02-15-2016, 01:11 PM
#1
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I saw an interesting article in Fast Company today called "Could Fake Palm Oil Made From Food Waste Help Save Orangutans?"

The harvesting of palm oil has been associated with deforestation and wild fires in Indonesia. This "fake palm oil" is made from yeast and food waste. Palm oil is used in some shaving soaps, so I wonder if this substitute will ever make its way into soaps.

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 02-15-2016, 02:14 PM
#2
  • kav
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  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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I have posted on this issue and do so again with no little hesitation. So, a disclaimer: I am not condemning P/O users and am guilty of possessing several myself. As CONSUMERS we are in a difficult role to buy according to our values. One critique I heard with SEA SHEPHERD was ' you use diesel fuel on your ships. Your polluting'. True and I replied we simply had no alternative at present; although in fact today's whales are around thanks to a single under sail CSA commerce raider that devastated the New Bedford whaling fleet. That, and a massive loss of ships in a freezeup in Canada's Arctic (recently rediscovered due to loss of the icecap) led to the industry's demise and alternatives much like today's Solar.
Palm Oil production is horrendous-period. Indonesia is the worst; massive deforestation and burning of the underlying peat layer releasing even more
carbon. The various native species  are being wiped out and the local peoples raped, murdered and enslaved to work. This is done by a 'friendly government which was in fact the domino we didn't want to see topple during Vietnam. You CANNOT find 'certified' PO that isn't based on at best the
shell game of 'credits'. Palm Oil is in fact the blood diamonds that financed so many regional wars not to long ago.
So, what to do? Are all my readers rushing to throw out every soap with PO in it? Please don't, it's not like your better half is wearing a mink in fear some ALF or PETA member is going to throw red paint on you. There ARE many fine soaps that do not use PO; or,very little. I frankly have my own
reservations about substitutes taking over soon. We need the initiative by consumers to push for an equal product. And, oftentimes alternatives come with their own environmental or human rights price tag.
Keep your soaps, but start eliminating Po from the myriad of other products, and EMAIL the manufacturers.
I am now stepping down from my Mitchells WOOLFAT Soapbox before somebody kicks it out from under me.

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 02-15-2016, 02:31 PM
#3
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Thanks, Kav. This substitute seems promising, except 1) it's not clear it will perform as well, and 2) it's not clear if it will ever make it to market.


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 02-15-2016, 02:52 PM
#4
  • kav
  • Banned
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Whale oil was used to light lamps and  ( in many ways still) produce the finest lubricating oils. A rare substance found in Sperm Whale braincases 'Ambergis' was used in EDTs. Balleen, along with turtleshell and horn was the 'plastic' of it's day. We shifted, quickly on the population and industry collapse to lovely kerosene, petroleum lubricants and post WW2 plastics. It was a complete tossup what power source would dominate the new Automobile industry. Steam was well proven, Electric favoured, Gasoline suspect because of no supply grid (the issue today with a resurgent electric)
and IC engines were NOISY. Rolls Royce was founded on the specific goal of making an engine as quiet as electrics- and if you drive a prewar example in fresh condition it is indeed without sound or vibration up to 70 MPH.
It all goes back to the Iroqouis Confederacy '7 generation rule'. It's why I returned to wetshaving. think of what we ARE NOT tossing out.

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 02-15-2016, 04:26 PM
#5
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That's what make Kav's expositions so interesting to read. The trajectory heads outwards somewhere toward Pluto (not a planet) and then ends up slam-bam making the most salient point. As a former editor I would tear my hair out editing anybody else's similar attempts, but here I wouldn't change a word.

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 02-16-2016, 06:54 PM
#6
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I just started a soap company (I am not advertising here) and am palm free.  Palm is great because it cleans well, saponifies and hardens quick, and is REALLY cheap.  I prefer olive oil for my body bars.  It is more expensive, but is a little more moisturizing.  Coconut oil makes a great fluffy lather and cleans well, but dries the skin. 

