It all began because next week Rami Nagel is coming to our local chapter to talk about his book, Cure Tooth Decay. Before the meeting, some of us on the local WAPF chapter board are going to take he and his family out for dinner. His only request was a place with “good oils”. While we have some great restaurants here in Grand Rapids who source their produce, cheese, and meats from local farms that I love, and many also cook their stocks and other dishes from scratch, finding anyone who fries in a healthy cooking oil, like duck fat, lard, beef tallow, or even the refined (no-flavor) coconut oil, is proving to be nearly impossible.
I googled “Grand Rapids duck fat french fries” (because I figured that was going to be my best bet vs. the other fats), and the first place I called went like this…
Me: “Do you still serve duck fat french fries?”
Chef: “No, we don’t.”
Me: “That’s too bad, why not?”
Chef: “Well, we never actually did, but we do serve frites!” (And he went on to tell me how they’re made…)
Me: “That sounds great, but what do you fry them IN?”
Chef: “Soybean oil.”
Me: “Oh, shoot, I have a friend coming into town who is sensitive to soybean oil or other vegetable oils like that; no offense, but in my circles we call it ‘crap oil’.”
Me: “Well, you probably just didn’t know. But it’s high in omega 6’s and can cause thyroid problems – soy isn’t good for us at all. Have you ever googled, ‘Soy dangers’? (I should’ve suggested he read this book: The Whole Soy Story.) Canola is just as bad. What real foodies want are healthy animal fats like duck fat or lard from pastured animals, beef tallow from grass-fed cows, pastured butter, and coconut oil. Even McDonald’s used to only cook in beef tallow. Besides, there are no good vegetable oils. Animal fats are where the nutrients are.”
Chef: “People eating fried food aren’t looking for nutrients.”
Me: “Actually, we are. I order grass-fed beef tallow right to my door in 5 gallon buckets so it’s not as expensive as the smaller amounts. (Click here for where I get beef tallow. You may have to do a search for the big buckets.) When I serve fried foods I feel great knowing it’s from grass-fed cows and actually good for us and full of fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients!
Chef: “Well, we can’t cater to such a small group of people. And especially when it’s so much more expensive.” (He didn’t say this in a snippy way at all, he was just explaining his dilemma.)
Me: “I understand, and keep in mind that this movement is actually growing, but just for your own cooking at home, you should try this stuff. It tastes great and it’s so good for you! I know I’m telling you something that’s the opposite of what you hear in the mainstream, and most people are cooking with soybean oil in their restaurants, but hopefully I’m just planting a seed and you’ll do some more googling. Thanks anyway for your help!”
What do you think? Did I come off like the pathetic couple in this Portlandia video?! If I was that bad, I’ll have to re-think this whole real foodie thing. Ha! He really did seem to be listening, even though I could tell by his voice that he was hearing this stuff for the first time.
I found one!
I’m not sure why I didn’t just call Bistro Bella Vita in the first place. They’ve been great to us in the past. (Read about THIS yummy dinner we had there.) They said that they do have duck fat, butter and olive oil to use in any of their dishes and we’d just have to stay away from any fried foods (which they don’t have a lot of on their menu anyway, but they don’t have enough duck fat for a fryer). And they said they’d make sure that we didn’t have to worry about any vegetable oils coming out to our table. Sweet!
- Note that I haven’t tried this, but look what I found: duck fat sold online! It’s expensive so it would just be a once-in-a-while treat, but at least it’s free shipping if you order over $25.
- Click here for where I get beef tallow or you could render it yourself – click here for how to do it! (It’s not too difficult, but kind of a pain. I’d rather buy it, personally!)
- All about Healthy Fats – Learn the Truth (A complete index!)
- Have you seen this Recipe for Deep Fried Heaven?
More on soy:
- Soy Protein Shakes, Almond Milk, and other Fake Foods People Think are Good for Them
- The Dangers of Soy
- Read Is Edamame Good for You?
- Try a Real Food protein shake to avoid powdered soy protein shakes
- “Are Meat Eaters Ruining the Earth?”
- Soy no longer the “darling” of the health food industry