Monday, April 4, 2011
Did you know that human breastmilk is extremely high in cholesterol and saturated fat? (some sources site human milk to contain 85% cholesterol!) Have you ever caressed delicious newborn skin and wondered why it was so smooth, soft, and supple? (mmmmmmm, it's heaven I tell ya!) I'm sure most of you know what a perfect food breastmilk is for babies. A prolonged diet of mother's milk actually lowers a person's risk of developing heart disease later in life. Last, but certainly not least, God Himself developed the composition of human milk, with all it's cholesterol and fat, for human babies. Obviously our bodies need saturated fats and cholesterol. Lard is high in both.
Saturated fats have been used by human societies as the MAIN form of cooking oil for thousands of years – lard in China, butter in Europe, ghee in India, coconut oil in the tropics without causing health issues.
In modern times, the rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other degenerative diseases began to shoot up after people started to eat less saturated fats and switch to polyunsatured vegetable oils, as well as artificial fats like margarine, which contain harmful trans fats.
Lard is also high in vitamin D, especially lard rendered from a pig that is free to roam out in the sunshine during the day. Better yet, our bodies are able to absorb the vitamin D from lard. We just don't get that from milk with "Vitamin D Added" or other such artificial supplementation. Another good source of vitamin D is eggs - another super food with a bad rap. Cod liver oil is also a great way to get adequate vitamin D in your diet. Ample time outdoors in the sun is also good - minus the sunscreen of course!
Now, back to lard...
The last thing that you want to do is run out out to the nearest supermarket and pick up a big white square of it off the shelf. A quick look at the ingredient list on the side of the container will reveal that your not getting the good stuff: lard, hydrogenated lard, BHA, propyl gallate, and citric acid. Ew. RUN from anything hydrogenated! All of those health problems said to be caused by lard? Yeah, it's not the lard, it's the hydrogenation.
Lard also tastes wonderful if rendered and stored properly. It makes the best buttermilk biscuits and flaky pie crust. It is the best way to deep fry food also. We enjoyed the most delicious batter fried Tilapia for supper last Friday. You may suspect it has a pork-y or meaty flavor, but it does not. I might say it has a slightly nutty undertone, but I believe I cooked the fat a smidgen longer than necessary giving it that flavor. We've just recently added lard to our diets, and it has been a very tasty and healthy addition thus far.
Coming soon: How to Render Your Own Lard.