Is lard bad for you? Just the name lard makes you think it might be. The highest grade of lard, know as leaf lard is from the fat deposits surrounding the kidneys and inside the loin. Leaf lard has little pork flavor, making it ideal for use in baked goods, where it is perfect for flaky moist pie crusts. Lard is not the same as Crisco however. Shortening, butter and lard can be used for a lot of the same cooking uses. Most shortening is made from vegetable fat and is generally flavorless. One last thought on lard. It makes the BEST Fried Chicken!