I personally think that the best shaving soap uses plenty of stearic acid, and does not have either palm or coconut in it.  cocoa butter, shea butter, soy wax (87% stearic acid) makes for a wonderful, creamy, palm free shaving soap.  tallow is high in stearic acid which is why it is so popular in shaving soap.  

Please let me know what you think.

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 02-17-2016, 06:36 AM
#7
  • kav
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I think you should run, not walk to websites concerned with this issue, have your soap tested by independent parties and be in market position now when people decide to go palm free.

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 02-18-2016, 08:17 PM
#8
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Easier said than done.  It has proven very difficult to find people who want quality product.  I am trying to get into whole foods, but they are not considering vendors for another month or two.  Additionally, there are very few places to buy or sell wet shaving equipment where I live.  Most of it has to be done through the internet and it is difficult to get product known as a little manufacturer.

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 02-19-2016, 12:05 PM
#9
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John D. Rockefeller, and Standard Oil, by providing cheap and plentiful kerosene for lighting did more than any"do-gooder" cause like Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd to end whaling. With the use of kerosene in place of whale oil for lighting lamps around the world, cheap kerosene provided by the EVIL oil industry whaling wne into a steep decline starting in the 1890's.

As to palm oil substitutes, many already exist. They include soybean, rapeseed, and coconut as well as less common jatropha and jojoba. Then there is the above mentioned alternative, which is one of several heterotrophic algal oil methods under investigation. Alas, all these alternatives can have their own associated environmental concerns. Look at the swaths of rain forest in brazil lain waste for soy bean production. Ugh.

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 02-19-2016, 12:52 PM
#10
  • kav
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John D did not end whaling with kerosene. World population numbers had collapsed to the obvious end of commercial viability coupled with the New Bedford fleet first crippled by Civil War raider losses and a second fleet loss in Canadian pack ice as I earlier alluded to. He had a replacement product, period. Whaling did not resume until Imperial Japan needed cheap protein during WW2 and the resulting industry continues whaling under the guise of 'cultural tradition' and the ironic excuse of population studies. The Soviet Union/Russia hunts whales for cheap protein to feed it's fur industry. It is THIS whaling that is annihilating the remaining populations that my association with SS seeks to end by ENFORCING international law, which, under MARITIME LAW it has legal precedent to pursue.
Your 'do-gooder ' crack  belies either a gross ignorance of the issue or the ignoble hostility to those who act by one who has not; a character flaw I've noticed in all such detractors.

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 02-20-2016, 08:53 AM
#11
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I do not think that a character flaw should be assumed or libeled towards someone making historical examples which back up established and accepted economic theory. It seems rude, ignorant, or both.

To reiterate the point, when there is a shortage or rarity of a market item (whale oil in this case), shrewd entrepreneurs will often step into the role of finding a cheaper, more plentiful alternative. Without the petroleum industry, and by example John D, there is a great likelihood that whales would be extinct today, or at least much more severely reduced in number. (and in that sense, John D was a better unwitting  environmentalist than any of those passionate souls that work on the issue from a non-market platform.)

I think the point is, the most lasting and effective environmental solutions, must first and foremost be better market solutions, especially in the sense price and quality.

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 02-20-2016, 09:06 AM
#12
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jojoba is actually a wax.  coconut has a very different fatty acid composition than palm.  soy makes really soft soap very much unlike palm.  hydrogenated soy (soy wax or soy candle wax) is 87% stearic acid and is great for shaving soap recipes.  That is actually what I use for my shaving soaps as I am trying to go palm free.  

The best substitute is olive oil, or castille/bastille soap.  Castille soap was invented, or labelled in Castille, Spain in the 1500's so palm is actually the olive substitute.  I would check out Etsy for soaps if you guys are interested.  You can get some very nice and interesting quality shaving soaps there that are palm, coconut, tallow free.  Just look for ingredient lists that are oil, water, lye, essential oils, glycerine, sodium lactate, and clays.  You can get something quite unique and made just for you.

