Lard Has Clearly Won the Health Debate

 Lard has clearly won the health debate. 

Our Cincinnati Correspondent Anita Sorkin, a Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter Leader and Co-director of Ohio Connections to Whole Food and Nutritional Healing, has submitted this article on the health benefits of lard as a tried and true meal making friend.

 Article author Regina Schrambling in Lard tells the truth about this healthy fat, childhood memories of her home kitchen, and the food industry con to switch us to synthetic substitutes. “Lard has clearly won the health debate.” Anita says, “The one aspect about lard that is sorely missing here is any mention of the importance of how the pig has been raised. ‘Think local’ and ‘know your farmer’ are the best way to avoid eating any factory farmed animal product.”

Here are some excerpts:

Lard has clearly won the health debate. Shortening, the synthetic substitute foisted on this country over the last century, has proven to be a much bigger health hazard because it contains trans fats, the bugaboo du jour. Corporate food scientists figured out long ago that you can fool most of the people most of the time, and shortening (and its butter-aping cousin, margarine) had a pretty good ride after Crisco was introduced in 1911 as a substitute for the poor man’s fat. But shortening really vanquished lard in the 1950s when researchers first connected animal fat in the diet to coronary heart disease. By the ’90s, Americans had been indoctrinated to mainline olive oil, but shortening was still the go-to solid fat over lard or even butter in far too many cookbooks.

That’s all changed. Now you could even argue that lard is good for you. As Jennifer McLagan points out in her celebrated book Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes, lard’s fat is also mostly monounsaturated, which is healthier than saturated fat. And even the saturated fat in lard has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol. Not to mention that lard has a higher smoking point than other fats, allowing foods like chicken to absorb less grease when fried in it. And, of course, fat in general has its upsides. The body converts it to fuel, and it helps absorb nutrients, particularly calcium and vitamins.

Read Lard at Slate magazine.

Learn more about healthy fats and oils at the Journal, including the Skinny on Fats, The Rise and Fall of Crisco, Butter is Better and more.

Cholesterol concerns over using lard? Well, more on this later; but in a nutshell the same techniques used to con us into eating unhealthy margarine are used to convince us to eat statin drugs to lower cholesterol. See The Cholesterol Scam on the right panel.

13 responses to “Lard Has Clearly Won the Health Debate

  1. Who says monounsaturated fat is healthier than saturated fat??? Have you seen the benefits of saturated fat?
    The Benefits of Saturated Fats
    • Constitute >50% of cell membranes – give stiffness & integrity
    • Vital to bone health – Essential for incorporating calcium into bone
    • Enhance the immune system
    • Spare essential fatty acids – so only small amounts needed
    • Stearic & palmitic fats are preferred heart fuels
    • Short & medium chain saturated fats are antimicrobial

  2. Besides all of the above, here’s how I know lard & tallow are much better for me than the nasty vegetable oils: when I eat it I don’t get sick with terrible abdominal pains! That’s not too difficult to figure out. 🙂

  3. Lard makes the BEST pie crust – nice and brown. Thanks to this article, I WILL be getting some lard from my local butcher – aka son-in-law.
    So interesting and typical of the path we’ve been shown.

  4. Glad to see this! It is what I had believed for a long time. At
    (I hope that’s right, I know it is the same website as: )
    There are a whole community of folks that believe this way enough to keep livestock and raise food plants for home food production.

  5. Most grocery stores I have seen sell lard mixed with cheap industrial hydrogenated vegetable oil to dilute the product to make more money.

    Also, many local butchers use meat from local farmers and could be a source of good lard.

    However, the best lard is from hogs raised outdoors rather in a factory-sized confinement camp. Find your farmer through a good, local food network and you will find good lard.

  6. I read an article about skin cancer in Mexico was virtually unknown. 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 in 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.


  7. I was prepared to switch from Crisco to Lard until I discovered that all the lard I could find was partially hydrogenated. Hydrogenated = Transfat. Now I’m confused.

  8. Andy, that’s why you need to either render it yourself, or buy from a reputable company/farm. Grocery stores won’t have the good stuff.

    I have a $100 tallow giveaway at my blog right now:


  9. Pingback: Pork Fat, Sadlo, Shortening, Lard « Pragensismac

  10. Pingback: Pork Fat, Sadlo, Shortening, Lard « Pragensismac

  11. Plus, lard is a completely natural fat. It amazes me at how some people are appalled by even the name lard, even though it comes from natural sources. We should, in fact, be appalled by ingesting harmful chemicals and disfigured fats that are now in our food supply. Scary!

  12. Pingback: The Lard, Mole and Mezcal Diet | Left Coast Cowboys

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