United by Advocacy of Fresh Approach to Consumption of Animal Fats, Diverse Group Joins Growing Awareness Campaign
Opening its umbrella to cover an eclectic new group of supporting organizations, the Healthy Fats Coalition today welcomed to its ranks a chef, a pig farmer, a doctor, a camel milk producer and a holistic nutritionist, among others. The HFC is a new educational initiative dedicated embracing healthy fats as an essential part of a balanced diet.
As an awareness campaign, the Healthy Fats Coalition reflects the marked change in how Americans think about the health benefits of healthy, minimally-processed animal fats. The HFC is fostering an enlightened conversation about the food we eat, through news and editorial commentary, social media conversations, opinion surveys and more. Its mission is simple: affirm that animal fats deserve a central place in the American diet and in the popular imagination.
New to the Healthy Fats Coalition:
- Walid Abdul-Wahab, head of Desert Farms, the first brand in the U.S. to commercialize the sale of camel’s milk, a highly nutritious whole food that packs enough nutrients to sustain a person throughout an entire day. Desert Farms’ vision is to promote the healthy dairy beverage as “the next super food.”
- Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP - Founder of Tuit Nutrition and author of The Alzheimer's Antidote. After years spent doing “all the right things” to lose weight and maintain optimal health but failing to experience the expected results, Berger discovered through her research that much of what we currently believe about “healthy diets” is simply incorrect. Having learned the hard way, she has dedicated her career to showing others that vibrant health does not require starvation, deprivation, or living at the gym: “Men and women cannot live by lettuce alone. Real people need real food!” Berger has a master’s degree in Human Nutrition and is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
- Torie Borrelli, founder of The Vida Well, a wellness brand rooted in holistic nutrition and wholesome living. An Integrative Holistic Nutritionist natural chef, Borrelli draws on her heritage with Mexican and Italian cuisine. She works alongside naturopaths, chiropractors and doctors around the world and is committed to educating and inspiring her clients through one-on-one consultations, health assessments, food education and personalized programs that help combat leading chronic diseases. She is currently working on the first Mexican Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook focusing on high-fat foods.
- Cassy Burnside, founder, FATCO, a paleo-friendly brand that uses tallow (beef fat) to craft simple, deeply nourishing personal care products (“Real food for your skin.”). Based in Lake Tahoe, FATCO is handcrafted using healthy fats to nourish the skin.
- Jenni Calihan, founder of Eat the Butter, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging mothers to buy whole, full-fat food for their families and engage in what Calihan calls “vintage eating.” She reaches out to mothers through Twitter, Facebook and her blog, and also through speaking (see TEDx, “Take Back Your Plate”). She believes real-food-more-fat eating is our best defense against chronic disease, and is committed to building a grassroots movement.
- Amy & Thierry Farges, whose M.A.D. Foods produces compound butters, organic butter, and rendered duck fat for the specialty gourmet market. Aux Délices des Bois’ luscious, full fat Black Truffle Butter (sofi Gold, Outstanding New Product 2008) and White Truffle Butter enjoy a national reputation in retail and foodservice markets. Duck Fat, free of additives, serves both retail and industrial markets. M.A.D. Foods President Thierry Farges sources and packs butter in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. Says Farges: “The flavors of our wholesome fats are informed by our French background and delivered through 100 percent American ingredients.”
- Brittany & Andre Hogan, founders of Nefertem Naturals, leaders in grass fed tallow skincare. Their proprietary formulas have discovered the secret to infusing the power of nature into daily routine. By combining organic plant oils and tallow from grass fed cattle, this artisan skincare company provides a unique touch to personal skincare products.
- Lisa Howard of The Cultured Cook, author of two cookbooks -- The Big Book of Healthy Cooking Oils and Healthier Gluten-Free – and a regular contributor to magazines like Allrecipes and Eating Well. Her dishes are based on three principles: health, affordability and flair. A big part of that three-pronged focus means choosing whole grains and natural sweeteners over their refined counterparts.
- Alphonsus (Alfie) McCaffrey, proprietor of OldFarm, in Lorrha, North Tipperary, Ireland. From his free range pig farm, McCaffrey’s has sold award-winning pork and bacon on-line directly to consumers, offering next-day delivery via a courier system. He recently switched to a “grow to order” business model, enabling consumers to order a full or half-pig for delivery when the animal is mature.
- Sammy Pepys, founder of Fat is Our Friend, a resource dedicated to questioning today's conventional wisdom in the areas of diet and health, notably the lack of progress on tackling growing rates of type-2 diabetes, obesity and related diseases. Pepys advocates low-carb diets as a way to improve health and increase energy levels.
- Diana Rodgers, RD, NTP of Sustainable Dish, is a "real food" nutritionist, author, and sustainability advocate who lives on a working organic farm. Rodgers is on a mission to help people regain their health by eating nutrient-dense foods. She is a staff writer for Paleo Magazine, contributes regularly to several blogs and has been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Outside Magazine, and Mother Earth News. She hosts The Sustainable Dish Podcast and is a popular speaker at universities and conferences internationally on nutrition, sustainability and food policy issues.
- Chef Ryan Ross, a private chef and consultant based in Bow, Washington, and a 2015 winner on The Food Network’s “Chopped.” A Virginia native, Ross grew up drinking green juices in her mother’s health food store and later attended the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. There, she mastered health-supportive cuisine and became an accredited chef.
- Dr. Cate Shanahan, a board certified family physician and author of Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food. Dr. Shanahan practiced in Hawaii, where she studied ethnobotany and her healthiest patients’ culinary habits. She has served as a nutrition consultant for the Los Angeles Lakers, and currently holds teaching appointments at three medical schools and practices in Newtown, Conn.
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 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.
“Kudos to the Healthy Fats Coalition for shining a bright light on ‘good fats’ – substances like butter, tallow and lard -- which are neither refined nor highly processed,” said Dr. Shanahan. “Good fats are beneficial to health and digestion, and they’re a big reason why we enjoy good food. I’m pleased and proud to join with those who are likewise committed to telling a compelling, positive story about the food we eat.”
“We’re delighted to welcome these supporters to the campaign,” said Eric R. Gustafson, Coast Packing CEO. “We all agree that natural animal fats have been demonized for too long, and that the HFC exists to remind everyone that animal fats are a big part of today’s dynamic food culture.”
“Minimally processed animal fats belong in the kitchen, at restaurants and at home,” said Ernie Miller, Coast Packing’s Corporate Chef. “The HFC recognizes 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 – which is why education is so crucial. “ To help fulfill the campaign’s mission to inform, the HFC website includes a Resources page – a one-stop repository of the latest books, research studies, videos, news articles, public and trade events.
HFC is not a trade organization or in the business of promoting individual products or brands. Although commercial interests are welcome to participate in the campaign, the HFC is not itself a commercial organization. Support of the HFC involves no cost or obligation among participants. The Healthy Fats Coalition asks only that supporters post the HFC badge on their websites and various social media channels, and add their voices and ideas to the ongoing conversation.