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 02-20-2016, 09:26 AM
#13
  • kav
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Economic theory is-theory. It is economics divorced from nature that has us in so much trouble. When you SLANDER ME as a 'do-gooder' with obviously NO empirical knowledge of victories won by people who have been imprisoned, physically assaulted and killed; People I know, I will not go quiet into the night. I presented my own information which is easily verified. I used self deprecating humor and did not lay guilt trips on anyone. I will not be wronged. I do not do this to other people and demand no less in return.

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 02-20-2016, 09:46 AM
#14
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Kav, sometimes it is difficult to interpret tone of intent over the Internet. "Do-gooder" is a neutral connotation for anyone that attempts to do good deeds, for purely ethical considerations, in the world from a selfless or self-sacrificing standpoint. The term maybe spoken sarcastically, or it may be spoken as a matter of fact, neutrally (which may even imply respect). It would be wise to not jump to conclusions, and assume anybody's intent.

But the correlation has still been drawn. John D did more to slow down whaling during his day than any environmentalist coming from purely environmental considerations. And I do not see how you can disprove this correlation.

Again, the point is, market-based solutions are the most effective and long-lasting.

Thank you, asiliski, for being one of those with solid market-based solutions. We need more like you.

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 02-20-2016, 10:12 AM
#15
  • kav
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Len, have you ever researched the history of whaling? I will repeat myself ONE MORE TIME. The physical whaling fleet was decimated by war and accident. World populations had collapsed to the point of no longer being economically viable. WHY was the ESSEX rammed by a Bull Sperm whale in the far reaches of the South Pacific on a multi year journey instead of just going a few miles off of new Bedford for Atlantic right whales? Why was the Essex known to be a OLD ship still being used well beyond it's lifespan with an unsound hull to begin with? You tend to discover these details researching nautical history on long SOUTHPAT voyages to the Antarctic and smelling the breath of those  very whales on the way. Are you telling me some Solar Panel manufacturer will be credited with ending the petrochemical industry because it's so desired by drivers of  corvettes on the PCH and not because they are fracking with a equally worn out infrastructure; unsafe pipes, skipping safety devises, drunk skippers pushing tankers off Alaska?
Our species has exploited every known resource until it collapses and then adapts to a new one. It doesn't matter if we abandon fluted projectile points for megafauna in favor of domesticating cattle or kerosene for whale oil. Shall we credit the first human to raise a wild bison calf with ending the hunt for cave bears?
I'm done with this.

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 02-20-2016, 10:23 AM
#16
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"do-gooder" was not neutral. Clearly a jab.

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 02-20-2016, 10:31 AM
#17
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Kav, I would ask you to get a hold of yourself and attempt to further cool headed dialogue. Otherwise, it might be better for yourself if you are done with this.

As to your points, ships get destroyed, always have. If there is economic incentive to rebuild new ships for the purposes they were designed for, they will be rebuilt. If the economic incentive is not great enough to cover the cost of risk and building materials, they will not be rebuilt. (if kerosene had never come into usage, how could Western whaling practices not come back to full strength after the world economies and populations recovered? ) John D, and his competitors, helped to make rebuilding whaling fleets economically unfeasible.

As to solar panels, they cost much more to build and maintain per kilowatt than petrol, therefore, solar cannot currently replace petrol. If the technology and cost improves, solar can kill petrol. We are simply not there yet, and may never be with solar. But solar is not the only option either. Which entrepreneur, using which technology and know-how, will be the one to put a fatal stab through the heart of the petroleum industry? I'm not sure, but I do know that it will be, and must be, economically driven...

"Shall we credit the first human to raise a wild bison calf with ending the hunt for cave bears?"

No doubt, innovations in farming and ranching helped save the decimation of wild game. How could it be denied?

Which soap makers in shaving can make a cheaper, higher quality soap without PO? Isn't that what this thread is about?

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 02-20-2016, 10:41 AM
#18
  • evnpar
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Why don't we stick to the theme of using alternatives to palm oil in shaving soaps and leave politics and opinions about whaling for another thread or forum.

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