By PAUL WHEATON
I remember …. because of the cookies ….
In the 80′s a Missoula bakery generated cookies that I had a hard time resisting. The secret ingredient? Lard. I still struggle with the idea. It was lard that made the cookies delicious?
In the cold case of Albertson’s, I remember buying lard and using it for all sorts of things. And then we were told that lard was bad, but Criso was good! (Did you know that originally, Crisco was designed for candle wax? Just as they come out with their superior candle goo, people turn keen on the electric light bulb.) Then the lard disappeared. Now we are told that Crisco is bad.
Recently, I watched a movie called “fat head” that does an excellent job of pointing out that a diet high in good fat is what we are designed to eat. For years I have been researching fat quality and have concluded that fats from animals are far superior for human consumption (in my opinion) than any fats from a vegetable source. Except, possibly, coconut oil.
So I popped over to The Good Food Store to get some organic lard. I couldn’t find any, so I asked the guy at the meat counter. None. Zip. He said that if enough people asked for it, he would start to carry it. In the meantime, he special ordered some organic pig fat for me.
I took the pig fat home and rendered it to lard. Wow. How is it that this stuff makes everything taste so much better?
In Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food” he makes a case for how food that tastes really good is often far more nutritious. He does point out some exceptions with highly processed foods. And at the end of the book he advises that people shop for food as if their great grandmother was with them looking at every label – and if she didn’t recognize something, you don’t buy it. And I’m certain that my great grandmother would recognize lard.
About the “organic“ part. This is probably the most important. Remember when we were told that red meat causes cancer? And then we were told that they figured out that it was the fat in the red meat that caused cancer?
And then, suddenly, we heard nothing more about it? Well, it turns out that when carcenogenic pesticides are sprayed on cow-food that ends up in the cow, the pesticides end up concentrating in the fat cells. So it really isn’t red meat fat that causes the cancer, it’s the pesticide.
I now hope you are all tasted up for lard. Rediscover the deliciousness! Contact The Good Food Store and ask for organic lard. (Lard is rendered pork fat, but for some reason they wanted me to call it “organic pork lard” so you might try asking for that.) Apparently, if enough of us ask for it, they will start carrying it again.
BIO: Paul Wheaton is is the tyrannical ruler of two on-line communities. One is about permaculture and one is about software engineering. There is even one for Missoula. Paul has written several permaculture articles starting with one on lawn care that he presented at the MUD Project 17 years ago, including articles on raising chickens, cast iron and diatomaceous earth. Paul also regularly uploads permaculture videos and permaculture podcasts. In his spare time, Paul has plans for world domination and is currently shopping for a hollowed out volcano in the Missoula area, with good submarine access.
See all of Paul’s contributions to MakeitMissoula on this Blog Homepage here.