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A New Lease on Lard

Remember lard, the pig fat our elders used before vegetable oil? It’s actually healthy. No kidding. Not to be confused with Crisco shortening, the white greasy stuff in every 60s fridge: that was just hydrogenated vegetable fat. We’re talking about old-fashioned cooking oil rendered from pig fat. Here’s what nutritionists are saying: 

 

 

Healthy:

  • Next to cod liver oil, lard is the second richest food source of vitamin D (only pigs raised with sunlight)

  • Lard has 20% less unhealthy saturated fat than butter. And it’s lactose free.

  • Compared to vegetable oil, lard is higher in monounsaturated fats (for cardiovascular health) 

  • Like olive oil, lard is rich in immune-building oleic fatty acid

  • It has more Vitamin E and choline than coconut oil

  • Zero trans fats

  • Pig fat is high in omega-3 (only pigs with a diet of greens) 

  • Instead of contributing to high blood cholesterol, lard’s dietary cholesterol supports healthy hormone production and limits inflammation.

  • Lard is just one, unprocessed ingredient: as natural as it gets

 

Cooking

  • Chefs use lard because it doesn’t taint other foods with its flavor

  • It has a high smoking point, meaning less grease is absorbed when frying food.

  • Lard has the reputation of producing ultra-flaky pastry. And, no, your pie crust won’t taste like bacon.

  • Lard is the secret to so many great traditional Mexican and Mayan recipes like tamales, crispy tortillas, carnitas and fried empanadas.

 

Buying

  • Premium lard can be bought at local markets, preferably from organic farmers (pigs store toxins like hormones and chemicals in their fat).

  • Most supermarket lard has been hydrogenated to last longer but the best lard is unprocessed with nothing added.

  • You can find organic, premium lard at about the same cost as olive oil