GYM VLOG #23
Author: Julia Dulgerova
Animal fats have been used in nutrition for all of time. Traditional meals were cooked with animal fats, traditional diets consisted of animal fats, and people were healthy. They were active. And most importantly they had a healthy heart and healthy body weight. So when did the idea of animal fats and their connection to cholesterol and body weight come into play?
You may have heard of the company “Crisco”. They make vegetable shortening used for cooking. The story of Crisco is complicated and yet simple. We were tricked and still today are being tricked.
This story starts in America prior to the Civil War. William Proctor was a candle maker whose brother-in-law named James Gamble was a soap maker. They decided to join arms and make a company to compete with other soap and candle making businesses that were in Ohio. They called their business Proctor and Gamble or P&G. Candles and soap were traditionally made out of lard and tallow, or pig and beef fat. During the 1890’s the monopoly of meat packaging actually controlled the price of these fats so therefore controlled the amount of money that was used to make candles and soaps. A great alternative that P&G found could be used for their candles and soaps was cotton seed oil. It was cheaper and did not change their product all that much. So they started to try and take control of the cottonseed oil business and eventually in 1905 they owned 8 cottonseed mills in Mississippi. Then P&G and a chemist from Germany developed hydrogenation. Which is a process where hydrogen atoms are added into the fatty acid chain of oils and this allows the oil to be able to harden, similar to animal fat like lard or tallow.
But electricity was becoming more and more readily available and people weren’t using candles as much anymore. This means P&G had to start getting creative with their new hydrogenated cottonseed oil. They had to change their market. That is when P&G realized that since they worked on making the cottonseed oil resemble lard through hydrogenation, why not sell it to the public as a replacement for lard to use in foods? In 1911 Crisco was released to the public with ad campaigns saying Crisco was “more economical than butter” or “a healthier alternative to cooking with animal fats. This was aimed at stay-at-home housewives. These campaigns were trying to diminish the use of Cisco’s biggest competitors of animal fats that were lard and butter. Soon after, P&G released a cookbook full of recipes that all used Crisco. They were recipes that were traditionally made of animal fats but this new “healthy version” was beginning to gain popularity.
P&G used methods of conviction to sell their product to people, claiming that it was healthier, more digestible, cleaner, more economical, and enlightened and more modern. They would show mothers as good wives and good mothers using Crisco with their house clean and smelling good with well behaved children who grew to have great character.
Then Crisco targeted religious groups like Jews. P&G said Crisco was kosher and could be used with meats. It made kosher cooking easier for the jewish housewives so quickly, it was added into the homes of many Jews.
In the blog previous to this one I talked about trans fats and why we need to stay away from them. Well, Crisco is a trans fat. People didn’t yet know the dangers of these transfats and when P&G released Crisco, they also didn’t know the dangers of Crisco. But when people started having serious health issues like learning disorders, increased cancer, and even increased heart disease, instead of acknowledging the issue to the public, they worked to cover things up and hide the truth. A scientist who worked for P&G actually began influencing and swaying the American Heart Association with inconclusive Lipid Research Trials that he claimed showed proof that animal fats were the cause of heart disease.
But thankfully, after so many years of being tricked people are starting to see the truth. Animal fats are healing not damaging, and hydrogenated fats are damaging and for from healing. P&G even sold their business.
So for a very long time, we were tricked by large companies and corporations into believing that the fats that humanity has survived and thrived off of were all of a sudden harmful and even deadly.
Let’s get into the real health benefits and healing powers of animal fats. Cholesterol is vital component of cell membranes and precursor to important hormones
Animals fats are extremely rich in fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. These are all important for playing roles in bodily functions like immune function, bone health, and blood clotting. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties important for heart health. Animal fats are also a great source of essential fatty acid important for proper brain function, cell structure, and overall health. Some animal fats, like lard and tallow, are stable at high temps when cooking. Animal fats are a much healthier alternative to vegetable oils that oxidize and produce harmful compounds when exposed to heat. Animal fats are a concentrated source of energy and proper amounts of healthy fats in the diet provide sustained energy and help maintain healthy weight. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) found in meat and dairy products of ruminant animals have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Animal fats also contain arachidonic acid, a precursor of the synthesis of bioactive compounds that play important roles in inflammation, immune response, and other physiological processes. Also it makes up 11% of the brain! The quality of the animal fats you buy is important because if the animal was fed a terrible diet, their meat and fat will therefore be full of toxins and when we eat this meat and fat we will be consuming the toxins. Tallow is the fat of a cow and not only is it amazing for your internal body, its also extremely healing for your skin! Some people are worried about using tallow because it comes from an animal but the composition of tallow is something our body recognizes therefore it knows what to do with it and how to properly absorb it for full benefits and healing properties.
- Why we need animal fats – The Weston A. Price Foundation (westonaprice.org)
- Tallow Balm – Original – Toups and Co Organics