Pivoting to the use of lard actually started a few years ago. And a cookbook, "Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient", lead the way making the case that lemon nut cookies and buttermilk pound cake made with lard tastes good. Published by “Grit magazine: Rural American Know How,” the book describes the rediscovery of lard as it becomes new normal for home cooks.
They even went as far in the book to suggest lard might be good for you, or at least not as bad for you as other stuff, according to a report in 2012 by NPR.
According to lipid chemist from Iowa State University Tong Wang, lard is healthier than hydrogenated shortening like Crisco, but not as healthy as unsaturated omega-3 oils like olive oil. Wang cautioned if lard is consumed in moderation, it’s fine. Replacing healthy oils with lard as a common alternative is a bad idea.
There are healthy oil alternatives to using trans-fats: Oil from olives, peanuts, grape seeds, and walnuts to mention a few. Learning to cook with the variety of oils is not only healthier but also expands the cook’s resources to add complexity and taste.
Will the J.M. Smucker Company, producers of Crisco, begin diversifying to leaf lard? First introduced in 1911 by Procter & Gamble, Crisco was the first shortening to be made entirely of vegetable oil.
R.J. Reynolds tobacco company saw the writing on the wall in 1964 when Luther L. Terry, M.D., Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, released the first report of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health. The cigarette producing giant diverted to non-tobacco businesses.
Smucker is already mainly a food producer and supplier, so the change would not be as radical, but it will be interesting to see if they decide to make the switch to leaf lard to maintain customer base. There is a possibility that Smucher could follow what corporations like the Swiss company Nestles and tobacco corporations have done and create an international customer base in foreign countries to sell their products not allowed or discouraged in the US.
For now home cooks will have almost three years to pivot to leaf lard, and as the demand increases stores should start stocking it. Right now leaf lard is difficult to find, although regular lard is a common item.
is retired and lives in Clearlake, California. She has three grown
children and one grandson and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services
Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga California. On the
home front Dava enjoys time with her family, reading, gardening, cooking
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