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The Skinny on Lard
In past blogs I have talked about eating a healthy diet, consisting of natural pork and meats and whole fruits and vegetables. I have also talked about using every part of the hog or “snout to tail”, this ensures farm sustainability and promotes a healthy well rounded diet. Recently we started using lard in most of our cooking that calls for butter, Crisco and even olive oil. Our lard adds a nutty flavor to our pie crusts and increases the natural flavor in sautéed vegetables! Our ancestors ate lard, butter and cheese and “gasp” drank whole milk, maybe they were onto something. They survived without anticholesterol and antihypertensive medications and they lived until they were well into their 80’s!
With the health craze of the past 40 years, a lot of foods have been demonized. Lard, whole milk, and cheese became the “bad guys” while skim milk, margarine and cheese whiz became kitchen staples. Personally, I do not want to eat anything that is one molecule away from being plastic or that can be sprayed from a can like an air freshener! Many health conscious chefs, pastry chefs and every day people like are souly cooking with lard. The pastry chefs have found that the lard makes their pie crusts moist, lite and flaky.
Next to olive oil, lard is the second in line with the highest content of monounsaturated fats. Which means it actually helps lower your cholesterol not increase it! You can continue to eat man made lab created foods that have been shoved down our throats as “life savers” and have had the exact opposite effect on our health. Or go the natural way and do something healthy for your body and eat lard! Oleic acid, the main fat in lard, is a fatty acid associated with decreasing your risk of depression. Oleic acid also has a high anti-cancer benefit and has the ability to decrease the occurrence of certain types of cancer.
I love the sun. I love the warmth on my skin, the glow it gives my cheeks and how rejuvenated I feel when it comes out after a few cloudy days! However, research has shown the downside of too much sun, because of that I now have minimal exposure to the sun and with that comes Lower Vitamin D-a power immunity enhancer. To help compensate, I feed my family a diet high in leafy greens, fruits and vegetables, natural pork/meat, and lard. Hogs are extremely efficient at absorbing the suns rays which are stored as Vitamin D in their fat. When it is rendered down to make lard, none of that wonderful Vitamin D is wasted. In all natural, pasture and humanely raised lard, there is more Vitamin D then any other food or supplement. For example, in 1 tablespoon of lard, you receive 1000 IU of Vitamin D, with the recommended daily dosage of 600 IU for people ages 1-70 years old, you are more then half way there!
Years ago, using high end lard in cosmetics was the norm and believe it or not most cosmetics currently have an animal based product in it. However, now a days with synthetic products and petroleum, natural lard is rarely used. What is used is tallow. Most common tallow comes from rendering plants that recycle any kind of animal carcass. From these rendering plants you have no idea what you are getting or even putting on your body. My husband recently made a small batch of shaving lotion and substituted shea butter for our lard. He made it in our kitchen, was inexpensive and easy to do. Since, he started using his homemade shave lotion, I haven’t seen his skin this soft, moisturized and with a even skin tone in years. Comparing his skin to before and after he started using the lard shave lotion, it has made me a believer! Again, what would you rather use, natural, man made or tallow?
Our ancestors ate everything that is now deemed bad for you, lard, whole milk, buttermilk and anything and everything from the farm animal…anything less was “hog wash”! They were never over weight, they lived long healthy lives without synthetic medications. Their medication was their diet. While I was doing research for this article, I read multiple blogs and articles on how both men and women made the decision to change their diet. To adapt a natural/organic diet consisting of pasture and humanely raised animal products and organic vegetables. One woman wrote that within 4 months of adapting this diet, she saw a dramatic increase in her over all health, cured her asthma and chronic back pain. Another man cured his gout.
Circle B Ranch offers a wonderful all natural humanely raised lard. We use it to fry eggs, we rubbed our turkey down with it on Thanksgiving and we even give it to our Airedales to help keep their coats glossy and smooth. Because people are doing their research, educating themselves on what foods they eat and not believing every word that is spoken on TV, the farm to table diet is coming back! We 100% support it and, if able, everyone should eat it.