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Customer Discussions > Cooking forum

Do people still cook with lard

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Showing 201-225 of 481 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012, 5:53:37 PM PST
Jeri K. says:
Hi there Lynetta Anne,
I'm always open to learning something new. Is there some objective research you can direct me to so I can get up to speed on levels of vitamin D and the fatty acid content of different types of lard? Thanks.
I think I may have some information to share with you in return.
Not sure what you mean by "raising pigs on pasture" but I will share first hand knowledge about modern raising of pigs. All pigs that go to slaughter must not have any hormone residue in the tissue. Unfortunately, due to the way the animals must be raised to meet the WORLD demand, antibiotics may be used to treat illnesses such as pneumonia, etc but are not routinely used. Also, at time of slaughter, there may not be any antibiotic residue in the animal. The meat is tested after slaughter according to USDA/FDA regulations and the fines are high to the grower for positive tests. The "kibble" you refer to is a balanced diet designed by an animal nutritionist to meet the nutritional requirements for pigs. As you know a pig will eat almost anything. Pigs were once routinely fed kitchen garbage as part of their diet by our ancestors. By the time they went to market, the amount of fat on a pig was very high. I'm talking about the marbling in the meat, the kind of fat that can't be removed prior to cooking. A pasture may have something that is not good nutritionally for a pig. Also, an open pasture will invite unwanted pests and expose a pig to illnesses and parasites that may need to be treated with antibiotics before the animal goes into the food chain.
You are right on about checking out the local farmers markets for home rendered lard. I personally receive lard from our local locker. It must be frozen or refrigerated to maintain freshness. I know where it comes from and the taste is over the top. My personal trainer highly recommends the use of this type of lard for baking. I have a home baking business and do lots of business through local farmers markets. If I can get some reliable research data to share with customers, they may be willing to look at baked products with lard over a commercial shortening.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012, 5:55:05 PM PST
Recipe Diva says:
Sunfower oil is also good for higher heat cooking. Has a high smoke point.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012, 6:14:57 PM PST
ace™ says:
"I was just skimming the fat off the chicken broth that I make regularly. Guess that was the wrong thing to do. Not the skimming, the saving of THAT chick fat. Lol."

yeah, i don't normally save that fat. the fat i'm referring to (which i'm sure you know, but it doesn't hurt to state it for the record) is the big globs of fat just inside the cavity on each side. depending on the size of the chicken, they can be pretty big globs!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012, 6:25:37 PM PST
ace™ says:
thanks, R.D.!

<acey blushes>

i, like you, have been cooking for 50 years (mom started teaching me to read cookbooks and make side dishes when i was 11!), but i think my MANY years in food service added even more to my education. i was a deli manager for an upscale grocery store for quite a few years, as well as waiting tables in high school and college. i learned from all of it! and, i'm STILL learning! love it!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012, 7:51:47 PM PST
Recipe Diva says:
I figured those pads of fat were what you meant. I usually just toss those but I won't anymore. Thanks for the info.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012, 8:06:27 PM PST
Recipe Diva says:
Yes, I started cooking when I was 10 but was relegated to the dish washing and watching way earlier than that. Fortunately, my mom was a really excellent cook so I at least knew what good was supposed to taste like. She rarely followed any recipes except for baking, so I was rather deprived of recipe reading material till I left home. Probably explains why I have my cookbook addiction. But I do cook every day and enjoy it, and enjoy reading cookbooks like they were novels. Not too keen though on the current crop of 20 something cookbook authors. Most of the cooking bloggers look just too young to have acquired much experience.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 3:10:13 AM PST
C.B. says:
It clogs your arteries. That's what I've heard anyway. From what I understand, it's the best thing to use for pastry and it adds a lot of flavor to other foods.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 3:12:30 AM PST
C.B. says:
Why are you so disgusted? It's just grease.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 3:14:46 AM PST
C.B. says:
I live in the South (AL) and I never use lard. I use Crisco and the biscuits I make are delicious.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 3:23:36 AM PST
C.B. says:
People who make butter can color it with carrots. Have you ever heard of that?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 5:09:48 AM PST
Lynetta Anne says:
Sorry Jeri, I don't keep my references - I check 'em, decide what I think makes sense, and move on. for info on the omegas you might read "Queen of Fats" by Susan Allport. The big take-away I got from her is that your animal is what they eat. green plants are are high in omega 3's, grains high in omega 6. (salmon etc. are high in omega 3's because they eat from a food chain based on algae - feed 'em kibble (grain) and you'll end up with fewer 3's and more 6's.) Don't remember where I learned abt. vitamin D, but it makes sense. D is stored in fat, and is made from sunshine. Pigs raised inside don't get sunshine.

I have a small farm and raise a couple of pigs. I don't know a lot about conventional practice beyond what I pick up at the coffee shop and feed store. I do know a fair amount about the ultra-modern practice of rotational/mob pasturing which isn't just like our ancestors did it, but grows good food and builds healthy pastures. Fat content (marbling) in the meat is more dependent on breed than on feed, though both enter into the equation. Todays pigs are bred to be lean. (Ironically, Mangalitsas, an extremely fatty pit from Hungary, are enjoying a revival here w/ swooning from foodies, and Berkshires, known for their marbling, seem tastiest for charcuterie.)

