Certain foods bring with them a cultural bias.
I have long known that certain foods bring with them a cultural bias. For example, when I lived in the Netherlands back in the 80’s (no idea if this is still the case), people were shocked that I liked to eat corn. Consistently, they opined that corn is “pig food”, and they’d turn their nose up at it. I used to think, “Yay! More for me, then!”
I also read recently in this article that Italians have a love/hate relationship with garlic. Many of them consider it food for poor people, and avoid it as much as possible. Huh. Go figure. I love garlic. We grow it in our back yard every season.
But now I have to admit that I, too, have a cultural bias. Recently, a friend of mine (Hi, Herb!) told me that lard, made from pig fat, was ranked by scientists as the 8th healthiest food on the planet. I had an almost visceral reaction. It started with, “Have you lost your ever-loving mind?” to “You have got to be freakin’ kidding me.”
I never realized how strong my opinions about lard were. Frankly, the subject rarely comes up. But if I’m honest, I’ve always thought that lard was a disgusting, unhealthy ingredient that (I’m ashamed to admit) only poor people who were uneducated about nutrition would throw into their pie crusts, biscuits, and fry their chicken in. Just the mere word always made me feel like my arteries were hardening, and that a heart attack was imminent.
Well, shame on me. After talking to my friend, I went home and did a Google search on the subject, and several dozen articles popped up to confirm the healthy nature of lard. I’ll be darned.
An article entitled, “Lard is Healthy!” cited many reasons to bring lard back.
Lard is heat stable and doesn’t release free radicals into your body, as other products that are full of polyunsaturated fats do.
It seems that the idea that animal fats are bad for your heart is a myth. Saturated fats actually reduce the risk of heart disease.
It has a neutral flavor so it doesn’t change the taste of your recipes.
Lard is extremely inexpensive.
Only cod liver oil has more vitamin D than lard.
If you buy lard from your local farmer, it has a low carbon footprint.
The cholesterol in lard supports inflammation management and hormone production.
I admit that it will take me a long time to stop having a visceral reaction to lard. And I’m not the only one. It’s hard to find something labeled lard in your grocery store. If you can’t find it, look, instead, for Manteca. Same exact thing. But do look.
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9 thoughts on “Oh. My. Lard.”
HAHAHAHA. OH! I wish I’d had known when we met at that BBQ place in Chattanooga. Had I known, I could have brought you some home rendered LARD. Homefries are taken to a whole new level with just a little onion and garlic salt. Years ago, we butchered our own hog, rendered the lard, made the bacon and cured the hams. It was an adventurous time. Many times I forget how much we used to do. If you ever come across “The Mother Earth News” grab it. These magazines and books will enrich your life. Our first house in TN built out of firewood,. Our Russian Fireplace, making bread, making soap, backyard barnyard. We’ve done so many “Back to the Land” movement in the 70s. Nowadays, we get Fat from family members when they butcher their hogs. But, they are even realizing all the benefits or Lard. Tip: If your hands or feet are really cracked and chapped. rub a little Lard into the skin and wear socks to bed in the morning or by the next day, they will be soft. And your cat or dog will follow you everywhere.
I do love the Mother Earth News, but haven’t seen one in years. But I think I’d learn more just hanging out with you in Tranquility Base. Stay safe, dear friend, with this virus running around.
PSSST! I have some small jars that I made, I would love to send you one. Think you would like to try it?
Sure! I just bought some at the store, too. I’ve been using it to fry my eggs and melt my quesadillas.
But for heaven’s sake, let me reimburse you for the postage.
NPR’S take on it… https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/05/02/151868208/lard-is-back-in-the-larder-but-hold-the-health-claims. My friends mother’s fed me often so I grew up eating authentic Mexican and Southern food. Lard was essential. I do miss the flavor and texture of lard infused dishes now that I’m vegan, but I’m learning new techniques and cooking is a daily adventure. The pigs are also grateful.
Interesting. That’s the first article I’ve read in contradiction to all the other articles I’ve read. Now I’m torn.
Sorry. I usually research myself into indecision in such health matters so I literally trust my sensitive gut. It lets me know when I am ingesting something harmful. Unfortunately it’s the hard way to learn but it is accurate.