• Germany's news in English
 
Tub of lard found fit to eat after 64 years
Photo: DPA

Tub of lard found fit to eat after 64 years

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.

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.

http://www.drcranton.com/nutrition/oiling.htm
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
British and German troops relive Xmas truce
Soldiers in World War One period uniforms watch the football match. Photo: DPA

British and German troops relive Xmas truce

Teams from the British and German armies played a friendly football game in Aldershot on Wednesday in memory of the Christmas truce of 1914. READ  

American guilty of killing Hamburg student
Diren Dede's grieving parents outside the court in Missoula Photo: DPA

American guilty of killing Hamburg student

A US court has found a man who shot and killed 17-year old German exchange student Diren Dede guilty of deliberate homicide. READ  

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016
Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016

After months of bickering among the coalition parties, the cabinet finally agreed to put a road toll for foreigners before parliament, but open questions about its financial viability and legality remain. READ  

Over half of Christmas trees carry pesticides
Ordinary people might soon be copying this contestant in last January's Christmas tree-throwing contest in Swabia. Photo: DPA

Over half of Christmas trees carry pesticides

Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) said that it found poisonous chemicals in more than half of German Christmas trees it had tested. READ  

'Breakthrough' in train strike: union
Stranded passengers during the train strike Photo: DPA

'Breakthrough' in train strike: union

The head of the train drivers union GDL claimed a "breakthrough" late Wednesday in talks with Deutsche Bahn, which may herald the end of a spate of train strikes which have caused travelling misery and cost the rail operator around 100 million euros. READ  

Opinion
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
The baroque skyline of Dresden Photo: DPA

What does Dresden have against Muslims?

The Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) was unknown three months ago. Now it's making Dresden famous - for all the wrong reasons. READ  

Amazon strike extended to Saturday
Workers at the Amazon distribution centre in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Amazon strike extended to Saturday

Union Verdi announced on Wednesday that its members at two Amazon distribution centres would extend a planned three-day strike through the rest of the week, while four more sites saw new walkouts. READ  

Russia in clear over death of German MP
The late German parliamentarian Andreas Schockenhoff Photo: DPA

Russia in clear over death of German MP

A post-mortem on a prominent German MP and critic of Vladimir Putin showed no signs of foul play, prosecutors said Wednesday. READ  

'Tear Down This Plaque' row over GDR sign
Former East German leader and "comrade" Erich Honecker Photo: DPA

'Tear Down This Plaque' row over GDR sign

A historic Berlin museum is facing calls to pull down a plaque commemorating the former East German communist leader Erich Honecker. READ  

'Reform business inheritance tax' court tells MPs
Presiding judge Ferdinand Kirchhof announcing the decision on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

'Reform business inheritance tax' court tells MPs

Judges at the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe said on Wednesday that the government must change rules reducing tax on inherited family-owned businesses within 18 months. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,167
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd