Monday, January 19, 2009

Interview of the day: Jennifer McLagan

To continue with the food and health related interviews, Salon recently interviewed Jennifer McLagan, author of Fat: An Appreciation of Misunderstood Ingredient:
So how exactly is cooking with animal fat better for us?
Unlike vegetable oils, animal fats are very stable and don't turn rancid easily. This makes them ideal for cooking, which involves heating the fat. And they have no trans fats.
It is much easier to roast a bird or a joint of meat if it has a good quantity of fat. The fat guarantees taste and succulence. Without it, the meat will be dry and tasteless.
Animal fats have lots of good fatty acids that fight disease, help absorb vitamins and lower cholesterol. Your body burns the short-chained fatty acids found in animal fats and stores the long-chained ones found in polyunsaturated fat. It is a myth that eating animal fat makes you fat.
Animal fat also has a good ratio of essential fatty acids. Many of us have a skewed ratio thanks to too much vegetable oil. When this ratio is out of balance, it results in illness and depression.
But best of all, fat -- with its big round molecules -- tastes good, it feels good in your mouth, on your tongue and it carries flavors.

You can read other interviews with McLagan at Modern Forager, and Gremolata.