Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Healthy Fats Coalition?
The Healthy Fats Coalition is a new educational initiative comprised of those who understand that healthy fats aren’t merely having a moment – they’re here to stay, as an essential part of the American diet. The HFC’s mission to create an enlightened conversation about the food we eat, though news and editorial commentary, social media conversations, opinion surveys and more.
Why was the HFC created?
Animal fats have been demonized for too long. As if to drive home that point in dramatic fashion, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine recently released a report implicating the sugar industry for manipulating information to shift responsibility for heart disease away from sugar and toward saturated fat intake.
Fat matters both for taste and for general health and well-being. The reality is that animal fats are not as problematic as they once were thought to be, they have tangible health benefits, and their artificial/manufactured substitutes are far worse than originally thought. The HFC enthusiastically embraces today’s compelling food culture, which is increasingly receptive to animal fats and their varied applications.
In her 2014 New York Times bestseller, Big Fat Surprise (Simon & Schuster), Nina Teicholz put it best: “The rush to banish animal fats from our diets has exposed us to the health risks of [artificial] trans fats and oxidizing vegetable oils. If we had not abandoned meat and dairy, we could still be using lard, tallow, and butter as our principal fats for cooking and eating. These fats are stable, do not oxidize, and have been consumed since the beginning of recorded human history.
“If there’s a silver lining to those low-fat years, it’s this: we learned that fat is the soul of flavor,” Teicholz writes. “Food is tasteless and cooking nearly impossible without fat. Fat is essential in the kitchen to produce crispness and to thicken sauces. It is crucial in conveying flavors. It makes baked goods flaky, moist, and light. And fat has many other, essential functions in cooking and baking.”
If HFC’s goal is to dispel misconceptions, how does the campaign envision doing so?
We recognize that the entire discussion around food, nutrition, healthy eating and balanced diets is confusing at best; at times, the zigs and zags over what to eat and not eat can seem overwhelming. To help fulfill the campaign’s mission to educate, the HFC website includes a Resources page – a one-stop repository of the very latest books, research studies, videos, news articles, public and trade events. Look for the HFC community to expand and deepen this resource over time.
Who is behind the Healthy Fats Coalition?
Coast Packing Company, the leading supplier of animal fat shortenings in the Western U.S., took the lead in organizing the HFC. The Coalition’s founding supporters are an appropriately diverse group. They include the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit, tax-exempt nutrition education initiative; Bottega Americano, a popular Italian restaurant in San Diego; Fatworks, a Boulder, Colo.-based online retailer of premium traditional fats – beef tallow, lard and duck fat; Tendergrass Farms, of Floyd, Virginia, supplier of certified organic processed meat and poultry products: Elizabeth Swenson, author of The Artisan Lard Cookbook; and HeartBrand Beef/Akaushi Cattle, Flatonia, Texas, among others.
For whom is the organization intended?
Anyone for whom the HFC’s goals resonate: food product/service companies, medical professionals, nutritionists and dieticians, bloggers, and more. The Coalition’s organizing principles grew out of a series of conversations with like-minded groups, companies and individuals during the last six months. Through this informal survey of the industry, several basic concepts emerged: the Healthy Fats Coalition is not a trade group; neither should it be in the business of promoting individual products or brands. Rather, it’s an awareness campaign, reflecting the marked change in what Americans think about the health benefits of minimally-processed animal fats. Its mission is simple: affirm that minimally processed, animal fats deserve a central place in the American diet – and in the popular imagination.
Is the Healthy Fats Coalition a 501c3?
Not at this time.
Who is on the board of the Healthy Fats Coalition?
The HFC is currently recruiting board members and technical advisors. Look for an announcement early in 2017.