Bacon grease: The fountain of youth?
August 10th, 2010
07:30 PM ET
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We pore through all our readers' comments, because we're masochists interested like that, and we can't help but notice trends popping up. Sometimes, it's people spreading jelly on grilled cheese sandwiches. This time, it's octo and nonagenarian relatives who eat or ate purportedly unhealthy foods - in this case, mostly bacon grease - on a regular basis because gosh darn it, why stop now?

okbob
My grandfather ate pork at every meal starting with bacon in the morning and fried in lard pork chops all his life. It finally killed him at the age of 92. My wife and I are close to 70, in good health and love our meat. I'm not knocking the veggies because we eat lots of greens but meat has been getting a bad rap ever since Disney started cartooning.

BillinCA
For those of you on their high horse, eat healthy snobs, I will bet you a pretty penny any given day that, on average, you will not live longer then average person that eats to his/her enjoyment. I had two great grandparents that ate bacon grease in their food on a daily basis and lived into their mid 90s. And I have read stories of people dropping dead in their 40s and 50s while they did everything "right". No, I am not in denial, some foods do kill you, but sometimes you can take it too far by living in fear.

Daffydil
So some of you think if you eat this way you will die sooner, or if you eat nothing but vegetables you will live longer? My grandmother lived to be 105 and her sister is still alive, while my mother is 85 and ALL of them grew up on foods like the article states. [Ed. note: fat drippings, buttermilk, gelatin] Don't be an idiot! It's not just the foods you eat; attitude has a whole lot to do with health and from what I'm reading most of you will die young.

Craig Shearer
I grew up in a country home, being raised by a grandmother that hailed from the South. She used nothing but bacon grease and REAL butter to cook, in Cast Iron everything. Milk, unpasteurized from the cow in the barn. She died at the age of 89, a very slender lady all of her life. My grandfather, who ate that cooking his whole life died at 83.

Arick
My grandfather ate all the pork, lard, and grease he wanted and ate it every day. He was as thin as a toothpick and lived to 96 years old. Of course, he had tons of physical activity.

mauney-mom
My mawmaw always says that bacon grease will do everything from start a gravy to flavor beans to worm your cats, I grew up on corn bread, fried taters, and peas. Do you actually need anything else to have comfort food?

Marcus
One of my Grandmothers told me quite seriously that I needed to eat my toast with the bacon and eggs to soak up the grease from the bacon.

Dennis in Memphis
Yum. Bacon grease. My grandmother used to serve it poured over wilted lettuce!

Anecdotal? Sure. But until Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us otherwise, we're chugging bacon fat smoothies for breakfast, lunch, dinner and every last snack attack.

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    February 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  2. jeff

    What about the nitrates and nitrites that is now in bacon?

    November 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  3. Peggy

    Yes, I agree, we have a problem. Today's world is depressingly different from the old one and a lot of us are heart
    broken about it. We need to change out focus. We need to find or invent something that specifically cleans out the
    the blood vessels and artery walls so that we can eat the foods we love. Man has learned to keep things clean in the
    outter world. Now it is time to learn how to get the nooks and crannies of our inner body's clean without having to be
    condemned to a life of eating just fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are fine as long as we can eat the other
    delicious foods. An apple does absolutely nothing for me if I am hungry. I want some food ! Then I will gladly crunch
    on an apple.

    October 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  4. Kolby

    How I think of it is back in the days they all grew their crops sold some to the market/stores , cows all were grass fed chickens were running around. Everything in my eyes was perfect. People would walk to work ride a bike exc. now it's all fast farmers spray there crops with pesticides inject there meats with hormones theres a McDonald's Burger King on every cornor, people drive their cars to work while drinking Starbucks all these new ingredients in are foods. Pretty soon noones gunna live past 60.

    June 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  5. Youthenjoy

    Very great article, written quite well, thank you sharing! A healthy body is a good sex life foundation.
    weight loss pills

    August 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  6. Name*barbara

    Bacon fast is the best! If they made bacon scented candles and they lit them before a house showing, the house would sell far quicker than any others.
    I say easy it but savor the flavor, and you will easy less and be far more satisfied than gulping down a full pound!
    Try it! My cholesterol was 396 and I got it down to 280 by using my theory! I still get the satisfying meat, just don't eat nearly as much.

