Pork lard – successfully banished!January 28, 2007
A friend took me to Chinatown the other day to eat what he considered “a very good wanton mee” – at the second level of the hawker centre behind Chinatown point. It was good. And, at $2 for quite a large serving, one cannot complain.
I had a minor grouse, however. Something was missing which would have made the noodles more delicious – PORK LARD. No need for a lot. Just a dash of it will do.
Many of us might have forgotten – or are too young to know – the time when wontan noodles came with pork lard. I was reminded of it only recently when I ate a plate in Johor Baru. That dash of pork lard made a difference.
And it occurred to me that pork lard, while not banned, has practically been banished from Singapore. The same with the other type of saturated fat – coconut milk and coconut oil.
It has become so difficult nowadays to find a hawker who fries char kway teow with pork lard. And so it has become so difficult to find a good char kway teow.
Anybody knows a good one, let me know. I had tried asking taxi drivers, especially those who spoke Teochew. The reply I usually get is, “Nowadays hard to find”.
Likewise, it has become hard to find a good bowl of laksa with that lemak flavour of rich coconut milk. Even at Katong, the laska does not seem to be as lemak as it used to be.
And it must have been decades since I last enjoyed a really nice, rich chendol.
I do know, however, of one place at sells youtiao fried in coconut oil. It’s at the market / hawker centre along Ang Mo Kio Ave 4 (Blk 160+ the one with a big carpark in front). Look for the stall with the long queue!
It shows how successful our health authorities have been in putting across the message that saturated fats are bad, bad, BAD!
But this is a misguided message. Saturated fats are not only delicious, but also beneficial to health in many ways. Among other things:
- Saturated fats preserve the integrity of our cell walls. Our cell walls are supposed to be made up of 50 percent saturated fats. No thanks to the big push for switching to polyunsaturated oils, our cell walls have become weakened. And no thanks to trans fats, they have become distorted as well.
- Saturated fats are needed for calcium absorption – which means that the calcium in all those low fat milks don’t get absorbed very well.
- Saturated fats help the body to conserve and utilise beneficial Omega-3 fats.
And so on.
You can read more about the many benefits of saturated fats – and the reasons why they DO NOT cause heart disease and cancer – at my website, www.stop-trans-fat.com.
Having so successfully banished saturated fats from the local food chain, our health authorities are understandably reluctant to eliminate artificial trans fats, especially when many of them are still stuck with the errorneous belief that saturated fats are harmful.
They worry that any attempt to eliminate trans fats will raise the level of saturated fats intake.
There is no need to worry. Throughout the world, humans had always been taking saturated fats as their main form of fat – pork lard in China, butter in Europe, goose fat in parts of France, ghee in India, coconut and palm oil in the tropics… And, I just read in the weekend edition of TODAY newspaper, yak butter in Tibet.
And heart disease, cancer, etc were rare until the last century. In fact, the rates of heart disease, cancer, obesity and other degenerative disease skyrocketed during the last few decades, as recently as the 1970s and 80s, when people began to take less saturated fats.
Even today, countries like Korea have low rates of heart disease and cancer, despite the population eating plenty of beef – all that red meat, saturated fats and cholesterol! Because in places like Korea, the consumption of trans fats and other modern foods is still very low. Click here to learn more.
Go find out more. A good source of information is the Weston Price Foundation – but the articles there tend to be more detailed and more technical, so if you want something easier to digest, go to my website first.
As you find out, you will discover that cholesterol, too, is not harmful but necessary and beneficial for health. People with high cholesterol actually live longer, healthier lives!
So go out and enjoy your char kway teow and laksa… with extra cockles, without any guilt.