Lard isn't a very "nice" word. It's a grade-school insult. It's a whisper in the locker room. And it's a damning accusation against food producers. OR IS IT? Simply put, lard is just fat from pigs. That's all. But what happens when you take an AWESOME pig, bred from heritage stock, and use that lard? You get something EPIC: a cooking fat with neutral flavor, tons of nutrition, and sustainability out the wazoo. EPIC Provisions has made this Pastured Pork Lard into a beautiful healthy part of our lives. Ain't that sweet of them?
Lard is simply this: fat from pigs. That is all. What that means is that the quality of the lard begins with the quality of the pig. And when you start with amazing heritage breed pigs and raise them right, you end up with lard that is worthy of adoration from both culinary and nutritional perspectives. Thanks to EPIC for bringing to us this wonderfully tasty Berkshire Heritage pork lard, all conveniently ready to go from their jars to our kitchen.
This is portable, nutrient-dense, animal fat completely taken to the next level: a user-friendly cooking fat that arrives right at your doorstep and comes from only the best heritage breed pigs. Why go to the store to get pork fatback, then spend hours rendering and straining it into jars in your own kitchen? Well, you could. Some people do. Those people might also write paleo and/or parenting and/or household blogs. Meaning, those people might also have a little bit more time under their own roof to tinker with gourmet cooking. You? You are going to cut right to the chase and get your cooking fat game ON by letting your source come to you. Good move.
Let's get right into it, shall we: How does this taste? Is it really OK to cook with? There are two kinds of people who will love this lard: fans of all things piggy and bacony, and everyone else. Seriously, this is some ridiculously good stuff. But you need to taste it for yourself.
Perhaps the biggest reason this cooking fat is so good for you is that IT IS EASY. There are healthy habits that we all want to practice but haven't gotten up the momentum. Yet. Enter EPIC and their ready to use jars of animal fat. For stew. For toast (eep?!). For eggs. For roasted veggies. For anything you would normally use butter on.
EPIC proudly introduces a line of chef-choice animal based oils guaranteed to transport your culinary adventures to new realms of nourishment and time honored cooking. A staple cooking oil cherished by generations before, EPIC's rendered animal fats are a trusted, pure and stable option. Enjoy a superior cooking oil with seemingly endless limits, just like your culinary imagination. From nose to tail, EPIC Provisions is committed to honoring and utilizing all aspects of the animal. With the newest addition of animal cooking oils, we are furthering our commitment to what we call the “EPIC Whole Animal Project.” Time–tested by our great–great–great grandparents, we are bringing animal oils back into the kitchen where they belong!
The nutrients are higher; the animals are raised in ways that translates their health into yours. EPIC's traditional cooking oil allows them to use more of the whole animal. This “nose to tail” commitment creates more nourishing food from spectacular creatures and produces less waste.
Dr. Andrew Weil, one of my favorite healthy keepers of knowledge, has this to say about lard. "Nutritionally speaking, lard has nearly one-fourth the saturated fat and more than twice the monounsaturated fat as butter. It is also low in omega-6 fatty acids, known to promote inflammation; according to lard enthusiasts free-range pigs that eat greens, not grains, have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Lard has always been prized as a cooking fat because it has a higher smoking point than other fats. For that reason, foods fried in lard absorb less grease. It also has the reputation of producing ultra-flaky pastry crust."
Want to know more? There is a rather, *cough*, EPIC post over at Weston A. Price about the nutritional benefits of all kinds of animal fats. It's worth an in-depth read. The highlights? "Lard or pork fat is about 40% saturated, 48% monounsaturated (including small amounts of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid) and 12% polyunsaturated. Like the fat of birds, the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids will vary in lard according to what has been fed to the pigs. In the tropics, lard may also be a source of lauric acid if the pigs have eaten coconuts. Like duck and goose fat, lard is stable and a preferred fat for frying. It was widely used in America at the turn of the century. It is a good source of vitamin D, especially in third-world countries where other animal foods are likely to be expensive."
Read it all here: http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/the-skinny-on-fats/
It's your new favorite cooking fat. Use it anywhere you need fat. An. Nee. Where. Spread on roasted veggies. Whip it into a sauce. Braise some meat. Dollop on eggs. Use it in anything that you bake.
Rich in antioxidants
Oddly enough, the roots of EPIC were planted shortly after Katie and I became vegetarians. We wrongly believed that a “clean diet” was plant based and in order to replenish our bodies after hard workouts, we consumed large amounts of soy and other highly processed proteins. As a result, we were making ourselves unintentionally sick with gastrointestinal distress and a myriad of inflammatory ailments. Not knowing what to do, we decided to go vegan and when things got worse, we decided to follow a raw food diet.
Unable to maximize our own vigor and wellness, we looked for answers in the whole foods consumed by our human ancestors. Within a week of adopting, what is now called, the "paleo diet" which emphasizes healthy animal fats, grass fed protein, and leafy vegetables, our bodies and minds radiated with exuberance. Through modifying the foods we ate, we reached exciting new levels of performance during competition as well as daily life. Within a few months Katie and I were stronger, faster, and leaner than we had ever been.
We call our product EPIC because it improves the lives of animals, regenerates our bodies, and helps heal the land. Due to an ingredient label unlike anything else, EPIC epitomizes real foods and will always be humane, pasture centered, and most importantly, delicious. May you fill your life with epic adventure and epic health!
"Feed others as you wish to be fed"
EPIC foods begin with a living animal. We set the industry standards by sourcing our meats from ranchers that we deem EPIC. We mandate proof of certifications, which validate that our animals receive the utmost humane treatment. We believe that EPIC animals should always live pasture-centered lives where turkeys forage, pigs wallow, and buffalo roam. This is the way nature intended animals to be and we see ourselves as leaders in recognizing the value of sustainable and responsible animal welfare practices.
Not only do humanely-treated grass-fed animals live better, more natural lives but they place less stress on the land they inhabit. Our animals live on EPIC lands. When properly managed, grass-fed animals can produce a net benefit to the environment. Pasture grazing requires significantly less fossil fuel than a feedlot diet consisting of corn, soy, antibiotics, and hormones. Pastured animals fertilize the land they graze on, which eliminates the fossil fuels required by conventional fertilizing practices. Lastly, grass-filled fields not only hold on to topsoil and moisture but also more effectively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than any other use of land!
Perhaps the most compelling argument for consuming grass-fed meats comes from the EPIC nutrition that is passed on from animal to human. The brilliance of this nutrient transfer is based on how the animals are raised. Grass-fed animals are loaded with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are better for both cardiovascular health and contain anti-inflammatory properties. They also have significantly higher values of vitamins A and E as well as antioxidants.
Everyone! Long lasting satiety comes easily with EPIC's nutrient-dense fat when added to your favorite recipes.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Heck yes!