Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
[ Member listing ]

Good Lard or Bad Lard?

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My breakfast consists of pasture raised chicken eggs cooked in lard or just four or five raw eggs.

Both of which have been touted as foods which will give you a heart attack and raise your cholesterol by many mainstream medical and nutritional experts.

The last time I had blood work done Doc told me my cholesterol was a tiny bit high.

When 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.

Rather 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 is a healthy substitution for imitation fats.

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?

I 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?

There 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 beef. [Source]

I 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.

Another 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.

On 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.

Until next time...
Spring Hill Farms
 
 

Buy Local - The Fast Track to Change

Picture I 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.

You 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. 

Until next time....

Spring Hill Farms

PS - Help force the issue on labeling genetically modified organisms in our foods. How? Go to the Institute for Responsible Technology and learn how you can vote with your dollars.



 
 

Eating Grass Fed - Increases Blood Levels of Omega 3's

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Tamworth Pigs on Pasture

I have long been a proponent of Grass fed beef, pastured pork, and poultry.

It always thrills me to see studies as they emerge proving out more positive benefits of eating grass fed meat.

A recent article discusses the fact that eating grass fed meat for just a short period of time can raise your blood levels of Omega 3's. Read it here

 


 

 
 

Lard: The Truth You Need

Picture I have several breakfast selections I rotate through depending on what I feel like eating, how much time I have, etc.

This morning I elected to fry my eggs. The bulk of the pastured eggs I consume are raw. You hear all kinds of things about eating eggs raw and in another article I'll discuss why I eat raw eggs, but for today let's look at using pig lard as a ingredient in your everyday cooking. Like frying eggs.

I dropped about a half a tablespoon or more lard from our pastured pork into the skillet and in a couple minutes I was eating two eggs with real cheese and no bread. I have practically eliminated bread from my diet. Not completely, as I love whole wheat bread, but it happens to be one of the things that adds inches to my waistline so I keep my urge to eat a loaf at a time subdued.

Lard, like most animal fats, have gotten a bad wrap for many years now. I still marvel at the effectiveness of the "low fat" advertising mantra. Today there is so much confusion about fats and oils that many people are sabotaging their health while believing they are doing the right thing.

In 1956, an American Heart Association (AHA) fund-raiser aired on all three major networks. The MC interviewed, among others, Irving Page and Jeremiah Stamler of the AHA, and researcher Ancel Keys. Panelists presented the lipid hypothesis as the cause of the heart disease epidemic and launched the Prudent Diet, one in which corn oil, margarine, chicken and cold cereal replaced butter, lard, beef and eggs. But the television campaign was not an unqualified success because one of the panelists, Dr. Dudley White, disputed his colleagues at the AHA. Dr. White noted that heart disease in the form of myocardial infarction was nonexistent in 1900 when egg consumption was three times what it was in 1956 and when corn oil was unavailable. When pressed to support the Prudent Diet, Dr. White replied: "See here, I began my practice as a cardiologist in 1921 and I never saw an MI patent until 1928. Back in the MI free days before 1920, the fats were butter and lard and I think that we would all benefit from the kind of diet that we had at a time when no one had ever heard the word corn oil."

 So what type of fat is lard?

According to Mary Enig, author of Know Your Fats, lard is about 40 percent saturated, 50 percent monounsaturated, and contains 10 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is also one of our richest dietary sources of vitamin D.

(Research is showing vitamin D to be one of the foundational vitamins to good health.)

Foods containing trans fat sell because the American public is afraid of the alternative—saturated fats found in tallow, lard, butter, palm and coconut oil, fats traditionally used for frying and baking. Yet the scientific literature delineates a number of vital roles for dietary saturated fats—they enhance the immune system, are necessary for healthy bones, provide energy and structural integrity to the cells, protect the liverand enhance the body's use of essential fatty acids. Stearic acid, found in beef tallow and butter, has cholesterol lowering properties and is a preferred food for the heart. As saturated fats are stable, they do not become rancid easily, do not call upon the body's reserves of antioxidants, do not initiate cancer, do not irritate the artery walls.

We have always used lard here at Spring Hill Farms. A growing number of customers are requesting it. At this point the best we can do is give them the actual fat so they can make lard for themselves.

It's a simple process and can be done on the stove in smaller amounts.

If you would be interested in purchasing lard from us let me know. If the demand is large enough perhaps we will add it to our products.

You can buy lard at some grocery stores, but it can have hydrogenated lard it, BHT, Propyl Gallate, and Citric Acid.

You can bet the pig it was made from wasn't on pasture and worse yet probably fed all kinds of things to practically negate the benefits of the lard.

 Keep your eye out we may have a lard rendering here at the house this fall so you can try some for yourself.

