Fat’s where it’s at

There was much rejoicing in our home today as we beheld this sight:

That, my friends, is 10 pounds of rendered lard, 10 pounds of unrendered pork fat, three pounds of ground pork and three pounds of fresh bacon.

All from pastured pigs. Who eat a good omnivorous diet and get tons of sun.

Dave and I are positively giddy about it. You couldn’t have made us happier if you bought us a new car, I think. We’re the kind of happy about it that makes us sort of smile in the middle of doing something else, as the remembrance of what’s in our fridge occurs to us, or as we catch a glimpse of a container of lard sitting on the counter waiting for some happy hen’s eggs to fry up with it. It’s almost like being in love. We keep hugging each other and saying, “We got fat!! I can’t believe it!” with big grins on our faces. The kids are starting to think we’re weird.

Yeah, we’re probably a little crazy. But I don’t think it’s possible to overestimate the importance or benefit of getting good quality animal fats in the diet.

Even though saturated fat has a bad rap (but did you know, lard has 45% monounsaturated fat – the kind olive oil is touted for?), the fact is no study has yet shown that *natural* animal fats contribute to heart disease (or obesity, for that matter). All the studies that claim to prove the link, are using hydrogenated or trans fats in the saturated fat category. (To read more about the body of scientific “evidence” against fats and how it’s all a house of cards, see Gary Taubes’ books.)

Well raised pork fat is high in vitamin D (which is not really a vitamin at all but more like a hormone), which is quickly gaining recognition as being of key importance in preventing and treating a plethora of diseases, including reproductive issues, cancers and even the common cold.

Also, even the things we expect to contain vitamins, like vegetables, must be eaten with some fat in order for our bodies to assimilate and use the vitamins properly.

Fat is fuel for our bodies. When we eat fat we don’t need to store fat because the body can use it right away.  It also stabilizes our blood sugar keeping us feeling satisfied longer with no crash. In fact, this is how we insist that bread be eaten in this house:

Unbuttered toast is a big no-no around here!

Fat is also pretty darn tasty.

So maybe we’re not completely crazy for being so excited about all the lard.

What do you think?

This entry was posted in Real Food. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Fat’s where it’s at

  1. Kacy says:

    I think you’re fat stash is awesome!

  2. Erin says:

    I don’t know much about lard, so I’ve got some questions. Do you use the lard pretty much like shortening? And how do you use the unrendered fat? And I wish I could steal your bacon! After Tim lost a bunch of weight last year, bacon is a rarity in this house. 😦

    • Sarah says:

      I’m going to render the fat when I run out of lard. It was a lot cheaper to get it unrendered but I wanted a head start. Bacon helps keep the weight off! But do try to find uncured bacon, which is better for you (the added nitrites can be an issue). Lard (white leaf lard from the fat around a pig’s kidney’s) was the original shortening in baking and cooking. It’s supposed to make the most delectable pie crusts and biscuits. I’ve never been able to get it before so I’ll have to let you know my findings on that. Mostly I plan to use it for cooking eggs and veggies as I don’t do a lot of baking.

  3. grace says:

    We love the fat.

  4. ann kraeger says:

    Girl how I wish you lived next door!!!! I have been raising my own pigs, on grass and sunshine, for the past 22 years. You could have all the natural fat, pork, bacon, etc. that you wanted. Enjoy!

  5. Sheila says:

    How does lard compare with butter? I used to use lard but I read somewhere that it raises cholesterol levels. I can tell you that short breads, pie crusts, really any baked food is heaven with lard. It makes the best biscuits hands down. Also, how do you render fat?

    • Sarah says:

      Lard does not raise cholesterol levels.
      It’s actually lower in saturated fat and higher in mononunsaturated than butter, if you care about that kind of thing. (I don’t, really.)
      I render it by cooking it on a low temp until it melts and then straining into a container.

  6. Katherine Lauer says:

    Just last night as we chatted about my postpartum diet, I was harping on my husband’s preference for eating ‘lite’ and “low-fat” (manufactured) foods. Yuk! Give me full fat and I’ll restrict my quantities as needed.

  7. Barb says:

    My mom always used lard when we were kids and I have to say that the piecrusts were wonderful. She stopped using it when everyone started saying that it was bad for you….now it’s hard to find.

  8. Pingback: Southern style greens | Socks on the Line

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s