My breakfast consists of pasture raised chicken eggs cooked in lard or just four or five raw eggs.
of which have been touted as foods which will give you a heart attack
and raise your cholesterol by many mainstream medical and nutritional
The last time I had blood work done Doc told me my cholesterol was a tiny bit high.
I asked if she was using the numbers that were pushed lower by statin
drug companies just a few weeks before as the "ideal numbers" she
admitted she was using the latest numbers.
If we went by the old numbers my cholesterol was fine.
than go through the entire history of how we have been tricked into
believing that lard, butter, and other animal fats are going to kill you
next week, I would rather point you in the right direction to see what I
have learned over the years and then ask you to consider the factor I
see missing from most research.
How was the animal raised and what was it fed?
I'll get to this in a few but first some links to different articles on lard. Obviously you can Google this on your own but I included a few I found informative or even entertaining.
If you are already convinced lard an other animal fats are good for you, scroll down below the video and resume reading!
Here we go:
Startled by news about the dangers of trans fats, writer Pete Wells happily contemplates the return of good old-fashioned lard.
Lard & schmaltz.
The prime example of fats we all thought were bad for us, lard and
schmaltz (rendered chicken, pork, or goose fat) may have been wrongly
demonized for years. The main fat in lard—oleic acid—is a
monounsaturated fat linked to decreased risk of depression, says Drew Ramsey, MD, coauthor of The Happiness Diet
(Rodale, 2010). Those same monounsaturated fats, which make up 45
percent of the fat in lard, are responsible for lowering LDL levels
while leaving HDL ("good") cholesterol levels alone. Lard and schmaltz
also tolerate high cooking temperatures—they're often recommended for
frying—and have long shelf lives.
Dr Mercola - Why I believe over half your diet should be made up of this.
Is there Good and Bad Lard?
think the answer is yes! One glaringly obvious missing piece of data in
all the praise of lard and animal fats is how was the animal raised?
What was it fed?
If you were able to find lard at
your grocery store it is either polluted with preservatives or mixed
with hydrogenated fats...neither of which you want in your lard.
If it passes the test of no additives or mixtures then we must ask the question: What was the animals diet?
has been a good bit of research done on beef to show that cows fed a
strictly grain diet have fats that are less healthy than 100% grass fed
can find no studies on pastured pork v.s. strictly grain fed but it
stands to reason the same would be true. Our hogs are constantly
consuming grass and legumes which should make for better fat.
thing to consider is has the pig been on sub therapeutic antibiotics?
Ask your local grocer these questions and watch the glazed look come
over their eyes.
If you think about it, many toxins accumulate in fat according to experts. If we purposely feed toxins to our swine where does some of it end up? Think antibiotics, chemical wormers, etc.
the other hand, if we feed our hogs good things it should be present in
the fat. Think grass, minerals, omega 3's. I'm only thinking aloud here
as I'm no expert on this. Draw your own conclusions.
Maybe sometime soon I'll tell you how I make my own lard from the fat trimmings from our pigs.
markets are exploding on the scene across the United States. That means
more vendors looking for ways to leverage the "eat local" movement even
if their meats aren't local or even from a small farm.
quick look at a listing of farmers markets in my state shows several
meat processing plants listed as vendors. I'm not trying to infer that
they shouldn't be allowed to participate in farmers markets. I am
saying, as with any vendor you purchase from, you should engage in a
conversation about where the animals are raised and how they are raised.
For instance the statement of "all our meats are locally raised" could simply mean somewhere in the state.
Some good questions to ask any meat vendor:
Do you raise the livestock yourself?
If not, do you know the farmer who did?
Do you purchase animals from sale barns to slaughter?
How confident are you that your meats are hormone and antibiotic free?
For beef - Is this 100% grass fed and finished or has it been fed grain?
are the type of questions any farmer who raises livestock will be happy
to answer. In fact most welcome these types of questions because it
shows that you are looking for a certain style of animal husbandry and
methods of production.
