• Germany's news in English

Tub of lard found fit to eat after 64 years

The Local · 1 Feb 2012, 15:52

Published: 01 Feb 2012 15:52 GMT+01:00

Millions of tins of “Swift’s Bland Lard” – a pig fat which was used as a spread similar to butter or as a cooking fat – were distributed by US soldiers to West Germans after World War II in care packages that included other essentials like powdered milk, cheese and sugar.

Some of those made their way to communist East Germany, including one to Hans Feldmeier, a pharmacist from the Baltic Sea town of Warnemünde who never opened the can.

Worried that the lard had passed its expiration date, the 87-year-old recently decided to turn it over to the state for a comprehensive inspection.

The response was surprisingly positive.

“Overall, the product has a degree of freshness and material composition necessary to be assessed to be satisfactory after 64 years,” according to the State Office for Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Security.

The authorities did, however, find minor deficiencies in the lard’s smell and taste, discovering that it was slightly gritty and appeared old, meaning it could not compete with the quality of a fresh sample. Still, it appeared to be fit for human consumption, they said.

The office credited the air-tight US can and preservatives for maintaining the lard in such pristine condition over the years.

Feldmeier promptly asked for his tin of lard back, calling it “beautiful” and saying he couldn't imagine parting with it.

Story continues below…

So the authorities sent it back to him – empty.

The Local/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:00 February 1, 2012 by haberdave
For the first time in my life.....I am speachless.....
17:03 February 1, 2012 by mikel taylor
A tub of Lard in the US generally refers to a very fat person. as well as lard for cooking. the shelf life of lard might explain why it's so hard for fat Americans to loose weight, Few Americans still cook with lard which was very popular in earlier times, cooking oils have replaced lard, Authentic Mexican cooks still use lard. I think most Americans don't have lard in their kitchens
17:03 February 1, 2012 by Grebo
I think after being here for 64 years it deserves to be called German lard.
17:19 February 1, 2012 by raandy
Thats correct , I have not heard the old school taunt "you tub of lard" for a long time.

It would not have the same effect as then as more than half the kids are tub of lards these days.
18:40 February 1, 2012 by franconia
From the 60s into the 70s I still made Pies in Bakeries and Hotels with Lard. Best Pies the US of A ever had, but most of you do not remember. Crisco and other shortenings took over. It had to do with price, workability and last but not least, complaints from Jews and Moslems. I am not making this up, but i had to deal with many of the complaints myself during that time.
19:39 February 1, 2012 by Gretl
I still make my pie crust with lard and butter.
20:16 February 1, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
so what's in the can that that 64-year-old tub of lard is holding up in the picture?
23:06 February 1, 2012 by MaKo
What a relief, as I'm sure that the pot of random congealed cooking fat at my mother-in-law's is at least that old.
01:39 February 2, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
Grandfather was right...they don't make tins of lard like they used to :-) Congratulations to the high quality canner from all those years ago!!
01:55 February 2, 2012 by volvoman9
Hmm . Good to know. Yanks made the best lard. Bet those preservatives are yummy.
08:52 February 2, 2012 by Mh0926
thumbs up! they should be very good manufacturer. : )
13:43 February 2, 2012 by n230099
@mikel taylor: "Authentic Mexican cooks still use lard."

Here in Arizona we have said for many years that if you leave a Mexican restaurant saying "that was great Mexican food!!" you can bet they were cooking with lard. There have been some places that touted "healthy Mexican food" and claimed they were cooking with canola oil. They're no longer in business.
16:27 February 3, 2012 by Tanskalainen
It also makes a great sexual lubricant.
19:21 February 3, 2012 by Illogicbuster
Back when the US was the premier manufacturing country. Before leftists ruined it.
20:50 February 3, 2012 by nedmesis
Deemed fit for consumption but nobody would eat it? Speaks a lot about the authorities.

We have had German pork for sale in Sweden. Deemed fit for human consumption but as it tasted like a dung heap.
01:00 February 4, 2012 by beebupnz
Do a search on "oiling of America" to find out why butter, eggs and lard are good for you and oils like canola oil definitely are not.

04:43 February 4, 2012 by volvoman9
@illogicbuster. Would that be the era when the U.S. permitted slavery or more recently when child labor laws didn't exist? Perhaps before unions when OSHA and the EPA didn't keep the 'Job Creators" from saving us all. Oh that's right it's regulations that stymie the economy. Drill baby Drill! No matter that the U.S .has more oil in reserve than at any time in their history. No matter that they consume 27% of the Earths fossil fuels. No matter that the top 400 wealthiest individuals in the U.S. have more combined wealth than the poorest 20%.

