This is a handout that I received while attending the Pastured Pork Seminar in Atlanta Ga early this year (2009). It has already been reproduced and republished online for pubic viewing. I thought you all might like to know more about how great pastured lard is.
Real Lard is rendered pork fat ( it is called tallow if it comes from a ruminant such as beef cattle). RENDERING is gently heating the fat to separate out the protein strands, the “cracklings”. It is a beautiful, white, naturally-hydrogenated, solid fat. Most of its carbon sites are filled with hydrogen’s in their natural and normal cis position just as it comes from the hog. Good lard is only 40% SATURATED fat, with 48% MONOUNSATURATED and 12% POLYUNSATURATED fat.
Lard is stable and the preferred fat for frying, it does not easily turn into trans fats when heated. Potatoes, for example, fried in lard can be cooked in a shorter time at a higher temperature resulting in a better taste and texture as well as less rancidity and embedded oil. Lard is a HEALTH FOOD that needs to be returned to it’s rightful place in the American diet.
There are two kinds of fatty acids we cannot make and are therefore called ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS, they and both polyunsaturated 18 carbon molecules. OMEGA 6 is double unsaturated LINOLEIC acid and OMEGA 3 is the triple unsaturated LINOLENIC acid. The omega number refers to the location of the first double bond. Like other polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) they are unstable, go rancid easily and should never be heated. Special and incredibility healthful EFA Omega 3 fats include CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID 9CLA0 which is found in grass-fed animals especially ruminants, DHA (the brain fat) and EPA which are found primarily in deep ocean fish, and GLA found in some plant oils.
Organically-raised, foraging and outdoor range hogs have the healthiest lard. Conventionally-raised pork get virtually no exercise, live outdoors and eat no greens. Much of their diet is of the lowest possible quality. This lard is of equally low quality. The diet and lifestyle of the hog radically affects the quality of the lard! Confinement pork lard has similar OMEGA 6:3 ratios to feedlot beef, a 100gm serving has about 8 grams of O-6 and 0.8 grams of O-3. A much more healthful ratio of O-6:O-3 can be achieved by increasing the amount of fresh green forages. The O-3 content can be greatly enhanced by feeding flax seed, sea greens, green algae or fish oils. On the other hand, hogs that eat garbage, especially bakery waste will incorporate toxic trans fats, heavy metals or other toxins in the fat. Free-living warthogs have a ratio approaching 1:1.
The health of Americans plummeted when “politically correct” diet advise recommended vegetable oils for cooking, especially partially-hydrogenated oils. Shortening, for example, is a liquid oil until manufacturers heat it up under pressure, bubble hydrogen gas into it ( with a catalyst to make it all work faster) and force-feed the C double bonds hydrogen atoms that often latch on is a crossways or trans configuration. (“cis” means same side whereas “trans” means on the opposite side). A little bit of hydrogen added in the trans configuration increases shelf life of the oil and allows vegetable oils and corn oil not to go rancid in large, clear containers exposed to light and heat on the store shelves. A lot of hydrogen added in the trans configuration solidifies the liquid oil, creating stick margarine or solid vegetable shortening, such as Crisco. Polyunsaturated oils go rancid easily due to unstable double bonds.
Fats are made of FATTY ACIDS which are carbon-hydrogen chains (C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C) that latch on in groups of three to a glycerol backbone to make a TRIGLYCERIDE molecule, which are the basic molecules of which all fats ares made. The length of the carbon chains and where, if any, double bonds (ie, missing hydrogen molecules) occur differentiate the fatty acids one from another. The more double bonds, the more unsaturated. One double bond gives you monounsaturated, many double bonds gives you a polyunsaturated, no double bonds gives you a saturated fatty acid. The main saturated fatty acids (from shortest to longest chains): CAPRIC,LAURIC,MYRISTIC,PALMITIC and STERIC acids. The main monounsaturated is OLEIC acid.
Olive oil contains 71% OLEIC acid, that heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat that we’re supposed to get more of. Lard contains 44 % oleic acid, sesame oil (41%), corn oil (28%), walnut oil (28%), flaxseed oil (21%), cottonseed oil (19%) and sunflower oil (19%), grapeseed oil (15%) and safflower oil (13%), beef tallow (43%), butterfat (29%) and human butterfat (ie the fat of breast milk at 35%).
Lard (14%) of the 18-C saturated fat, STEARIC acid, which has been shown in clinical testing to lower cholesterol.
Like olive oil, lard contains 10% of the omega-6 fatty acid LINOLEIC acid, again, roughly the same as human butterfat (breast milk) at 9%.
