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“Pork Fat For Sale!” (Is Lard Really Good For Us?)

September 28, 2009 · 13 comments

pork fat

Don’t worry, I’ll explain…

My reader friend, Karen, sent me this picture (which was printed in the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Wise Traditions journal a few months back), and said I could post it along with her comments:

“I took this picture while in the South attending a blues festival, my favorite kind of music.  I thought to myself “You’d NEVER see this in the parking lot of the grocery stores in the Bay Area [San Francisco to San Jose, CA] .  It’s so politically incorrect!  I’m in the land of Ornish and McDougall: they permeate the “high cholesterol” drama, which made me realize that all those working on my behalf in getting the word out need to be applauded even more.   You’re one of them, Kelly, swimming upstream daily, along with Sally Fallon, the Cheeseslave and the Weston Price Foundation.”

But is pork fat actually good for us?

Lard is a traditional fat, the mention of which causes us moderns to cringe. Yet lard is a healthy, natural fat. Lard is rendered fat from pork and is mostly monounsaturated. Lard can be a wonderful source of vitamin D. Traditionally, lard has been used and enjoyed for pastries and frying potatoes—until the vegetable oil industry took over. Don’t be afraid to experiment with lard in your kitchen, it will add lots of flavor to your food.

On a side note, I worked with a client from Mexico who was here visiting her daughter over the summer. The mother was 85 years old, very strong and healthy, and had not one wrinkle on her beautiful face. Her skin was incredible! It was so soft and silky, not at all dry, scaly or wrinkly like the skin I’m so used to seeing with most of my clients. I just had to ask her what kind of fats she eats. Her daughter translated my question to her mother and then replied, “She said she eats mostly lard. I can’t believe it! I keep telling her that’s not good for her, but she just won’t listen!”  Us silly Americans!”        (Source)

HOWEVER, KEEP THIS IN MIND:

The source matters!  Pastured pork (and pork fat/lard) contains more nutrients!  Visit my resources page for healthy sources of pastured pork.

Karen FThanks so much, Karen!

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  • { 13 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Ren September 28, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Living in Texas, I had almost forgotten how “incorrect” pork fat is. I use it all the time, along with duck fat, chicken fat, tallow, butter and everything else natural, traditional & wholesome.

    You want really incorrect? Try synthetic vegetable oil! :-)

    Reply

    2 Elizabeth September 28, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I was just reading over a talk that Sally gave (can’t recall the source, it’s pretty long though!) where she talked about the nitty gritty of how she eats… she mentioned cooking up eggplant in lard, so I’ve been thinking about it ever since then. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had good lard before!

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    3 Elizabeth September 28, 2009 at 9:50 am

    BTW Kelly, I literally do not see any info on your Resources page. All I see are the listings of the categories. I’m using Mozilla Foxfire- perhaps it is a browser issue?

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    4 Elizabeth September 28, 2009 at 9:51 am

    It is a browser issue! I can see everything in Internet Explorer. Very weird!

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    5 KitchenKop September 28, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Elizabeth, thank you for telling me, I’ll go check it out!

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    6 Local Nourishment September 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I guess that’s one good thing about living in the south when I had my real food epiphany: the good fats are easy to come by here!

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    7 Motherhen68 September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Yum! Lard. I LOL @ our family because we fry in lard. And how delicious my chicken comes out. My family looks on with horror. Oh well, just means more for me, right??

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    8 Karen September 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I was just having this conversation with my PT, extolling the benefits of lard. Here in Napa we have a huge Mexican population where lard is a cultural staple. It’s the chips fried in vegetable oil that gets them into trouble!

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    9 Tara September 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    So I was at a local grocery store a couple weeks ago and asked the butcher where the lard was. He points me in the direction of a little 2-carton display. There were 5 or 6 ingredients in the lard…shouldn’t there be just one? Is that OK to use? I’ve seen pork fat sold at the farm. Is that the same thing? It looked disgusting :-P

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    10 Jeanmarie September 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Hey, lots of us in the San Francisco Bay Area eat and appreciate pork fat! No smearing my home, please. It’s not all vegetarians out here. We have fast food, too! ;-)
    Jeanmarie

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    11 KitchenKop September 28, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Jeanmarie, thank God there are many of you left! :)

    Tara, go with the disgusting stuff! I’ve got tallow going on my stove right now and it’s icky alright, but it’s all worth it when I eat my fried fish or french fries guilt-free! Yeah, the junk you saw with 5 ingredients is just that: junk – good job catching that! If you buy pork fat at the farm, you’ll just have to render it to make lard: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/05/4-steps-to-rendering-fat-for-a-healthy-frying-oil-how-to-make-tallow-how-to-make-lard.html

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    12 Jen September 30, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I’m almost out of the pastured lard I got with our order of 1/2 pork last fall. :( I have to find a new source this year because I found out the farmer feeds soy and corn occasionally, and it’s not organic!! It was early (the first thing I did, actually) in our transition to NT, and I didn’t know all the questions to ask yet.

    Reply

    13 Jeff October 11, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    I read an article about skin cancer in Mexico that it was virtually unknown there. In the large cities that have been influenced by American TV lard used dropped. As it did incidents of skin cancer began to rise but in rural areas in Mexico where lard is still widely used incidents skin cancer did not rise.

    Lard was widely used in America in the 1800’s. In 1900 heart disease and heart attacks was virtually unknown. So much so that the average doctor didn’t know how to treat heart disease that year.

    In 1930 the population of the US was 123,000,000. There were 3000 heart attack deaths that year. Which means the odds of dying of a heart attack was 42,000 to 1. Not too shabby.

    In 1960 the population of the US was 197,000,000. That year 500,000 Americans died of heart attacks: Odds? 3500 to 1.

    From 1930 to 1960 everyone was switching from lard & butter to margarine, vegetable oils & skim milk.All “heart healthy” choices. As a result we started dying like flies.

    Dr. Paul White, who treated Eisenhower when he had his heart attack, started his practice in 1910. He didn’t treat his first heart disease patient until 1921. That’s 11 years!!! There isn’t a doctor in America today who can go 11 days without treating a heart disease patient.

    If we want to reverse heart disease in America today we need to return to the foods & diet that our ancestors were consuming back in the 1800’s. Pass the lard, please.

    Jeff

    Reply

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