    January 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  7. Brian

    I love all the "my grandma lived to 94" people on here. Okay, so you know one person out of the 100 billion or so that have ever walked the earth that ate meat everyday and lived a long life. Don't get me wrong, I love meat, but in moderation.

    December 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  8. Adam

    You can't compare what our parents/grandparents/great-grandparents did to our lifestyle. Our ancestors ate out of necessity to live. We eat for pleasure. Our ancestors worked long, hard hours of manual labor to do whatever it takes to earn enough money to provide for their family. We sit behind a desk for hours a day at work to go home and sit in front of a television all night. Our ancestors flavored their food with bacon grease (maybe a tablespoon at a time) while we devour 3,000 calorie chocolate shakes and 2,500 calorie appetizers.

    I'm not saying we can't eat bacon grease or even that 3,000 calorie chocolate shake, but you can't do that AND sit on your backside all day long expecting to live to 105. It's not going to happen.

    October 12, 2010 at 8:59 am | Reply
  9. Swoop

    the key here is cooking for yourself, knowing what is going into your food, having a relationship with your diet. Everyone mentions the older generations and how they lived well eating meat and crap and etc etc.. food quality has changed enormously and the origin of your food as well. we have products made with chemicals to preserve its "freshness" for up to six months, where they are grown and packaged out of country, with less laws regarding food quality. .. you get my point.. the problem with people today is a matter of choice and convience our population are only looking for the quick fix in everything, even with food. how many fast food joints can you name, eating late is our new culture and sitting behind a desk for 9 hours is our lifestyle.. old gramps most likely had a manual labor job, something that kept him moving. working off those calories.. i could go on and on and on.. but one things for sure.. the meat that your examples ate aka "back in my day up hill in the snow both ways" people.... is definitely not the meat that we (the facebook 50% plus obesity) people.. eat now a days..

    August 23, 2010 at 3:36 am | Reply
  10. grease is great

    Everyone needs Vitamin G (grease).

    August 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  11. Matt

    Last spring, I went trout fishing with an 86 year old man who served under General Patton in WWII. He started his day with 3 eggs and 6 slices of bacon. NO TOAST. Bread is bad he says. He trudged 3 miles up a North Carolina river. When he was a 1l2 mile ahead of me, he turned around and head back down the river. At 44, I could not keep up. I eat salad and yogurt and pop Lipotor. I can't keep up with an 86 year old man who eats bacon, eggs and steak. You figure it out.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  12. Paul

    Pity the muslims can't enjoy this

    August 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  13. Jay

    Emile, check this out

    August 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  14. Vanilla Gorilla

    oink ! oink!
    have been a fan of the "other white meat" for over 60 years and it is a featured meat on the grill at least twice a week
    bacon grease is used to flavor the bison and venison goose fat is used to fry potatoes – also use it with some grape seed oil to coat veggies and fish before they hit the grill
    the key is where the pork was raised and how our bison and pork is farmed raised without any additives or growth hormones it is butchered to our specifications
    bacon grease is a must for the ground bison otherwise it would be too dry to make patties etc
    everything in moderation

    August 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  15. Russ Marchewka

    I'm writing a series on dietary fat right now. This is all very interesting, BUT also sad. A lot of good points about the processing of food and chemicals being the culprits but diet goes a long way in determining our quality of life. How many of us actually have the ability to live a "farm lifestyle" now? Read up on improving your chances for health on The Body Blog at http://www.worldhealthhub.com

    August 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  16. Boka

    Bacon is so very bad for you. Only an idiot would think bacon is healthy. If you like it and enjoy it than good for you. But don't insult our intelligence and tell us it's healthy to eat bacon or bacon grease.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Saturated Fat Girl

      I, too, used to think this because that is what we are all taught: stay away from saturated fats. After doing intense research, I've discovered that not only is this completely false, there is absolutely NO research to back up what the government has made us believe isn't good for us. If you have time and are intelligent enough to find the studies that have been completed, before being altered by the government, you'll discover for yourself that you should eat more bacon ; -)