Lard contains 2% MYRISTIC acid, a 14-C saturated fat that has been shown to have immune enhancing properties. Human butterfat 8% myristic acid, cottonseed oil (1%0 and the tropical oils, coconut oil (18%) and palm kernel oil (16%) vegetable oils have zero.
Lard contains 26% PALMITIC acid, a 16-C saturated fatty acid, olive oil only 13%, human butterfat contains 25%. Palmitic acid is antimicrobial.
Lard’s basic fatty acid composition is compared to the butterfat of human breast milk. Lard is less saturated and more monounsaturates.
Saturated Monounsaturated Polyunsaturated
Breast Milk 48% 35% 10%
Lard 42% 44% 10%
WE NEED SATURATED FAT- It makes up over half of all cell membranes and gives cells stiffness and integrity. Bones reguire about 50% of the dietary fat to be saturated so calcium can be absorbed. SF lowers Lipoprotein-a in the blood, an inflammatory marker directly associated with the risk of heart disease. SF protects the liver from alcohol, toxins and drugs and they enhance the immune system. Omega 3 fats are retained in the tissue when the diet is rich in SF. Heart muscle contains rich deposits of stearic acid and palmitic fatty acids as they are foods the heart muscle uses and which are drawn upon in time of stress. Many SF have antimicrobial properties and protect us from harmful pathogens in the intestine. There is no scientific evidence to back up claims that SF causes “artery clogging” in fact arterial plaque is only 26% SF the rest unsaturated fat, over half of the plaque is polyunsaturated fat !.
WE NEED CHOLESTEROL- it is only found in animal fat. In spite of being falsely accused of being the cause of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stork, cholesterol is actually a necessary substance in every body. It is a strong anti-oxidant and free radical scavenger. This is why cholesterol levels go up as we get older since we need more protection. Cholesterol makes up a large portion of the brain, is the root of all corticosteroids and hormones in the body, it is the precursor to vitamin D. It keeps our skin soft and moist, and makes the bile which we need to digest fat. Mother’s breast milk is very high in it (which should tell us something!). Our bodies make over 2000mg daily whereas a maximum of only 100mg can be absorbed from the diet, so it’s pretty clear how shaky and wrong the connection of heart disease to dietary cholesterol intake. It is oxidative stress that causes cholesterol to elevate in the bloodstream in response to excessive free radicals. In the skin, uv light causes the production of free radicals, known carcinogens and aging factor, which damage the vital phospholipids of the skin unless the cholesterol is there in adequate supplies to protect it. Cholesterol is required for proper function of serotonin (the “feel good” brain chemical) such that low cholesterol levels are associated with aggression, violence, depression and suicidal tendencies. Cholesterol lowering drugs, especially the statins, are intrinsically toxic to the liver, they deplete CoQ10, an enzyme needed by all muscles by (note that the heart is a muscle), and ultimately leaves us dangerously exposed to oxidizers, free radicals and other damaging agents.
TRANS FATS- Are one of the most dangerous foods in the world. They serve no purpose in the body except to cause inflammation, cancer and degenerative disease. TF began to enter the diet of Americans around 1910. Not too many years later we began to see the heart attack “epidemic” begin. Now most Americans consume up to or more than 20% of their fat intake as trans fats. French fries have about 40% TF, cookies and crackers range from 35-50%, and donuts are 35-40% TF. If mothers eat TF it will cross the placenta and every cell in the baby will contain TF, even the brain. Every cellmembrane is a layer of fat with a thin protein coating on both sides. If TF gets built into the membrane it is defective and won’t resist viral or other infection and it becomes cancer prone (seen most often in the current skin cancer “epidemic”). TF causes problems in the brain as DHA or other brain fats cannot be made from it, and the stiff and straight abnormal molecule creates overly rigid membranes. By eating a good balance of SATURATED FATS, POLYUNSATURATES and ADVOIDING TF, it is thought that we can prevent MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease as well as depression, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses.