When I say "raised on pasture" I mean just that - typically mobile pens, moved once or twice a day (electric), allowing them to eat plants and roots. While grains form a small part of my pigs' diet, I rely on milk/whey to supply the lysine that's typically lacking on pasture alone (supplemented w/ boiled eggs when I have extras). I finish them on squash/pumpkins, beans, mangels and apples (the drops) which they harvest themselves. Next year I hope to plant 40 hazelnut trees, and in a few years they'll they'll have the end-of-season drops to clean up there, too. YUMMM! I don't have oaks and don't want to add them to my pastures for the obvious reasons, but wish I could do acorn finishing the way the Italians do. I think the hazelnuts will be a good substitute. I also feed prep-food scraps - melon rinds, banana peels, etc (anything the chickens won't want) just like our ancestors did. My pigs thrive - don't have parasite problems (because I move 'em and chase them through the pastures w/ chickens or guineas) - they put on weight well and stay healthy, knock wood! They're also really yummy.

Yes, I balance their diet for protein, give them free choice minerals etc. My pastures aren't terrific, but with the pigs help (and regular spraying w/ raw milk) they're rapidly improving. 2013 I'll probably add some sheep to the rotation.

As for hormone residue, there was an article in the business news that the Chinese required their contractor to supply Paylean-clean pork, which couldn't come from the standard US supply. Took 30 days to clean them out. Folks in my part of the midwest mostly use Paylean - and aren't too careful about timing. Their meat isn't rejected. As for antibiotics and fungicides, they're in all of the conventional feeds, and pigs are eating up to butchering time, so it's a mystery to me how they can test and not find them. I'm told the antiobiotics in the feed are necessary to make them yield a maximum gain. I find when they have access to eating organic dirt they do just fine. My guess is that there are lots of microorganisms in the dirt that give them the traces of this and that they need to thrive. I've been told that if you keep them in a stationary pen the soil gets depleted and isn't effective, and conventional hog feed "fixes" the problem. Haven't done it that way, don't know.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 7:09:35 AM PST
Waves says:
This is done by butter producers, they add carotene, from carrots for color. It annoys me as I do not need color in my butter nor do I want color in my buttercreams etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 8:48:04 AM PST
Lynetta Anne says:
Waves, the color is also pronounced in cows raised on grass. Just as the egg yolks of pastured/free range chickens are bright orange, the cream from pastured cows is yellow, and the butter is pronounced yellow. Some also use color from annatto seeds.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 9:40:27 AM PST
Jeri K. says:
Sounds like you have a pretty labor intensive operation but you are certainly doing it the way most people in the agricultural community would love to be able to farm.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to feed the world this way. Norman Borlaug, the "Father of the Green Revolution" and a world renowned Nobel Price winning agronomist was a person who worked with wheat varieties to produce the best crop suited for various parts of the world including Mexico, India, Pakistan and countries in Europe. I only bring Mr. Borlaug up because in 2005 he stated that the only way to feed the world population is through GMO. He believed that they are not essentially dangerous "because we've been genetically modifying plants and animals for a long time. Long before we called it science, people were selecting the best breeds." I don't mean to be on a soap box or anything like that but what Mr. Borlaug did and stood for is what we all want. There are books out about the Green Revolution and Mr. Borlaug. Unfortunately we lost this great mind a couple of years ago.
Sorry to get off the subject of lard, pigs and yummy food.
I did some quick research about the Paylean and found the article I think you referred to. It is illegal in the US to feed Paylean (ractopamine) within 7 or 8 weeks of slaughter. This is more than enough time for it to leave the animal's system. The article was about the residue showing up in beef. Evidently when the article was written in 1/2011, American beef had been going into Taiwan for 3 years and this was the first time the residue was detected. I certainly don't have an answer about why it suddenly showed up but there is a lot of speculation that this matter was more about politics than food safety. Who knows for sure?
Anyway, back to the lard and pigs. In your operation, do you have a dog by your side helping you move those pigs around? Just wondering because we have found some herding breeds that work great with pigs.
BTW, my husband's family raised Berkshires years ago and they were touted for their tasty and marbled meat.
Here's to the tastiest animal around!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 9:53:38 AM PST
Waves says:
I buy as much of the raw milk as I can find as well as eggs from local organic farmers. It was easy in the midwest to get the raw as I had friends that owned a farm. And yes, the color is pronounced through what they eat..the addition of the yellow color is such a negative.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 10:24:07 AM PST
J.Morgan says:
I have in the past had a very high cholesterol level and clogged arteries. I had a stent inserted to unblock one exactly 2 years ago today,

After 18 months of unsuccessfully trying to reduce my cholesterol LDL levels and triglycerides by diet and very strong medication I embarked on a new way of eating in June. My end of november blood test ahowed marked reductions in all things but especially triglycerides, LDL and HbA1c. Doctors are very pleased but they have no idea that I have abandoned their so called healthy eating stuff and switched to a low carb high protein high saturated fat diet. I cook and fry with lard, beef dripping and butter extensively. I also eat at least 12 eggs per week. I have also lost over 2 stones in weight. Go figure. I think we have been misinformed by someone somewhere probably with a vested interest.

