Plate with refried beans, tacos and rice.

Refried Beans Contain Lard. Yep.

Last updated on August 18, 2019 by Liza Hawkins

I was at the grocery store after work picking out a can of refried beans, among other random pantry items.

Just as I stood up (the beans are on the bottom shelf at our grocery store), a woman turned to me and said, “You know, I just read the other day that the vegetarian refried beans are actually better for you.”

I paused, looked down at a can of my regular refried beans, blinked, and then looked back at her.

She continued, “They’re the only ones that don’t contain LARD.”

Well, is that so?

I flipped the can over, and sure enough when I glanced a couple of ingredients down on the list there it was. LARD.


Specifically, “Partially Hydrogenated Lard.”

Old El Paso label for refried beans in 2012.

What’s odd is, when you used to look at the Old El Paso website and read the ingredients for their refried beans, there was absolutely no mention of lard. Only sunflower oil.

Old El Paso refried bean ingredient list on the website from 2012.

Sometime in the past couple years they changed that.

Now the site directs you to the can’s ingredient list to be certain you know exactly what you’re getting in the specific can you’re buying.

I looked back up and acknowledged, “Yep. You’re right. There *is* lard in these refried beans.” She rolled her cart back towards me to take a look for herself.

“See?” I pointed to the back of the can while she peered over to look. I went on, “But, I’m okay with that — I don’t mind a little lard.”

Did I just say that?

She rolled her cart back up the isle, and then turned back to look at me saying, “Well, I only said something because you’re thin and I thought you would care to know about the lard. You know.”

I do? I know? And, why does that seem like a back-handed compliment?

Then I uttered my very favorite Julia Child quote:

“Well, you know what they say,” I said with a chuckle. “Everything in moderation, including moderation!” *Grin*

She continued rolling. And maybe she smirked.

And I bought the refried beans WITH the lard.

Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

7 Comments on “Refried Beans Contain Lard. Yep.

  1. LARD is heat stable. LARD is heart-healthy. LARD is neutral in flavor. LARD is high in vitamin D. LARD is sustainable, and local. LARD is a healthy source of cholesterol. It contains animal fats, but peer-reviewed studies show they are safe and beneficial to consume. Don’t follow the environmentalist-wacko lies.

  2. People are conditioned into thinking that lard is a bad word. Lard is certainly healthier than butter or shortening. The phrase in that ingredient list that should make you not buy that product is “partially hydrogenated”, ie: contains trans fats.

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