 If you're thinking there is no way you are eating animal fats because they aren't healthy for you. I urge to do some research and see for yourself. A good place to start is The Oiling of America.


Until Next Time...



 
 

Full Spectrum Lighting for Goats, Pigs, and Chickens

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Full Spectrum Bulb
I first heard of full spectrum lighting several years ago. Full spectrum lights are the closest light to natural sunlight available. It got me to thinking about how it would effect livestock during the long days of winter here in Ohio.

The main thing I was pondering was would it make a difference in piglets that are born in the early winter? I kept researching and came to the conclusion it would. Here is what one study indicated.




Scientists have discovered a new receptor in the eye that, among other things, monitors your biological clocks.

Apart from the other photoreceptors in your eye that allow you to see, this "third eye" responds differently to light by sending signals to your brain's hypothalamus, thus regulating your production of melatonin, which in turn controls your body's circadian rhythms.

Researchers experimented with lamps emitting different wavelengths of light on workers toiling in the high-stress environment on one floor of a health insurance call center. In comparison to co-workers on other floors, they felt more alert, and the quality of their work improved too. The Independent September 26, 2006

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Tamworth Pigs in the Sun
Since I'm always striving to mimic nature, this new technology of full spectrum lighting seemed like a good fit for our farm. I first bought some bulbs from BlueMax Lighting(tm) and used them in my home.

I immediately noticed that after getting up in the morning and sitting under the full spectrum lighting I felt in a better mood. That was enough to convince my wife! Seriously, the only way I can describe it is I felt much like I do when I get up and go out on the deck and have a cup of coffee on a bright sunny morning. You start remarking how nice of a day it's going to be and get motivated to "get something done". Another reason my wife was convinced I should keep them!

They are a much whiter light than the yellow light bulbs we were using. Even though the evidence I experienced was anecdotal, I didn't need anymore convincing that there was something to this full spectrum lighting.

Some other benefits that are cited by proponents of full spectrum lighting is:

  • Improved mood

  • Enhanced mental awareness, concentration and productivity ...

  • Superior visual clarity and color perception ...

  • Better sleep ...

  • Super-charged immune system ...

  • More energy ...

  • Reduced eye strain and fatigue with a glare-free and comfortable reading environment ...

  • Greater learning ability and intelligence ...
Whether or not it actually has all these benefits, I'll leave up to you to decide.

My pigs haven't told me they're in a good mood or feel like they have less eye strain, but I can tell you this, it's another weapon in my arsenal to keep our new piglets healthy and growing when they are born in the dead of winter or when the days are getting short.

Full spectrum lighting is also a good way to keep milk production up with our goats. This is an area where you need to be careful. If you introduce full spectrum lighting too early in the Fall as days get shorter, you're goats may not breed. The shorter day for seasonal breeding goats is what triggers reproduction.

I wait until I'm sure they are bred and then use the lights.

Something else I've learned is full spectrum lighting in the hen house will definitely keep our laying hens going strong when they would typically stop laying eggs.

Years ago the farmer's wife would mix up hot mash to help keep the hens laying through the cold winter. We now know that it's more the deprivation of light that slows or even stops egg production. Chickens need between 14 and 16 hours of light. I set mine on a timer so they get light earlier in the morning and then later at night. Light also effects the molting period of chickens. It's a natural function of chickens to molt so we allow our chickens to molt and egg production ceases at that time to allow the hens to recuperate.

So if your hens are getting sluggish put some full spectrum bulbs in the hen house and watch what happens.

If you or your spouse are in the winter doldrums put some in the house too! (that won't help the egg layers by the way)

So to sum this one up, try some full spectrum lighting where you think you need it most and see what happens for yourself!

Until next time....
 
 
 

Most Antibiotics in the US Used for Farm Animals

As much as 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U. S. are fed to chickens, cattle and hogs — not to treat disease but to make them grow faster. This increases profit margins for livestock producers, but it puts YOUR health at risk.

 

Read the article here

 
 

The Best Eggs For you and Your Family, Come From the Pasture

Time and time again science proves nature is the best provider of food. Human cleverness, as Joel Salatin calls it,can never quite get all the pieces of the puzzle together.

 

Here's a great video showing the nutritional profile of pastured eggs vs industrial agriculture eggs.

 

See it Here

 
 

Saturated Fat and Heart Disease - No Link a New Study Says

A new analysis which used the results of 21 previous studies,found no evidence between people's risk of heart disease and their intake of saturated fat. 

This is the fat found found mainly in animal fats and dairy. The press and medical experts have condemned it for years but this new information may shed some light on the subject.

 Many times the "western diet" is described as one high in red meat and saturated fat. But it's also high in processed foods and other highly refined carbohydrates.

 

Read the whole story here

 

 

Until next time...

 
 
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