Fats - additional resources

The Independent on Sunday (UK) for 6 October 2002 published a two-page spread on fats in food by Michael Bateman.  Although Bateman made the common error of conflating organic food and Paleo food (for example, extolling the consumption of whole milk as well as the consumption of naturally occurring fats in preference to hydrogenated fats), he was generally positive.  Here are some quotes - a real gem first:

‘Perhaps the mood was best summarized by David Wilson, who runs Prince Charles’s Home Farm, part of the Highgrove Estate: “I really think there’s a lack of commonsense in peoples’ attitudes to fat.  If they’re served meat, they’ll leave the fat on the side of the plate – as if in disgust.  Then they’ll eat processed cakes and confectionaries which contain unhealthy hydrogenated fats”’.

(Duchy originals is an organic producer, producing biscuits etc.  For more information see http://www.duchyoriginals.com/)


'David Lidgate, fifth-generation butcher, London.  "I love the fat we get on our beef, especially the Aberdeen Angus and other native breeds from as far north as possible; the grass is best there.  Some UK breeds, because they absorb nutrients from the pasture so well, have a yellower fat through the meat and around the outside of the cut.  It's buttery and, though not all fats are the same, this is healthy.  Fry it in a griddle pan so some of the fat is absorbed into the meat, and you don't need to add any oil...the same goes for lamb.  We're coming to the end of the Welsh lamb season, though the salt marsh lamb fat is lovely, but you can still easily get Shetland heather- and grass-fed lamb because the spring arrives later up there.  Again, the fat is yellow, and it bastes the meat.  Simply roast it."'


'... but eating animal fat, it it's well-produced, from animals that have themselves eaten all the right things and led the right lifestyle (good pasture, fresh air freedom to stretch their legs) should be back on your table.'


'Rick Stein, TV cook.  "I've been travelling the country meeting producers, and I keep finding people with rare breeds that taste so nice.  These older breeds (as opposed to animals bred to meet commercial pressures for higher lean-meat content) have more fat on them and that's why they taste better."'


'Michel Roux opened his three-star restaurant, The Waterside Inn, 30 years ago.  "I like nothing more than a good entrecote steak with a bit of fat.  Fat on free range chicken is firm and smells good.  but if you get a factory bird, it has a different kind of fat; there's nothing you can do except throw it away"'.


Finally, Bateman's summary of the science:  'It does get scientific, but here's a very simplified version.  Refined carbohydrates are converted very quickly into blood sugar.  So, after pigging out on your oh-so-healthy carbs, your blood sugar levels rocket.  So the body produces huge levels of insulin, to take the sugar out of the blood.  But this makes you feel hungry again.  So you eat more carbs, and - well, you get the idea.  In essence, people got fatter because they became hungrier than ever, because they were eating so much "healthy" rice, bread and pasta.

Now nutritionists are going a step further.  Not only is carbohydrate perhaps not the best thing to base your diet on, they say, but animal fat is not so bad after all.'

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