Bitter Tonic

A long time ago, in another age and time, a group of scientists convinced the leadership of a great world power that the reason he had had a heart attack was that he had been eating eggs and saturated fats. He believed them and began supporting efforts to switch the world from relying on saturated fats for cooking to using liquid oils. Back then nobody would ever consider cooking with liquid oils. They grew rancid quickly. They smoked at too low a temperature. The foods cooked in them had a different feel in the mouth. You couldn’t make a cracker or biscuit with them.

The idea though, that this solid fat–butter, lard, tallow–turned right back into a solid fat in the veins to your heart had a simple street appeal. It was not difficult to imagine that if you ate lots of this kind of fat that it would lead straight to that kind of fat. It doesn’t.

That fats in your blood are manufactured by your liver out of the components that make fat, not from dietary fat itself. These fats are absolutely essential for the normal function of the body. All of your brain and nerve cells are made of fats. Every cell in your body is lined with fats. The word fat is unfortunately used to describe the plaques that form in heart arteries, but that is not what they are. The simple idea that eating fat leads to heart disease is just that, too simple. In fact, it is turning out to not even be right at all.

Consuming and cooking with liquid oils is not only less tasty than using natural fats (butter, lard, tallow) it is actually now known to be dangerous. In England scientists are studying what happens to these chemicals when you actually use them by heating them up…

But Professor Grootveld, of De Montfort University in Leicester, who carried out a series of experiments, said: “For decades, the authorities have been warning us how bad butter and lard was. But we have found butter is very, very good for frying purposes and so is lard.

“People have been telling us how healthy polyunsaturates are in corn oil and sunflower oil. But when you start messing around with them, subjecting them to high amounts of energy in the frying pan or the oven, they undergo a complex series of chemical reactions which results in the accumulation of large amounts of toxic compounds.”

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If you do still use liquid oils to cook with the best policy is to never reuse the oil. If you have a countertop deep fryer it should be filled with lard or tallow instead of a liquid vegetable oil. Your deep fryer will definitely change the chemical composition of the oil, creating trans fats, which have been practically banned in the rest of the world because of they are known to cause heart damage. In the US, while trans fats are not banned as an ingredient they are limited to less than one percent. Zero percent is the known safe limit of trans fats, and if you cook with liquid oil you are making and eating a banned product right in your own kitchen.

It is easy as can be to make your own lard or tallow, the procedure is the same for both. You start off with beef or pork fat. You cut it up into chunks. You put those chunks in the crock pot, you heat it up on medium heat for a long time. You ladle the liquid fat through a strainer into jars for storage at room temperature for forever. No need to refrigerate, never goes rancid. Watch this video…

Making Tallow from beef fat:

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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