Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Earlier this year, someone asked me what the best survival food is, and to my own surprise, I realized I didn’t have an answer. Acorns are great if you’re living off the grid. Potatoes are an excellent choice if you have a survival garden. Pemmican is awesome for preppers who like to cook. But the best…?
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Here are 20 reasons why…
1. You Can Use It For Deep Frying
Thanks to its high melting and smoke point, lard is excellent for deep-frying foods, where very high temperatures are a must. Since one of the easiest ways to cook with a propane stove is deep-frying vegetables and meats such as fish, having a supply of lard available means that you will always be able to use propane to deep fry foods, even when the electricity is out.
2. You Can Use It As a Suntan Lotion
While actual suntan lotion is going to be much more effective at blocking out the sun’s harmful rays, lard can work too in a pinch. Lard can also be applied to the skin if you already have a sunburn to help soothe the irritation and help it heal a little faster.
3. You Can Make Candles Out Of It
Candles are always useful in a disaster scenario. In the absence of electricity, you can use candles to light your house or even make a candle stove out of them. However, since candles are a consumable product, there’s a good chance you may run out. If you have lard, though, you can make all the candles you need at any time. Here’s how to make lard candles.
4. You Can Use It As a Lip Balm
Chapped lips are never any fun. If you find yourself spending more time in the elements – as will likely be the case in a survival scenario – dry, chapped lips can become even more of a problem. When you run out of lip balm, though, lard can be used as well to help keep your lips moisturized.
5. You Can Make It Into Pemmican
In most cases, lard is used to cook with rather than used as the main ingredient in a dish. In the case of pemmican, though, lard is one of the primary ingredients. Pemmican is one of the oldest travel/survival foods in the world thanks to its long shelf life and high caloric content.
To make your own pemmican, all you need is some form of dried meat and lard. You can also add dried fruits as well for extra flavor and nutrients. To learn how to make pemmican using lard, check out this video.
6. You Can Put It On Rashes
Lard can be used to soothe a wide range of rashes – from poison ivy to chickenpox – in order to help reduce the irritation and itching. Lard can also be placed on insect bites as well to achieve the same effect.
7. You Can Use It As a Lubricant
If you don’t have a can of WD-40 lying around, a pinch of lard can serve as an effective lubricant. Coat screws with lard to prevent them from seizing up, use it on metal parts that are rubbing together, or use it in any other situation where you might use more common forms of lubricant. Lard may not be as easy to get into tight spaces as a pressurized, liquid lubricant, but it does do the job quite well.
8. You Can Use It To Prevent Rust
Fighting against rust is a constant battle when you are exposing metal items such as firearms and tools to the elements. If you have anything metal you would like to keep rust-free, rub it down with lard from time to time. The lard with serve as a waterproof coating, keeping moisture off of the metal so that rust never has a chance to form.
9. You Can Make Deodorant Out Of It
Deodorant may not be an absolute necessity in a survival situation, but it is something that both you and the people around you are sure to appreciate. If you run out of actual deodorant, you can make your own using lard. The lard will serve as an all-natural antiperspirant, and you can add fragrance to the deodorant to help further block the stink by mixing in your favorite essential oils.
10. You Can Use It As Shaving Cream
Shaving without using shaving cream is a recipe for small cuts and irritated skin. Every purpose that shaving cream serves, though – from holding the hair upright to moisturizing your skin, to giving the razor a friction-free surface to glide across – lard can serve as well. Rub the area that you want to shave with a little lard for a much more comfortable, effective shave.
11. You Can Substitute Butter With It In Any Recipe
If you don’t have a milk cow and the supermarkets aren’t open anymore, cooking with butter may not be a possibility. Of course, there are a lot of recipes that call for butter as an essential ingredient, so this can create a bit of a problem. Thankfully, any time a recipe calls for butter you can use an equal amount of lard instead and still get great-tasting results.
12. You Can Make Soap Out Of It
Soap is yet another consumable supply that you may eventually run out of in a survival scenario. Again, though, if you have enough lard set aside, you can make your own soap. Long before you could pick up a bar of soap in the supermarket, people made their own soap using lard as the primary ingredient. If you follow the right process, the end product is actually quite good.
13. You Can Use It As a Diaper Cream
Diaper cream is essential for keeping babies from forming painful rashes. To keep your baby comfortable and happy even if you run out of diaper cream, you can use lard instead. Lard is safe for even the sensitive skin of small babies and will keep friction from causing a diaper rash to form.
14. You Can Use It To Season a Cast Iron Skillet
Cast iron skillets are great for cooking with. However, they aren’t necessarily at their best right out of the box. If you want to get the best results out of your cast iron skillet, you will need to season it.
To season a cast-iron skillet using lard, coat the skillet with lard, then apply heat to the skillet for over an hour. Placing it in an oven at 350 degrees is recommended, but you can use other heat sources as well if using an oven isn’t an option. The purpose of seasoning a cast iron skillet in this manner is to develop a non-stick surface on the skillet so that you won’t have to scrape your food off of it every time you use the skillet.
15. You Can Use It To Waterproof Items
Coating items in lard certainly won’t make them completely waterproof, but it can help to keep a lot of water out. If you want to avoid water seeping through your boots, gloves, or any other item, a good coating of lard will go a long way.
16. You Can Use It As Flux For Soldering
A soldering iron is a great tool to have available in a survival situation. If you know how to use it, you can repair a wide range of electronics with a soldering iron. However, if you’re going to solder, using flux is essential for keeping oxidation out of the metals that you are joining. In the absence of actual flux, lard works quite well for this purpose.
17. You Can Substitute Vegetable Oil With It In Any Recipe
The most quintessential use for lard is using it as a cooking oil. Before vegetable-based oils such as canola oil became commonplace, most everyone cooked with lard. You can also use it as a substitute ingredient for recipes that call for any type of vegetable-based oil.
18. You Can Use It To Condition Leather
Conditioning leather with some sort of oil is a great way to make the leather softer and more flexible while also protecting it from damage and improving its life cycle. If you have a leather product that you want to keep in good shape, take a rag and wipe it down with lard.
19. You Can Kill Lice With It
When proper hygiene becomes more difficult, pests such as lice become increasingly common. Preventing lice altogether in a survival scenario may be difficult, but the good news is that you can effectively deal with them if you have lard. Like any other living creature, lice need oxygen to survive. If you coat your hair in lard, though, it blocks the lice’s air supply and suffocates them, leaving you lice-free.
20. You Can Use It To Prevent Blisters
If you do enough walking, painful blisters are bound to form on your feet. Rubbing your feet down with a little lard before you put your shoes on, though, can go a long way toward keeping you blister-free.
Bonus Reason: You Can Eat It!
Well, obviously you can eat it. What I’m trying to say is, lard is a great survival food because it is calorically dense and very filling which is incredibly important during the stress and hard work of a typical disaster scenario. Plus, it’s a lot healthier than you think.
In case you’re interested, here is how to render lard.
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