Every Right Wing 'Joe the Plumber" thinks that they are just one clogged toilet from joining the 1% and becoming the GOP elite. I've got news for you the GOP is not a friend of the working class. They don't give hoot about your religious beliefs or unborn children. Plenty of them ARE gay and if you think they are bringing back manufacturing to the U.S. then you are a sad delusional fool. This drivel is simply the potent narcotic of reassuring simplicity that they drug you with so that you will swallow their greedy agenda. The GOP ARE about enriching the few on the backs of many and creating a theocratic authoritarian regime that has nothing to do with America. Wake Up! You are the 99%.
15:27 February 4, 2012 by Bruno53
Read somewhere that when Americans POWs of the Nazi German Wehrmacht knew the war was over when they saw the cans of Spams meat and the Aunt Jemima pancakes dropped by the C-3 planes in April and May of 1945.
07:18 February 5, 2012 by MLT
This article reminds me of my youth. Years ago Americans had an expression for people who were 'especially slow moving' - namely - 'lard ass'
18:27 February 7, 2012 by Illogicbuster
volvoman9, What Are you babbling on about now? What cave do you live in?
05:41 February 8, 2012 by volvoman9
@illogicbuster.... Well.... I guess you certainly showed me.
15:46 February 8, 2012 by vonBeavis
@illogicbuster . . . ain't you a paragon of intellect. Wingnut.
Today's headlines
Paris climate conference
Germans reluctant to go green, survey finds
This NASA handout shows CO2 release based on real emissions data. Photo: DPA

Germans reluctant to go green, survey finds

10 hours ago

Most Germans might see climate change as a threat - but that doesn't mean they're willing to change their behaviour, according to a recent YouGov survey.

The Local List
The 10 greatest German Alpine ski resorts
Skiing in the Allgäu. Photo: DPA

The 10 greatest German Alpine ski resorts

11 hours ago

This ski season looks set to be epic, with runs already open before December has even started - boding well for the rest of the season. We bring you the ten very best German resorts so you can make the most of it.

Bavaria accused of hoarding Nazi-looted art
Max Beckmann paintings in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. File Photo: DPA

Bavaria accused of hoarding Nazi-looted art

15 hours ago

A group of US Congressmen have sent a letter to Bavarian Minister President Horst Seehofer, urging him to do more to help return art stolen by the Nazis to its rightful owners.

Berlin suspects freed hours after terror raids
Police stand guard as colleagues search a van in Britz, south Berlin, on Thursday evening. Photo: DPA

Berlin suspects freed hours after terror raids

15 hours ago

Three suspects arrested in Berlin on Thursday night on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack were freed on Friday morning, police said.

Cologne fights drunks with walls that 'pee back'
"Don't pee here! The wall pees back!" warns a new sign in Cologne main station. Photo: DPA

Cologne fights drunks with walls that 'pee back'

15 hours ago

In Germany, those who urinate in public places have their own name: "Wildpinkler" or "free pee-ers." But they're about to face a backlash in Cologne - in a very literal and embarrassing way.

Final days of Hamburg Olympic vote battle
Demonstrators against the Olympic bid. Photo: DPA

Final days of Hamburg Olympic vote battle

18 hours ago

The finishing line is in sight. On Sunday Hamburgers vote on whether they want the 2022 Olympics to come to town and the result could be tight.

Two men arrested in Berlin police terror raids
A Berlin SEK (SWAT) officer during a deployment in June 2015. Photo: DPA

Two men arrested in Berlin police terror raids

1 day ago

Police arrested two men after raids at two Berlin locations on Thursday afternoon after tip-offs about known Islamists believed to pose a threat of violence.

Swimmer faces probe over Auschwitz tattoo
Rails run towards the entrance of the extermination camp at Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Swimmer faces probe over Auschwitz tattoo

1 day ago

Prosecutors are investigating a man who appeared at a swimming pool on the outskirts of Berlin with a tattoo depicting a concentration camp and an infamous slogan used by the Nazis across his back.

Munich Jews feud over Holocaust remembrance
Stolpersteine. Photo: DPA

Munich Jews feud over Holocaust remembrance

1 day ago

A bitter fight has broken out in Munich’s Jewish community over how to remember the victims of the Holocaust, with one group now taking the city to court.

Fight against Isis
German air force will join French planes over Syria
A Bundeswehr (German army) Tornado aircraft taking off from the Jagel airbase in Schleswig-Holstein in 2013. Photo: DPA

German air force will join French planes over Syria

1 day ago

Update: A Leading German MP confirmed that the country will offer military aid to France in the fight against Isis in Syria, following a promise by Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to Paris on Wednesday.

Germany's 10 most-expensive cities
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd