Is Fat OK?
The first thing to clear up is that I am talking about meat and fat from "clean" animals, that is cows, sheep, goats, deer, but not pigs, bear, or dogs. You can read What Does the Bible Teach About Clean and Unclean Meats  for a more thorough explanation.
Here is why I thought the Bible forbade eating fat, Lev 3:17 "It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your
Fat is often used in a positive way in the Bible. See Is 25:6 And in this mountain will the LORD of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat things. Some argue that fat here and in Neh 8 is not literal fat, but fatness, or rich food. That just means it is the best part. The prodigal son's father brought out the fatted calf, the best.
A Closer Look
Lev 7:23-25 clarifies Lev 3:17 in that not all suet is forbidden, only that from animals that can be used in a temple sacrifice, specifically cows, sheep, and goats. "Only the chelev of animals that are of the sort from which offerings can be brought in the Tabernacle or Temple are prohibited" Wikipedia Chelev  "For every person who eats of the fat of an animal of which a food offering may be made to the LORD shall be cut off from his people" Lev 7:23-25. Some interpret this verse to pertain only to animals actually used in offerings, not ordinary food. I lean toward the view in the Wiki quote. So you can keep your jar of schmaltz (chicken fat). But all manner of blood is still forbidden (Lev 7:26).
Even from a clean animal, there are parts that are not food, like teeth, hide, fur, or feathers. The Bible adds chelev to this list. One of the things we learn from clean versus unclean is that this knowledge had to be revealed. We would not figure it out on our own. In recent times, humans have found health reasons for many of the Biblical dietary laws, including clean and unclean meats.
|Bottom Feeding Carp|
For decades, I have avoided unclean meats, but never considered the other laws about meat. There is very thorough teaching demonstrating that the laws concerning clean and unclean meats are still applicable today, but no discussion of chelev versus shamen. There are other prohibitions in the Bible about meats to consider as well, like "the proper removal of blood, and the animal's manner of death" Let's Chew the Fat . So let's talk about Kosher.
Biblically Kosher vs Rabbinic Kosher
|Common Kosher Symbols|
Is Halal the same as Kosher?
What To Do?
Does that mean I have to buy all my meat at a kosher butcher who has had special training? According to Wikipedia , "Any sane adult Jew who knows the proper technique may perform the shechita (slaughter)" I would think this applies to anyone, not just Jews. After all, the laws were given to all Israel, Judah being only one of twelve tribes. So if I did butcher my own animal and removed the chelev, the meat should be "fit". Assuming the animal was slaughtered properly, cuts of meat like steaks and roasts would be safe because there is no chelev there. And ground chuck/round/sirloin is OK for the same reason. The meats that make me uncomfortable are ground beef and sausage. Unless I trust the butcher to remove the chelev (I suppose I could ask him), these products may not be fit.
When I started to write this, I only thought to write about chelev versus shamen showing that certain fats were OK (yes, marbling is OK), but I didn't realize I would end up finding out meats that would not be fit, and that I would have to change. If you care about clean and unclean meats, you too may see a need for change.
* Added June 3, 2015