Cooking with animal fats vs. “vegetable oils”
Lard is pork fat, tallow is beef fat and schmaltz is chicken or duck fat and If you were to go to the supermarket and pick up a ready-made product and see one of these fats in it, or wanted to try a recipe which called for one of these fats, chances are you would cringe. We have been conditioned to think that animal fat consumption is a quick way to an early death by clogging our arteries and the opposite is true with the consumption of vegetable oils such as canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed oil, and soy, as a substitute for animal fats. However, don’t be fooled by the stereotypical profiles of each and especially the wholesomeness of the above mentioned “vegetable oils” because the truth is more complex than that. These oils typically seen in many products at the supermarket are hardly vegetables. Some fall under the umbrella of industrial oils, have had their genetics modified, and have been tampered with in other ways in the past few decades that make me question their healthfulness over a long exposure time.