Saturday, September 22, 2007

Are animal fats unhealthy?

Rose has asked about toxins in animal fats. She has heard that you should avoid consuming them because that's where any toxins would be stored. I still haven't had time to find out about this, but I always thought it was the gizzards that would have that problem.

Of course with clean animals, raised organically, it probably wouldn't matter, but we can't always be certain about that.

Does anyone else know or can direct me to a source?

All I have to contribute to the discussion is this quote,

Between 1910 and 1980 many changes took place to the kinds and amounts of fats and oils that people ate...Fats and oils (shortening, margarine, refined salad and cooking oils) account for 57%, dairy products account for 7%, and meat, poultry, and fish account for 31% of the total increase in our fat consumption. The average intake of trans-fatty acids in hydrogenated products rose from zero in 1910 to close to 10% of all fats we consume today... Our use of butter declined to 1/5 of its 1910 level, while our use of margarine increases 9 times. The use of lard went down to about 1/5 of its former level, while the use of vegetable shortenings almost doubled in the same time span...Our annual consumption of sugar rose from 15 pounds per person in 1815 to about 90 pounds in 1910, about 120 pounds in 1980 and about 135 pounds today. Cholesterol intake from foods has remained essentially constant during the last 70 years... consumption of linoleic acid (18:2w6) increased by 170%. The consumption of w3s (LNA, EPA, DHA) decreased to 1/6 of its level in 1850, while w6 (LA, AA) consumption doubled during that time, resulting in widespread w3 deficiency and serious w3:w6 imbalance. Udo Erasmus Fats the Heal, Fats that Kill


kate said...

I've always heard that toxins (if present) accumulate, and therefore are concentrated in the fat. I think that's why they recommend trimming off the fat from your cut of swordfish or whatever if you absolutely must have it while pregnant.

I've heard this mostly in relation to fish, but it makes sense that it would apply to other animals (and humans) as well.

a. borealis said...

This post is so timely for things I've been pondering! I've heard that before as well, but haven't read anything on it.


I HAVE been reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, who insists that it is the LACK of saturated fats in our diets that is contributing to the chronic illnesses plaguing our nation. She promotes animal fats, such as butter, lard, goose, chicken, etc., as well as tropical saturated fats in the way of coconut and palm oil as essential to our health.

According to Fallon, it is precisely what this Udo Erasmus is saying that is killing us: man-made fats, both trans-fats and polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats being canola (largely GMO anyway), and the whole line-up of vegetable oils. [Olive oil is excluded from this list.]

She also makes a big case for eating meat and consuming [raw] dairy products. As far as toxins in animal fats goes, she would advocate that animals be fed their NATURAL DIETS: grass-fed beef, bug-feed chickens, etc. When they are fed mostly GMO grains and soy proteins, stuck in crowded feed lots, we start getting ourselves into trouble. And that is where the crux of the problem would lie: most of our meats in this country live like that. They aren't free to roam or forage, they stand in crowded feed lots and have to be pumped with antibiotics to keep them from getting sick from such tight (and unnatural) quarters.

NT is actually a cookbook, too. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in getting a largely different view of health and vitality from what is currently peddled by our culture. Oh, I should also say: this book says, and I quote, "Soda pop is the veritable drink of the devil" and she/they are VERY DOWN on the consumption of refined sugars or processed grains in any form; not to mention the smorgasbord of processed crap found in our grocery stores.

It is VERY interesting. If you haven't read it, Carrien, I think you'd really enjoy it. It has broadened my mind quite a bit, especially in the realm of lacto-fermented vegetables (a natural probiotic!). I got it from the library, but I'm definitely going to buy it; I think I will reference it extensively in the future.

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