Friday, February 1, 2013

Myth about Beef Tallow Soap

I have no idea why and how it evolved in the history of handmade soap but nowadays soap made using animal fats seems to be degraded for it's actual value.  More and more demand for vegan soap in the market these days makes me wonder if consumers really understand what they are insisting.  It has become the rule of thumb that vegan = green and environment save.  But, is it really green?!
Let's ask ourselves how many cow and pigs we slaughtered every year?  And how many pounds of fat those dead animals produce because of our meat consumption? Where would the fat go if no one wants to use it?  There are a lot of pastry made with lard and they taste so yummy.  And I bet a lot of people don't know they are eating lard!  But when they buy a bar of handmade soap they make sure it has no animal fat in it.  Why?!  If no one wants those animal fat it only ends up in the landfill, is it really better for the environment?
I believe in food chain and balanced consumption.  I believe there's ying and yang (Chinese belief that everything has action and reaction, or, for everything that's on the bright side there's a dark side you can't see).  I also believe this world is definitely grey, not black and white.
Anyway, let's talk about soap!  A lot of people might not know that the fatty acid profile of animal fat is closer match to ours than any plant oil or butter out there.  It makes perfect sense to use beef tallow or lard to make soap to use on our own skin.  At least that's my train of thought.  The only reason I don't use lard for soap is because I can smell the stink, like bacon or burned animal fat.  I mean who wants to bath in smelly burned animal fat?!  It defeats the point of "cleansing" right?!  On the other hand I really fell in love with beef tallow in soap.  It produces white hard soap that carries absolutely no smell whatsoever, and the suds are so creamy to the touch!
This is my salt bar which contains beef tallow in the formula and I love it!  So are my customers, which I have no idea if they ever read my ingredient label...
I use long cured salt bar for my face, it makes my skin soft and smooth.

This is my first soap ever made with beef tallow.

If I don't tell you, would know these soaps were made with beef tallow?!  They smell divine!
For soapers out there who have not tried beef tallow, tip is to melt the fat with the lowest temperature you can do in order to prevent from burning.  Or you will smell the "bacon"! 

24 comments:

  1. Your soaps all have such a wow factor! Love them all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You echo my thoughts EXACTLY!! I actually wrote a blog post on this same topic and you said it very well. I am fortunate in that I am able to buy deodorized lard at a local bulk food store--no smell!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can´t smell bacon in my soaps with lard and non of my family and friends either (I have asked them). Don´t know if it is because I render it myself or is it that I use only a small percentage of lard in my soaps.
    I´m just starting to use beef tallow in my soaps and sure, it does not smell at all, but I think it is so hard compared with lard, so I´m not sure how much beef tallow I want to use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the hardness beef tallow brings to the table, it makes the soap last longer. Plus using beef tallow slows down trace, very good for making complicated design or for floral speedy fragrance oil.

      Delete
    2. I've just ground up about 50 lbs of fat that was given to me from someone that butchered a steer getting ready to render it down this weekend. I, too, do not want to waste this wonderful product. I have also gotten deer fat from the same butcher (I hear tell that people do not like the taste of deer fat) and rendered it down. It makes a very hard bar and I like it better than beef tallow (but deer season is over until next year, darn!) I don't smell anything with either tallow after curing. I think lard is softer than beef or deer tallow.

      Delete
  4. I don't use animal fats in my soap for the same reason I'm a vegetarian: animal cruelty. I'm not against eating animals or using any other by-product but I am strongly against the way the animals are treated. I think people who are opposed to animal fats in soap because it's (suposedly) green also should steer clear of unsustainable produced (palm) oil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. The animals are being killed for the meat eaters. The suet (kidney fat) gets sent to a land fill where it is buried in an anaerobic environment and cannot decompose. Our landfills our full of organic material that cannot decompose completely. You not using throwaway fat in your soap because you are against the way the animals are treated is like not picking up litter when you see it because you are against the litterer. And just say it, your against animals being KILLED for food not treatment because there are many farms that treat their animals wonderfully but then kill them for food. Polyface farms is one of them, but if you were just against the treatment you would get your fat from a farm like them.

      Delete
    2. I am not sure if Marieke is in a part of the world where all the meat comes from Factory farms, as I am. I also abstain from eating meat here in the US because free range is a joke when you are in a highly populated area. I also agree however that the biowaste from these slaughtered animals is indeed hurting our environment and we are hardly honoring the animal while this is happening. It is a serious conundrum and a despicable practice. I have chickens whose eggs I eat without guilt because I baby those chickens like my house pets! Animal cruelty spurs so many of us to stop consuming flesh and to use their fat in our soaps feels just as much of a contradiction. If animals were treated better there would be honor in using every bit of their body just as native peoples have done.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for pointing out Palm oil, Marieke.. The harvesting is a serious environmental offender/polluter.

      Delete
  5. PS: those soaps are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The soaps are beautiful with or without the use of tallow, animals fats because you are an amazing artist and care about the end product. There is a train of thought of the amount of space and energy to grow animals for food versus plants for food. I'm Alaska Native and without animal protein my people would not have survived but I live by grocery stores and have a bountiful garden. I wonder if we should consider Supply and Demand factor that lends the support one side or another? Teak was a very popular wood until it was revealed the depletion of the rainforests and how the demise impacted both animals and people. I only wish to add to ideas to consider not to preach - -hmmmm - -thank you all

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your blogging! And such beautiful soap ... as usual ~Sacha

    ReplyDelete
  8. Using the tallow is recycling! Beautiful soaps!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post, lovely soaps! I don't notice a smell from lard in my finished soaps, but I do dislike the smell while mixing it all up.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this post. I completely agree with the tallow vs lard. If I just use a percentage of lard, and add a nice scent, I can't smell it at all in my finished soaps. But, I've made 100% lard soaps with no added scent or color (great for laundry), and there is definitely a bit of an unpleasant scent. Imagine my surprise when I made 100% tallow soap (customer request) and ended up with a white, very hard bar with absolutely no scent whatsoever. Belive me, I sniffed and sniffed! Also, the creamy lather of a tallow soap is not something that can be duplicated with any other oils.

    ReplyDelete
  11. where do you find tallow ? And what percentage do you use (if you don't mind sharing) ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I buy from soap oil supplier, easier for me. I use about 30% in regular CP and 10% in salt bar.

      Delete
  12. Hi, how do you wrap your oval salt bars? do you have suggestions you could provide, except soap boxes. Thanks, in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrap them with the same pastry dry wax paper I use to wrap all my rectangular soap bars, no difference. If you follow my facebook page I will post a quick photo of the wrapped one tomorrow.

      Delete
    2. I took a quick shot to show how I wrap my oval soap: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=615805185113127&set=a.244134692280180.84032.231445363549113&type=1&theater

      Delete
  13. Nothing beats beef tallow. However, if you live with a vegetarian, you're sunk.

    ReplyDelete
  14. For those who consume meats and wear leather and eat pie made with lard, no it doesn't make sense to request vegan soap; however, for those who are vegan in their lifestyle, who ensure that everything they use, consume, and wear is animal-free then I could understand why they'd insist on vegan soap.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I make lard soap and it has no unpleasant odors.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi. To all who utilize tallow soap, how does it make your skin feel? Does it alleviate skin conditions (eczema, keratosis pilaris, rosecea, acne, etc)? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis