Fat Phobia

Hooray for Greg Atkinson, food writer for the Pacific Northwest Magazine of the Seattle Times! In his article, “Beyond Fat Phobia,” he extols the virtues of butter, bacon, lard, and natural oils as he traces the disastrous history of trans fats, which he labels as “unnecessarily chemically altered food.”

Finally, someone comes to the defense of the good, natural fats that have taken the blame for the mess created by the artificial junk that has been heavily promoted as heart-healthy alternatives. Even venerable olive oil has been largely displaced by highly processed rapeseed oil, renamed canola.

When my husband and I visited Poland this spring, we enjoyed one of the country’s national dishes, fried lard. It was part of almost every meal. Even the breakfast buffets in the hotels featured a crock of creamy lard, flecked with browned bits, to slather on thick slices of bread. France is known for food that fairly floats in butter, duck fat, goose fat and heavy cream. Their ultimate luxury—rich, silky lobes of foie gras, which must be cooked very tenderly lest they dissolve into a pool of very expensive grease.

Back home in the good old USA, the stores are full of fat-free and low-fat products, substitutes for butter and eggs, and boneless, skinless, tasteless cuts of meat, yet we are the fattest and most medicated people in the world. It is counterintuitive, but undeniable: eating fat doesn’t make you fat any more than eating peaches makes you fuzzy.

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