Mondays With Millie: What Happened to Animal Fats?

Homemade Butter
Homemade Butter

I enjoy reading books like the Little House on the Prairie series. I especially love these book for the descriptions of the food and food preparations. In one of the books Laura goes into detail about how ma makes butter and molds it.  In other similar style (fiction) books I’ve read many descriptions of making butter and also lard or even just wishing for a goose to be able to have good fat for baking.  In the one of the movies based on the Love Comes Softly book series, the neighbor brings over bear fat as a house warming gift.

While many of these are fictional accounts, during the times these books are set these would have been the kind of fats widely available and used.  So what changed? When and why did we move from natural fats to processed fats such as canola, margarine and Crisco?

“What was garbage in 1860 was fertilizer in 1870, cattle feed in 1880, and table food and many things else in 1890” Popular Science on cottonseed.

How did this happen? How did cottonseed go from garbage to food in such a short amount of time. Money and marketing. Read more about it in this excerpt from The Happiness Diet; How Vegetable Oils Replaced Animal Fats in the American Diet.

Want to learn more about the differences between natural fats and man-made fats? Check out The Skinny on Fats and The Oiling of America. Both go very in-depth and give wonderful details. Plus my own thoughts and transition from low-fat thinking to natural fat thinking, Relearning the Importance of Fat— believe me, it wasn’t easy to thing of fat as ‘good’!

What are you thoughts on fat? Have you come to a place where you can embrace natural fats or are you still wary of the idea that fat is good?

Photo from me: Millie @ Real Food for Less Money

Quote take from How Vegetable Oils Replaced Animal Fats in the American Diet.

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