We now use as our base oils Olive oil (from Local Certified Grown Organic Olives in Hopland, CA), Organic Virgin Coconut, Organic Canola, and U.S. Organic Grass Fed Beef Tallow. We have transitioned from using Palm oil to Organic Beef Tallow (see why below).
We are going to continue to strive to use the best quality ingredients (ie, organic, sustainable, local) in our soaps so our ingredients may change as new sources become available. As we grow we are able to purchase bulk quantities which makes quality ingredients more affordable.
As of now we use essential oils, fragrance oils (phthalate free) along with herbs and spices (for coloring) in our soaps in many combinations. We list all ingredients on each bar so that our customers can make clear decisions based on what is good for them and their family.
About using Beef Tallow: Why are we using Beef Tallow in place of Palm Oil? What is Beef Tallow?
The widespread use of Palm Oil is increasing (read the labels on your food and cosmetics, many have some derivative of palm oil listed as an ingredient ie. sodium palmate). The need for more palm tree plantations to fulfill our ever-increasing demand of cheap oil is damaging and/or eliminating rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia at an alarming rate. Millions of acres of rainforest are cut down each year to plant more palm trees. It is affecting the habitat of the orangutans (among many other species) and may in fact be contributing to our epic global warming issue because of the dramatic decrease of rainforest flora which naturally absorbs carbon dioxide. It is a cheaply grown and processed oil and therefore there is also a risk of exploiting workers (ie unfair wages, bad working conditions, etc). You can research for yourself online about the palm oil debate for more information.
Both Palm Oil and Beef Tallow have very similar fatty acid profiles and both contribute to making long lasting hard bars and creamy lather. So the exchange balances out the properties needed to make our soap. Although we were using RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) Certified Palm Oil before in our soaps and still do believe that this certification is the step in the right direction, until ALL palm plantations are run in a trustworthy, sustainable fashion we are choosing now to switch to US Organic Grass Fed Beef Tallow because it is more local and supports US farmers who strive to raise their cattle in an organic, humane and sustainable fashion.
Beef tallow is the clean, pure fat processed/rendered from the suet (the fat located around the loins and kidneys). Grass fed cattle (as opposed to grain fed) retain more of the vitamins and nutrients available in tallow. We are happy to support farmers who are conscious and willing to raise cattle in a holistic way that provides people with good quality, nutritious high calorie meat and dairy products, treats the animals humanely and makes significant efforts via sustainable management to minimizes negative impacts to the environment.
We believe in a healthy omnivorous human diet (for most) which includes limiting the amount of meat and dairy to a level best suited to each individuals caloric needs. In our opinion the amount of (mostly conventionally raised) meat and dairy is greatly over-consumed in our United States and that consumption can/should be reduced and supplemented with more vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains. Meat and dairy products provide a concentrated source of vital vitamins, nutrients and fats and we want to continue to support the responsible and humane production of this valuable food source.
About our Beef Tallow:
The tallow used in our soap comes from family farms that are all are members of the Organic Valley Farmers Co-op, and produce only Certified Organic Livestock, raised without antibiotics, synthetic hormones or pesticide exposure and is “Animal Welfare” certified. Organic Valley Co-op Farms are 3rd party “Certified Organic” and follow federal guidelines.
The tallow that we purchase is from only grain free dairy stock = 100%grass fed. Tallow coming from grass fed cattle (as opposed to traditional grain fed) retain a large amount of vitamins A, D E and K, anti-microbial palmitoleic acid, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acids) which boasts anti-inflammatory qualities and has been linked to cancer prevention. While all these nutrients may or may not survive the lye process in making soap (see What Is Soap? page) they will be retained and absorbed into your skin in our new AMAZING moisturizing Body Butter.