Lard Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  10 min read
lard benefits and side effects

HEALTH

Energy: lard is bad for / increases the risk of

Longevity: lard is bad for / increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol

Appearance: lard is bad for / increases the risk of weight gain

Lard is…

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: moderate, 4,325 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of pig fat or lard / 518 gallons of water used to produce 1 pound of pig fat or lard

Carbon footprint: high, 40.1 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of animal fats, a car driving equivalent of 92.5 miles or 149 kilometers

Destruction: high, lard production is relatively destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction

Lard is…

ANIMALS

Kills: pigs, 170,000+ pigs die in transport per year, more than 420,000 crippled by the time they get to slaughterhouse, improper stunning methods and fast line speeds means many live through intended slaughter and still alive as they’re dumped into hair-removal tanks, killed by drowning in scalding-hot water

Harms: pigs, entire lives crowded tightly in warehouses, kept on drugs to grow faster, many become crippled under their own bulk, forced to live in their own feces, vomit and amid corpses of other pigs, conditions so filthy more than one-quarter of pigs suffer from mange, mother pigs spend most of their lives in tiny “gestation” crates, which are so small they cannot turn around or lie down comfortably, piglets taken from their distraught mothers after a few weeks, tails chopped off, teeth clipped off with pliers and males castrated; all without painkillers

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife, habitat contamination (water/soil pollution), wildlife habitat destruction (deforestation/land clearing)

Lard is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: hazardous, meat processing workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the USA, the work environment in processing plants is dirty, dangerous, at times machines that injure workers by crushing, amputating, burning and slicing them, workers use tools such as knives, hooks, scissors, and saws, injuries include cuts, stabs, infections, scars, scratches, missing fingers, swollen joints, working conditions are humid, slippery, loud, hot or below freezing resulting in respiratory problems, skin infections and falls, workers experience

Living conditions: poor, workers must process thousands of animals per day, they are pressured to work as fast as possible, rest breaks and bathroom breaks are discouraged or denied, many workers must wear diapers, they experience stress, physical and emotional pain

Wages: low, in the USA workers are poorly compensated and earn under $15 an hour, they are often pushed to work faster so companies can profit more

Lard has…

What is lard?

Lard is pig fat.

Where does most lard come from?

The world’s top lard exporting country is Germany, followed by France, Spain, USA, Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, Austria and Sweden.

Is lard nutritious?

No. Lard is high in cholesterol, saturated fat, monounsaturated fats and oleic acid.

lard is acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is lard alkaline or acidic? Lard is an acidic food.

When you eat food, it is broken down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

lard is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is lard gluten free? Yes, lard is naturally gluten free.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include: recurring abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, tingling, numbness in hands and feet, chronic fatigue, joint pain, unexplained infertility and low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis).

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

lard is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is lard a common food allergen? No, lard is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to lard but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods is often referred to as the Big-8 and includes milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. 

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

lard has a moderate water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does lard have a high or low water footprint? Lard has a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of lard? It takes 4,325 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of pig fat or lard / 518 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of pig fat or lard.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

lard has a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does lard have a high or low carbon footprint? Lard has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of lard? It takes around 40.1 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of animal fats, a car driving equivalent of 92.5 miles or 149 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating product emissions, some factors that may be included are… farm equipment, animal feed production, hothouses (greenhouses), food processing, packaging, transport, refrigeration, freezing, package waste, and more.

There are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

lard is unsustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is lard eco friendly? Is lard sustainable?

Lard production is relatively unsustainable.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

lard is not vegan.

vegan pork alternative

Is lard vegan? No, lard is not vegan. Lard is the fatty tissue of the pig, therefore making it an animal-derived food. A pig must be killed in order to produce lard. 

According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

lard may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is lard a product with laborer concerns?

Yes. At this time there are human rights concerns with livestock production.

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Sources:

Lard – FoodData Central

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.