      September 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Reply
      • _

        >intense research
        >cites no sources

        March 19, 2013 at 1:40 am | Reply
      • Colly Flower

        Thank you! It appears that many of the nay sayers have not aquainted themselves with naturopathic medicine information, nor read the countless studies that show the importance of fats in the diet. Knowledge is increasing at such a rapid rate and even cholesterol has had its many parts broken down. I've been reading the comments on bacon fat across several websites and virtually all of those who are adamantly against fats do not understand their role in both the absorption of certain nutrients to the transmission of information in your brain. This is not to say that prudence should be abandoned, just that the ones who lived before us were not necessarily on the wrong track, even when it came to cooking foods all day. Italians have cooked tomato sauces all day long and guess what? Lycopene in the tomatoes is released and made available in cooking (no mention of how long). I like to read what the naturopathic doctors say because the hold these so called studies to the fire and tell you exactly why the info is skewed and about any connections to industries that may benefit from the studies. I do agree that exercise is an important element of health, but it doesn't have to be as extreme as some enjoy. Simple walking on a regular basis will go along way.

        June 29, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  17. elliemae

    All these 90+ year olds lived the majority of their life eating meat/ grease/ eggs etc that hadn't been shot up with hormones, fed ground up ill cows etc. It's not the food that'll kill you now- it's the frankensteinian methods they use to produce it.

    August 16, 2010 at 6:23 am | Reply
    • Colly Flower

      Yes, and we have a start on correcting the GMO disaster now that people are waking up. Europe and Japan are way ahead of us in dealing with this issue. The main media outlets are not printing the real news about GMOs and also the protests about them. Most of what we get in the way of news comes from foreign publications, unless we go looking for the info ourselves. Please do become informed. We need every voice.

      June 29, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  18. Leebrary

    It's not diet, it's not exercise, and it's not attitude that are the prime determiners of quality longevity or even just simple longevity. The primary factor is genetics with a boost from access to quality health care. My great grandparents lived until they were 95 and 94 respectively. They ate a standard (at that time) daily diet of eggs, bacon, potatoes, green chile, beans, rice, and various main courses fried in lard or butter and lots of dairy along with fairly regular dulces. For as long as I knew them, they would best be described a mildly corpulent. My great-grandfather, Ignaccio, could not be active because he lost his left leg at the age of 14 in 1898.They both lived long enough to see their 5th generation, my two oldest children and it was a quality life and they were independent. My great grandmother died peacefully in her sleep in 1976. I contend my great grandfather would still be alive today if his neighbor's husband hadn't come home unexpectedly early one day. It was truly a quality life!

    August 16, 2010 at 12:43 am | Reply
  19. KTH

    Do ya think hard work had anything to do with it instead of sitting on your butt all day? Outside of that I would have to say it more about processed foods that anything else
    .

    August 15, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  20. Bob

    This is absurd. My father and his brothers grew up eating everything fried in bacon greese. The eldest died of heart disease and he was a top track runner in his home state, and my father recently had a quadruple heart bypass. Some of you say, "oh, my family ate pork every meal and lived til a 100 while staying skinny." Maybe they ate in moderation, just as people are supposed to with all foods. A dietician once told me, "eat whatever you want, as long as you do not exceed 2,000 calories daily."

    August 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  21. HeartAttack

    I don't doubt that southern food is awesomely delicious, but given how fat most southerners are, I hesitate to take culinary or dietary advice from them. Sorry, Mississippi, but you are ridiculously out of shape. A total lack of self-respect seems to be on the menu in the south, so pardon me all over the place if I don't pour bacon grease on my Caesar salad.

    August 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  22. joe#2

    I eat mostly meat, dairy, very few carbs, and do not trim the fat off of my meat. I save all my bacon grease and use it to cook chicken and pork chops. Not only am I in great shape, but I lost weight eating this way!

