Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lard: Superfood of 2009....?


I just love that I am posting in order to extol the potential virtues of lard. Especially in the face of so many lard nay-sayers out there.  After all, it is a saturated animal fat so therefore must be the cause of atrocities like heart disease and the like, right? 

Honestly, I am not convinced.  If you would like to hear the pro-saturated fat side of the argument, I suggest you check out the Weston A. Price Foundation.  They are just one of the groups challenging our current ideas around the relationship between saturated fats and disease.  Here is a list of articles on their site exploring this topic. Speaking as someone that fell utterly into the fat-free fad of the 90's, I confess that I find the opinions at WAPF very refreshing.  Take a look and see what you think. 

But I'm not really here to talk about lard as a saturated fat.  I'm excited because I've read a few sources marking lard (from pastured pigs) as one of the richest dietary sources of vitamin D. This makes sense that you would find it in concentrated amounts in the fat of an animal as it is a fat-soluble vitamin.  Vitty D has been in the news quite a bit these days because of how prevalent deficiencies are and the possible links to many health issues, including MS.  This just means we need to consume more of it either through food, supplementation, or sunlight exposure.  And considering how little sunlight we get in the lovely Pacific Northwest, getting our D from the sun isn't as easy up here as it is in sunny California.

I myself have a rather significant deficiency in vitty D as well as an intolerance to all supplemental forms of it.  That's right, all of them.  I have yet to find a vitamin D supplement that I don't react to, and none of my doctors have been able to figure out why or what to do about it.  So food sources are my only way to go.

I bought a lovely bucket of lard this past weekend at the local farmers market and I'm going to start cooking everything I can palatably justify in it (my husband deterred me from attempting to make salad dressing out of it- saying something about that being gross).  I'll retest my vitty D levels in a few months and see if they've come up at all.

You'll be among the first to know.

Also, many thanks to Seabreeze Farm and the amazing products they bring to our local farmers market every week.  I used to travel over to Vashon several years ago to get their raw milk (before I was fully aware of the dairy allergy) and they've grown so much since then.  


  1. Awesome Lard!!
    I was in the supermarket the other day 'cause I wanted some...and they didn't have any, only vegetable shortening. Which as you know, is not lard. Lucky you. lucky lard !!!

  2. I think you can actually get fatback from the meat section and render your own lard. Takes a bit of work though!

  3. that is the best thing since butter!