My point in all this is not to build a case about dishonest vendors.
point is don't assume that because you are standing at farmers market
every product there is locally raised by a small farmer. Ask questions.
demand for locally farm raised beef, pork, and chicken as well as other
meats such as lamb, goat, rabbits etc is on the rise. That means meat
vendors of every stripe are looking for ways to gain access to farmers
Some markets will allow them to sell their products and some won't.
As with anything that becomes popular or trendy, the potential is
recognized and seized by large corporations who are looking to profit
I am including a video from Mark Kastel, co-director
of the Cornucopia Institute that details some of the unbelievable
antics taking place in the organized organic movement.
If you're short on time here are some of the highlights:
Those charged with reviewing and approving additives and chemicals
for use in organic foods have in large part been affiliated with the
same corporate agribusinesses and/or food producers lobbying for their
There are currently almost 300 non-organic and synthetic compounds approved for use in organic foods.
"Independent" industry experts, who have been advising the USDA's
National Organic Standards Board on scientific matters, also appear to
have been largely supportive of synthetics in organics
Cornucopia Institute are now pursuing a pressure campaign aimed at the
organic program at the USDA, and at the National Organics Standards
Board, to persuade them to review the manipulation and misinformation
provided at the November 2011 NOSB meeting, which led to the approval of
synthetic, genetically mutated DHA and ARA oils—ingredients that have
been "confidently linked" to health problems in infants.
What I want to point out here is my original statement of the more
distant your relationship with the person who produces your food, the
more potential for corruption.
While I applaud and support
the Cornucopia Institute for their efforts to rally the American people
to hold those accountable who oversee organic standards in the U.S., I
also believe the best route to food transparency is to have a
relationship with the folks who produce your food.
That's why I have an open door policy at my farm. Folks can come visit and judge for themselves if they want to do business with me.
Complete transparency to your customers is a safeguard against corruption.
How could I say for example 'we use no chemical herbicides on our
farm' and at the same time be hosing down weeds with weed killer? If I
know customers are coming and no door is locked, no cabinet out of reach
it will deter me from such actions.
There is a myriad of
temptations to cheat even on the small farm. Farmers need
accountability. I need accountability. I need to know that my customers
have the right to inspect what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.
I gave them that right.
If you're paying with your hard earned dollars you deserve that right.
No amount of regulations or regulators is ever going to replace a relationship between two people.
Here at Spring Hill Farms
we think honesty, integrity, transparency, and accountability should be
some of the foundational principles you build your farm on.
of thousands of honey bees have been found dead in Delaware, Fairfield,
Hardin, Miami, Pickaway and Ross counties in April. Jim North believes an insecticide called neonicotinoids is responsible for the huge amount of dead bees.
The Columbus Dispatch reported on this which you can read here.
report states the bulk of the bees died over a four day period which is
when a major amount of corn was planted in Ohio. The insecticide is
used on seed corn.
Of course Bayer CropScience who produces much of the neonicotinoids
believes it could be the weather. Hmm... let's see the weather which we
can nothing about or a poison designed to kill insects. I'll leave the
conclusion up to you but you probably have picked up on my opinion.
The poison has been linked to bee deaths in other states and banned in other countries but hey maybe Ohio is different?
Perhaps it's this Ohio weather that wipes out an already vulnerable bee population.
me it looks like the begining of yet another round of propaganda by the
major chemical companies to continue to not only endanger the bee
population, but continue to endanger our lives as well by the
indiscriminate use of poisons to prop up an already unsustainable system
Let's hope The Ohio Department of Agriculture does it job and puts an end to the needless poisoning of honey bees.
have long been a proponent of voicing your opinion to government any
chance you get. But for this issue there is a fast track to change.
Vote with your dollars.
According to a USA Today article, three plants producing pink slime have permanently shut down. While I feel sorry
for the folks who lost their source of income, I rejoice that the
demand for pink slime has fallen like a stone since it first went public
a few weeks ago.
This is a prime example of what can be done to change the way food is grown, processed, labeled etc.
It's very simple: Companies don't produce what they can't sell.
I found it typical that the company producing pink slime has adopted the stance that they have got an unfair rap and people are misinformed about pink slime.