________________REFERENCES and FOR MORE INFORMATION--------------------
NOURISHING TRADITIONS, Sally Fallon 1999
NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL DEGENERATION, Weston A. Price, 1989
EAT YOUR CHOLESTEROL, William Campbell Douglass 1985
THE MILK BOOK, William Campbell Douglas 1985
THE CHOLESTEROL MYTHS, Uffee Ravnskov, 1999
CHOLESTEROL AND YOUR HEALTH, Christopher Mudd, 1990
EAT FAT, LOSE FAT, Sally Fallon, 2005
KNOW YOUR FATS, Mary Enig, 1999
PASTURE PERFECT, Jo Robinson, 2004
SMART FATS, Michael Schmidt, 1997
PIG PERFECT, Peter Kaminsky, 2005www.westonaprice.orgwww.eatwild.comwww.mercola.com
Will Winter, DVM 612-756-1232 email@example.com www.willwinter.com www.traditionalfoodsmn.com
Lard can be obtained from any part of the pig as long as there is a high concentration of fatty tissue
. The highest grade of lard, known as leaf lard, is obtained from the "flare" visceral fat
deposit surrounding the kidneys
and inside the loin
. Leaf lard has little pork flavor, making it ideal for use in baked goods, where it is treasured for its ability to produce flaky, moist pie crusts. The next highest grade of lard is obtained from fatback
, the hard subcutaneous fat
between the back skin and muscle of the pig. The lowest grade (for purposes of rendering into lard) is obtained from the soft caul fat
surrounding digestive organs, such as small intestines
, though caul fat is often used directly as a wrapping for roasting lean meats or in the manufacture of pâtés
History and cultural use
Raw fatback being diced to prepare tourtière
Lard has always been an important cooking and baking staple in cultures where pork
is an important dietary item, the fat of pigs often being as valuable a product as their meat.
Similarly, it is also prohibited by dietary laws
that forbid the consumption of pork
, such as kashrut
During the 19th century, lard was used in a similar fashion as butter
in North America
and many European nations. Lard was also held at the same level of popularity as butter in the early 20th century and was widely used as a substitute for butter during World War II
. As a readily available by-product
of modern pork production, lard had been cheaper than most vegetable oils, and it was common in many people's diet until the industrial revolution
made vegetable oils more common and more affordable. Vegetable shortenings
were developed in the early 1900s, which made it possible to use vegetable-based fats in baking and in other uses where solid fats were called for.
Toward the late 20th century, lard began to be regarded as less healthy than vegetable oils
(such as olive
oil) because of its high saturated fatty acid and cholesterol content. However, despite its reputation, lard has less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat
, and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter
Unlike many margarines and vegetable shortenings, unhydrogenated lard contains no trans fat
. It is also based on the image of lard as a "poverty food".
Many restaurants in the western nations have eliminated the use of lard in their kitchens because of the religious and health-related dietary restrictions of many of their customers. Many industrial bakers substitute beef tallow
for lard in order to compensate for the lack of mouthfeel
in many baked goods and free their food products from pork-based dietary restrictions.
However, in the 1990s and early 2000s, the unique culinary properties of lard became widely recognized by chefs and bakers, leading to a partial rehabilitation of this fat among "foodies
". This trend has been partially driven by negative publicity about the trans fat content of the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
in vegetable shortening. Chef and food writer Rick Bayless
is a prominent proponent of the virtues of lard for certain types of cooking.
It is also again becoming popular in the United Kingdom
among aficionados of traditional British cuisine. This led to a "lard crisis" in early 2006 in which British demand for lard was not met due to demand by Poland and Hungary (who had recently joined the European Union
) for fatty cuts of pork that had served as an important source of lard.
] Culinary use
A slice of bread spread with lard was a typical staple in traditional rural cuisine of many countries.
Lard is one of the few edible oils with a relatively high smoke point
, attributable to its high saturated fatty acids
content. Pure lard is especially useful for cooking since it produces little smoke when heated and has a distinct taste when combined with other foods. Many chefs
deem lard a superior cooking fat or shortening because of lard's range of applications and taste.
Because of the relatively large fat crystals found in lard, it is extremely effective as a shortening in baking
crusts made with lard tend to be more flaky than those made with butter. Many cooks employ both types of fat in their pastries
to combine the shortening
properties of lard with the flavor of butter.
Lard was once widely used in the cuisines of Europe, China, and the New World and still plays a significant role in British
, Central European
, and Chinese
cuisines. In British cuisine, lard is used as a traditional ingredient in mince pies and Christmas puddings, lardy cake
and for frying fish and chips
, as well as many other uses.
Lard is traditionally one of the main ingredients in the Scandinavian pâté leverpostej
In Catalan cuisine
lard is still used to make coca
bases and typical cakes as ensaimades
Lard consumed as a spread
was once very common in Europe and North America, especially those areas where dairy fats and vegetable oils were rare.
As the demand for lard grows in the high end restaurant industry, small farmers have begun to specialize in heritage hog breeds with higher body fat contents than the leaner, modern hog. Breeds such as the Mangalitsa hog of Hungary or Large Black of Great Britain are experiencing an enormous resurgence to the point that breeders are unable to keep up with demand.