Free Fat

Free The Traditional Fats

2002 marked a turning point for traditional fats with the report by the Institute of Medicine that no level of trans-fats is safe in our diets.

In 2003 a set of very informative articles were published in the San Francisco Chronicle. In them our out-dated information about the evils of saturated fats such as lard and coconut oil were laid to rest. These are very comprehensive and enjoyable reading. Links are provided below.

That was nearly 5 years ago…unfortunately we have been so indoctrinated with fear of saturated fats that even with hefty evidence looming all around us we are having great difficulty in shaking our terror of saturated fats and cholesterol.

The nation’s obesity rate began to skyrocket in the mid-’80s about the same time national low-fat public health campaigns were in full swing. In one year alone –1998-99– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures show that the nation’s obesity rate rose an astonishing 6 percent. —Fat Makes A Comeback After 3 Lean Decades

This is in part due to the inability of the health industry and others to admit a huge mistake has been made, resulting in epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Perhaps they are afraid of the compensation that might be demanded if this manipulation of the nation was acknowledged. There is huge amounts of money at stake:

  • Pharmaceutical companies who are selling incredible amounts of cholesterol lowering (and other) drugs to the population.
  • Health insurance groups who are enforcing the requirements that we all need to be on cholesterol lowering drugs.
  • Corn and soybean (and other vegetable oil) agriculture conglomerates are highly subsidized to produce unnecessary amounts of these products. Look at the ingredients on our food there is corn or soybean bulking practically everything.

I am sure there are more, but this is a start…

As with anything, different people need different amounts of fat and cholesterol. The one-size-fits-all model is inappropriate.

But we have hope. Last year New York restaurants finally banned trans-fats. We can help to support our Chef’s in this movement by requesting that we get back to the fats our ancestors thrived on.

Traditionally lard, goose fat and palm oils were used in baking flaky pastries or in frying golden-crispy treats. These fats remain stable at high temperatures.

Deep frying in lard at the right temperature quickly sears the outer shell, cooking it fast and crispy while steaming the inside. This prevents the food from limply soaking up excess fat.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid which protects against viruses and parasites.

Can our taste-buds be so untrustworthy? How much better does something taste that is cooked in sweet fresh butter than in bleached and oxidized corn oil or no oil at all?

Our bodies are trying to tell us what we need but we have become so disjointed we no longer trust what our bodies tell us.

Take care of yourself. Join the free fat revolution. Butter your bread thickly. Put cream in your coffee!


Fat Makes Comeback After 3 Lean Decades
Kim Severson, Chronicle Staff Writer
Chronology of Fats
Compiled by Laura Perkins
How Refining Affects Edible Oils -Carol Ness, Chronicle Staff Writer
For Thais, Palm Oil Always Has Been a Good Thing
Olivia Wu, Chronicle Staff Writer
Don’t Let Lard Throw You Into a Tizzy
Jacqueline Higuera McMahan
The Bullies of the Fat World
Carol Ness, Chronicle Staff Writer
Olivia Wu, Chronicle Staff Writer
A Duel Among Shortenings
Carol Ness

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