Read more from Slate's Food issue.
Only one thing may put lard back on the slippery slope: Google the word as news, and it might as well be lard-fearing 1969 all over again. Newspaper food pages still routinely advise using olive or canola oils rather than "fattening" or "artery-clogging" lard. Or they print idiotic utterances like "you get all the lard you need at McDonald's" (a chain that actually abandoned beef tallow for frying its fries only to be saddled with a trans-fatty substitute). Occasionally an article will make a valid point—lard is still anathema to vegetarians and halal observers—but more often there will be surprise that lard does not taste anything like pig.
Which is one more reason it is taking off at last. It's stealth fat.