My opinion -Folks were informed of what is going on and said "no thanks" with their dollars.
This could happen to any company, good or bad.
The key to stopping it from happening- Transparency. Let people see behind the curtain and judge for themselves if they want to do business with you.
We saw behind the pink slime curtain and opted out.
You can bet other companies have been watching nervously as the pink slime story has unfolded wondering if they are next.
will see more dollars spent on public relations as big agriculture and
food companies work to convince the public they are on "our side."
Stop out and see your local farmers. Buy as much of your food from them as you can.
can believe it and although the study they referred to said it needed
more research to see just what was the cause I figure it's pretty easy
if you look at it simplistically.
Amish kids are
working on the farm at a young age. They are eating a lot of farm food
and not nearly as much processed foods. Which could mean they are not
eating as many GMO foods.
Many of them are drinking raw milk as soon they are weaned from mom.
that with a child in front of T.V. or game system with no where to go
but out in a yard with maybe a dog and it gets tough to test your immune
system as thoroughly as someone on a farm introduced to all the little
microbes (good and bad) that can be found there.
I kinda changed the old saying to...My kids are as healthy as hog!
your kids out and let them get dirty this summer. Take them to visit a
farm, go camping, hiking, something. It'll do your immune system some
good and your soul too!
when you thought that the gigantic meat packers were "walking the
straight and narrow" over the pink slime controversy, now we discover
your steak just might be glued together out of several different pieces
California senator Ted W. Lieu has
called for an investigation into the practice of using meat glue to
patch pieces of meat together to make one piece. Officially, it’s known as transglutaminase, an enzyme in powder form that brings protein closer together – permanently.
What will be next?
For me the take away from all these "new discoveries" is it seems the foundational belief of big meat packers and Big Ag is this:
How can we do this cheaper first and foremost then we'll look at safety, quality, and all the other parameters.
am all for reducing costs and making your business profitable. But let
me know the ways you accomplish that and let me make the decision as to
whether I want to do business with you.
No I'm not talking about supplying your customers with a business plan.
talking about good old fashioned honesty and hey here's an idea; How
about putting on the label what you've done to product.
I don't know about you but If I picked up a steak and said it contained transglutaminase you can bet I'd be Googling up what the heck it was and why is it in my steak!
You know it won't say on the label "we glued this piece of meat together."
Don't worry though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deems it to be safe – “generally.”
We don't glue anything together here at Spring Hill Farms.
Heck we use baler twine more than anything around here to make several
pieces of something into one. You would notice that on your steak...just
The Large Black and Tamworth pig crossing is still underway here at Spring Hill Farms.
We had our first litters in March and so far have been happy with the results.
They have been healthy and exhibited strong immunity which is the first test here on this farm.
weak pigs are usually a sign of something amiss on your farm but it can
also be the result of pigs catching anything that comes along. Which points to a weak immune system.
litters have been strong and growing from day one. They were quick to
get up and get moving after birth and have been strong eaters.
The one difference it seems to me over a purebred Tamworth thus far, is they take a bit longer to show an interest in mom's feed.
pigs didn't seem to get after the sow's feed when we fed her ground
feed as fast as Tam's do. Maybe a good sign I don't know.
Large Black cross pigs
The carcass is leaning more to the Large Black side but I'm thinking they will get some width as they get closer to finishing.
We will be monitoring these pigs very closely to see just how well they grow as compared to our Tamworth pigs on pasture.
In theory they should do as well or better due to the heterosis or hybrid vigor.
If you're not familiar with the Large Black here's an excerpt from the okistate website: "In
the early part of this century the Large Black were used for the
production of pork in outdoor operations. Its coat color makes it
tolerant of many sun born illnesses and its hardiness and grazing
ability make it an efficient meat producer. Large Blacks are also
known for their mothering ability, milk capacity and prolificacy."
These pigs are listed as critically endangered on ALBC website.
will be offering F-1 cross gilts in the Spring of 2013. These will be
excellent pigs to inject some heritage breed traits as well as strong
grazing genetics Spring Hill is known for into your pigs.