Posted on Jan 2, 2012, 4:08:25 PM PST
Learned a couple of things recently - first, lard is only rendered a few times a year when the pigs/hogs are killed for the meat market - apparently just before winter set in is when many small farmers do that task or have it done. The second thing is: We have a chain of meat markets locally and you can go in and pre-order lard in any amount and will have it ready for you next time it's in stock. May the same is true for other markets.

What many people don't know is that CANOLA oil is just short for Canadian Oil - When Canada first began producing Rape Seed Oil nobody had any interest in buying it...the named turned them off? so the marketing geniuses renamed it Canola Oil.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 4:40:09 PM PST
Cloud says:
Possibly my cast iron pan has not seasoned well is that i have have used some canola oil when cooking hash brown. though i used olive oil and lard in the original seasoning, i have not used olive oil consistently. now that i know about the Canola false marketing, I shall stick to olive oil, peanut oil (which i had abandoned years ago because of the high fat and caloric warnings), lard and sunflower oil. Coconut oil is terrific for popcorn and Indian food but has a sweet and distinctive taste I don't find suitable for other foods. I guess until the next round of credible research, this panel has the best advice, particularly Ace! Thanks all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 4:55:18 PM PST
ace™ says:
true, lynetta.

when i get eggs from my daughter's chickens, the yolks are much more yellow/orange than store-bought eggs.

and, when margarine first came out, it was called 'oleomargarine' and the use of coloring agents was banned for MANY (like... 100!) years. the butter-makers were up in arms and didn't want margarine (which is naturally white) to look anything like the real deal, so, to skirt the ban, consumers had to add the yellow coloring themselves. so, margarine was marketed with packets of coloring for the housewife to knead into the margarine at home so it would "look" like butter. depending on the company, the coloring packet was either carotene or annatto.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 5:20:01 PM PST
ace™ says:
glad to be of help, cloud!

actually, ALL vegetable/plant oils, whether peanut, sunflower, olive... whatever... have about 120 calories per tablespoon, (some as low as 117, some as high as 124...not a large range!) which means the fat content is about the same for all of them. oil is oil, no matter what the source. butter, which is animal fat and contains water (butter is actually a fat/water emulsion) has about 100 calories/tablespoon.

so, the warnings you heard about peanut oil being worse fat/calorie-wise were incorrect. i'm glad to hear you will be returning to it!

i use coconut oil in popcorn and indian food, but i also use it in other foods that are very strong flavored because the sweetness can't be detected. the brand i use is spectrum naturals, unrefined. it doesn't seem as sweet to me as other brands i have tried... don't have a clue why.

Posted on Jan 2, 2012, 5:54:53 PM PST
Cloud says:
Thanks, Ace. I also use the Spectrum - but sparingly due to the warnings on higher caloric/fat content - so your advice is very clarifying. Happy New Year and Bon Apetit! ps the family made potstickers from scratch for 6 hrs last night! I'm wiped from the chopping, kneading, rolling but everyone loved it. so once in a (long)while, I summon up the energy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 6:10:52 PM PST
ace™ says:
so, cloud, my question to you is... higher caloric/fat content compared to what?

if you're saying compared to other oils/fats, it's not higher... it's exactly the same... 120 calories/tablespoon.

but, i use ALL oils/fats sparingly, so perhaps that's what you mean?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 6:15:24 PM PST
ace™ says:
hubby LOVES my homemade potstickers... but i don't make my dough from scratch. it sounds like you do! i just don't have the energy for that, so i use the round wonton wrappers. i usually make the entire package (50) and we eat them all at one sitting! they're juicy inside... and crispy on the bottom!

the next thing i want to tackle is soup dumplings... where the ingredients actually make SOUP *INSIDE* the dumpling as it cooks.... i'm fascinated!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 6:24:16 PM PST
Recipe Diva says:
Ace, can I come to dinner at your house. Lol. Love Potstickers! Made them once from scratch including dough wrappers. Did you catch the "once"?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012, 6:55:01 PM PST
ace™ says:
yes, i caught the "once" <wink> LOL! i hope you will use the wonton wrappers (you can find them, at least in the puget sound area, in the produce departments of many grocery stores) which saves a lot of time and effort... and they still taste REALLY good!

i really should make potstickers more often... i figured out a way to sit while i do them right in the kitchen... i pull out a drawer next to the fridge, put a cutting board on it... and pull a chair from the dining room! works great and saves my back, legs and feet... and all my ingredients are handy. otherwise, i'd have to drag everything to the dining room table and make several trips. this works great and puts things at arm's reach!
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