I know you’re probably thinking didn’t we hash this out back in the 50’s when everyone traded in their butter, chicken and bacon grease for vegetable oil and margarine.  Well I thought we did too, but according to a book that I recently read called “In Defense of Food,” it turns out trading in all of our animal fats for man-made (or pressed) oils wasn’t such a good idea, and may be one of the contributing factors to our nation’s obesity epidemic.  After reading the book,  I started thinking about all of the stuff my grandmother used to do with her jar of grease.  (You know the one that used to sit on top of the stove and continues to sit there to this day).  My grandmother used to make this stuff called goose grease that would get rid of your cold in a hot second.  She used to use it to make greens and cabbage.  And while people may think fried chicken is unhealthy, chicken fried in new grease is nothing like chicken fried in my grandmas (or my moms) one-year-old grease.  So in the interest of trying something new, I’ve started saving the grease from my bacon, fried foods and even baked meats and using them.  Not only does my food taste better, but it’s helping my husband’s dry skin and it aids my family in staying hydrated.  So, here are my list of reasons to use grease over vegetable oil.

1. Vegetable oils are usually genetically modified.

According to “In Defense of Food” vegetable oils, like Canola Oil and even some Olive oils, are pressed in factories and usually come from fields that are heavily sprayed with pesticide.  Canola oil, for instance, is actually a hybrid oil.  That means it was made in a laboratory by ‘mating’ two other seeds.  No, it’s not oil from corn as I ‘d previously thought.  These oils usually have high levels of euric acid which is natural due to their GMO origins.  Euric acid at high levels is poisonous to humans.  So, if you’re using olive oil 5 times a week, you might wanna rethink that.

2. Animal Fats are a by-product of your meat, so it’s kinda free

If you’re baking, frying or even sauteing your chicken or beef, you might as well use the drippings for something.  One thing we can all learn from the Native Americans is that they were not wasteful people.  They used every part of the animals they ate.  As proof from our grandmothers grease jars, animal fats have staying power.  To store your grease all you need is an old spaghetti jar and a funnel (if you’re luck, I’m not).  When you’re finished frying your bacon, wait until it cools and just put the grease in a jar.

3. Animal fats keep your body hydrated and are easy for your body to digest

Animal fats are naturally full of Omega-3 fats.  Because this type of fat is naturally produced in your body, its really easy on your digestive system.  Omega-3 fats also help keep your skin supple and your vital organs hydrated.  Vegetable oils on the other hand are full of poly-unsaturated fats.  These type of fats are very difficult for your body to digest and actually drain your body of fluids during the digestive process.  In addition, vegetable oils are what scientist refer to as “unstable fats.”  That means once vegetable oil is digested it can cause mutation in your cells which leads to cancer.  A blogger by the name of the Wellness Mama hit the nail on the head regarding vegetable oil consumption.  Check out her site here.

4. Vegetable Oil is not good for your growing children

As previously stated, once vegetable oil is digested, it can cause cell mutation.  Well because your kiddies are still growing, which means their cells are constantly dividing, there is greater risk for cell mutation among children who consume vegetable oil. Consumption of too much vegetable oil in children has been linked to hormone production problems, behavior and learning disabilities as well as reproductive system issues.

Here is  a list of  oils and margarine you should probably stay away from:

Canola Oil
Corn Oil
Soybean Oil
“Vegetable” oil
Peanut Oil
Sunflower Oil
Safflower Oil
Cottonseed Oil
Grapeseed Oil
I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter (You better believe it!)
Smart Balance (Not a Smart idea!)
Any fake butter or vegetable oils products

Cynthia Mendoza

Hello. Welcome to BrownMamas.com a blog for Black moms looking to thrive while raising kids in this hectic world and the headquarters for Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a Pittsburgh support group for Black moms. Here I write about raising my three boys, living in and loving Pittsburgh, dating my husband, gardening and all kinds of other stuff. Thanks for visiting. Stay long & come often!

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