoyed organic chemistry. I started my career by developing industrial products, and, with time, my career path took me into health and wellness products. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to develop something “better than the other guys.”
My first job out of college was working on the Gemini and Apollo space missions, where I helped develop everything from bacterio-static agents for the astronauts’ underwear to the rubber seals that attached to the ankles and necklines of their space suits.
This got me thinking about other things I could create. I went on to develop a natural sleep and calm aid product called Restevia, a female sexual health product called Ciaxa, and Frappio — a frappucino type drink that featured antioxidants and natural stimulants. The common thread through all these products was amino acids — a prominent feature of bone broth that first caught my attention.
What led you to explore bone broth as a support for your wife during her illness?
I had studied amino acids a lot in my previous work and knew they were the building blocks for a healthy body. From controlling immune function and assisting mineral absorption to aiding in the synthesis of collagen and helping control stress, they are an essential element of good health. I started thinking about the best, food-based source of amino acid and realized it was bones and bone marrow. I knew that if I boiled beef and chicken bones, I could extract this goodness and make it easily consumable. It took a few attempts to get it right, but I realized that the longer I steeped the bones, the better the broth got.
Irene was having infusions at the time and food simply didn’t taste good to her. The broth was soothing and she could have it anytime of the day. It didn’t hurt her stomach and it just made her body feel better. It helped her through a lot of rough spots. As she says, “Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul, it’s good for the body too!”
How do you feel it helped her?
I believe that drinking broth provided her body with the ammunition she needed to help her stay as healthy as possible. It’s not a cure — it’s a support. While she was being subjected to harsh drugs that would tackle her illness, we believe the broth acted as a fuel to fight off the negative impact of those drugs. Essentially, it helped her stay as healthy as she could during the time the drugs got to work. She still drinks broth every day, even eight years on.
How did you settle on the recipe (our customers never stop telling us that it’s the tastiest bone broth around!)
The richness comes from the slow steeping of the bones. It makes for a very concentrated broth. By drying out the liquid you are left with full flavor crystals that have an explosive flavor when rehydrated with water. I felt like liquid broths would dissipate and dilute a little over time, which is why I settled on our formula as it keeps the flavor and goodness intact.
By adding various spices during the steeping process, and others at the end, I was able to create a one-of-a-kind flavor that results in triggering the almost mythical umami taste buds (the taste buds responsible for those times you have a hard time describing a taste.)
How do you explain bone broth to people who aren’t familiar with it?
It’s a full spectrum food that can support your body in good health. It tastes great, but more importantly it has so many other benefits. Even mentally, you feel like you get a “body shield” when drinking it. Throughout the years it has been popular for its ability to help fight off colds and flu. We’ve experienced these things first hand so much that we are now true believers and drink it as much as we can.
What is unique about LonoLife bone broth?
It’s the only broth that is simmered for hours and then dried into flavor crystals. This makes it incredibly convenient (it takes up little room in the pantry and can be taken anywhere with you without the need for refrigeration) and gives it exceptional taste. It’s also great for use in any recipe that calls for broth.
In addition to bone broth, what are three things you and your family do to stay healthy?
Irene and I walk every day. We have a beautiful dog who gets three walks a day with us! We also make sure we do plenty of resistance weight lifting with light weights to maintain muscle tone, as well as some daily cardio to increase our heart rate. In addition to that, I do 40 push ups every other day (editor’s note: not bad for a 78 year old!) and Irene loves to practice yoga and meditate. We also eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and try to avoid red meat. That’s part of the reason we created the beef bone broth: it gives us all the nutrients of pasture-raised beef bone marrow but none of the fat!
We call this our LonoLifestyle. With 55 years of marriage and two great kids under our belts, it’s our personal recipe for health.