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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Praise the lard!

Lard used to be demonized, but, as Slate's Regina Schrambling writes:
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.

What matters more, though, is that lard has become the right ingredient at the right time. It fits perfectly into the Michael Pollan crusade to promote foods that have been processed as minimally as possible: Your great-grandmother surely cooked with it, so you should, too.

Add to that the new awareness that what you eat matters environmentally—if you are going to eat an animal on a planet at risk from too many humans raising too many animals to eat, you have to eat the whole thing. Lard is just about the last stop before the squeal when pork producers are extracting every savory bit from a pig.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but your kosher friends and your friends with allergies to Pork aren't concerned about the "smoking point". The stuff comes from a pig, bottomline.

Lee Shelton IV said...

True, and those who have a problem with it's porcine origin don't have to eat it, just like those with nut allergies don't have to share my love for peanut butter.

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