Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Lard. Is it a Good Fat? or a Bad Fat?

     Today I was reading an article in Acres U.S.A. by Will Winter, D.V.M., a holistic livestock consultant, who I had the pleasure of meeting at an Acres U.S.A. conference.   It was about the  health benefits of organ meat, specifically liver.  I will leave that topic for another time.  He mentioned that there are only four cooking oils that will hold up under fry heat; lard, tallow, coconut oil & palm oil.  I found it interesting that we have been taught wrong about frying being "bad"  & wanted to share the good news.  He went on to say that  the so called "vegetable" oils (that are not really from veggies), canola, soy and corn being the most popular, break down quickly under heat.  Butter (even healthy butter) also breaks down with the exception of using it at a low heat for lightly cooking, such as eggs.  The common oils purchased in your local grocery store are all loaded with inflammatory omega-6.  No wonder so many people have inflammation problems, such as alzheimer's, arthritis, asthma, Crohn's disease, colitis, dermatitis, fibromyalgia, hepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, Parkinson's disease....  The list goes on & on!

     Heart attacks and even strokes were virtually unheard of before Crisco & Margarine became popular.  Crisco is a waste product that stands for "Crystallized (hydrogenated) Cottonseed Oil".  All solid oils with the exception of pure virgin coconut and palm are hydrogenated.  Lard can be bought in some stores, but this is generally hydrogenated as well.  To be safe, you need to know the source of the lard.  Make sure its from a local farm, preferrably a farmer who you know raises their hogs on pasture & not in confinement.  Even if you find lard at a  Farmer's Market,  you may be surprised to find that there are local farms who raise their hogs in confinement = poisonous meat (hogs that are raised living in their own waste & breathing the polluted gas.  You don't want to eat that stuff.

     When we picked up pork, from our own hogs, from the processor, we had them save the back fat for us because they do not render lard.  I have plans to render the lard myself.  If you're on Pinterest you can see how to do this yourself in small batches on my Homesteading board (Rendering Lard) & render your own lard if you're lucky enough to be able to purchase back fat from a farmer you know or if you have your own hogs.  If you're near our farm, you are more than welcome to contact me to purchase some of our lard.  It has a long shelf life and will keep in the freezer almost indefinitely. 



We are grateful that we found a meat processor that renders lard.