    August 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  23. bill mcmasters

    Among other commonly eaten meats, pork is usually the highest in monounsaturated fatty acids, the sought after kind found most notably in avocados and avocado oil. So pork in moderation can be part of a healthy diet, especially if organic and from lean cuts, and preserved and prepared without or with a minimum of sodium, other preservatives and chemical food additives.

    August 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  24. Momo

    It's not necessarily how long you live, but your quality of life. The more meat and grease you eat, the fatter you are. I keep it to a minimum and I have a great body. Women love it. Eat all you want fatty; I like getting laid.

    August 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  25. Stephj

    I chose Other.

    I avoid meat grease because it gives me the sh!ts, compete with preliminary cramps. Some people's systems can handle it, but I can't. Yes, i grew up eating bacon and fun stuff like that. Having a late intro in life isn't the reason behind the bad as I'm aware. If your body reacts badly to it, don't eat it. A lot of people have been overdoing it for some time, and they pay for it. If you dont exercise, you can exascerbate the problem. It's a matter of moderation. If I'm lucky I can eat greasy stuff sparingly (like, once a month) and not suffer for it even with my three intense cardio workouts a week.

    August 15, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  26. Vickie Johnson

    I'm 44 yrs old and have been on the Atkin's diet for a month now. On this diet, you eat meat, eggs, cheese and non carb veggies and no sugar or bread at all. I have also been eating berries. Hesitant at first, I've been eating quite a bit of bacon (blotted on paper towels). I'm shocked and happily surprised so far to have lost 15 lbs and my skin is looking younger, honest! I feel so much better! I thought that meat was suppose to be bad for you, but maybe it's only bad when you add carbs and sugar to it. I'm feeling energetic for the first time in years and my doctors are cheering me on and haven't tried to talk me out of my diet. Apparently, they have other patients losing weight as well. If it kills me, at least I'm living out my last years feeling energetic and healthy. I would recommend it to anyone.

    August 15, 2010 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • Bob

      Good luck with them kidney stones.

      August 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      This story proves nothing. Smokers have lived past 100. Does that mean smoking won't kill you?

      August 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  27. G. Zea

    My wife's 92 year old aunt has had a sausage biscuit everyday for breakfast since she was little girl. However, she also has eaten garden fresh veggies during the growing season and canned out her own garden in the winter. Somehow I don't think bacon grease is the key to longevity or a healthy life.

    August 15, 2010 at 10:31 am | Reply
  28. ricky

    Keywords here on Grandparents. They acutally did physical work!! Even in eh housewrok. No A/C. So they sweted off fat and drank plenty of water . No wwe drink high frctose corn syrup, sit on forn tof our computers, ride our lawnmowers nad drive everywhere. Our kids have NO physical outlets.(Soccer doesn't count). We are ending up like
    the people in the movie Wal-E. We are becoming fat and lazy whiners. So we will end up like the Romans.
    MORE GREASE!!More sweating!!! More working!! Less playiing with your"apps".

    August 15, 2010 at 10:27 am | Reply
  29. ed dugan

    My grandmother rendered her own lard and used to spread it on bread with a little salt and pepper. It was great! Of course it must have taken its toll. I'm 82 and still weigh 165. Fat people are fat because they make themselves fat and most have no personal pride in how they look. If they did they would do anything they could to keep their weight in the normal range. Wow, talk about being anti PC.

    August 15, 2010 at 10:16 am | Reply
  30. Pete

    The bacon is good fat but watch out for the bread. It will kill you.

    August 15, 2010 at 6:52 am | Reply
  31. Beth Boyle

    Both of my Mother's parents ate it and lived into their 90s. I wouldn't go hog wild and eat it every day but people who are scared of a bit O'Bacon are silly.

    August 15, 2010 at 2:37 am | Reply
  32. Orkin

    Epic fail. Yes, it's very true that a dietary path to death is a complicated one, and no single thing is going to kill you. However, there are things that are proven to contribute negatively to your quality of life and chance of contracting certain illnesses and conditions. If bacon was the only bad thing you ate, you're probably doing pretty well, but it doesn't change the fact that it's not a wise dietary choice, and most of us eat enough crap that we don't need an excuse to eat worse.

    August 15, 2010 at 1:49 am | Reply
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