Sometimes the zeitgeist is trying to tell you something. Like when NPR's Planet Money and BBC Radio 4's Food Programme tackle the same subject in utterly different ways and yet come to an almost similar conclusion: lard; a bit of what you fancy does you good.

Of the two, I'd have to say that Planet Money was the more interesting for me. Maybe that's because I didn't know about the struggles of the chemical industry to perfect the product that become Crisco. Whereas I did know how to render pork fat down to make my own lard, and the sound of two blokes having a blokish time doing the same does not make for compelling radio. Same goes for chefs waxing lyrical, although the idea of having the story of Italian lardo told by a vegetarian was, shall I say, ingenious. And full marks to both programmes for not succumbing to the very obvious Jello Biafra musical accompaniment.

I do hope I can get a bruschetta al lardo where we're eating tonight. And what is happening to all that pig fat that we are no longer eating as lard? Must be ending up somewhere.

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