A group of like-minded organizations, companies and individuals has formed the Healthy Fats Coalition (HFC), an educational initiative whose mission is to affirm that animal fats deserve a central place in the US diet and in the popular imagination. Coast Packing Company, a leading supplier of animal fat shortenings in the western US, took the lead in organizing the HFC.
The Coalition’s founding supporters include, among others, the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fatworks, Tendergrass Farms, and HeartBrand Beef/Akaushi Cattle. “We feel that animal fats have been demonized for too long,” said Eric R. Gustafson, CEO of Coast Packing Company. “Fat matters both for taste and for general health and well-being.
“The reality is that animal fats have tangible health benefits, are nowhere near as problematic as they once were thought to be, and their artificial/manufactured substitutes are far worse than originally believed,” Gustafson continued. “We see the Coalition embracing today’s compelling food culture, and recognizing that minimally processed animal fats belong in the kitchen — at restaurants and at home.”
The Healthy Fats Coalition is not a trade organization or in the business of promoting individual products or brands, Gustafson pointed out. Although commercial interests are welcome to participate in the campaign, the HFC is not itself a commercial organization. Support for the HFC involves no cost or obligation among participants. The 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.
In her 2014 best-seller The Big Fat Surprise, Nina Teicholz wrote: “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.”