09-06-2012, 11:59 AM
#1
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
User Info
Gentlemen :

I have been researching the sources of Palm Oil (the kind of Oil used for veggie based shaving soaps) and I founded that is not that "green" or ecological as some have made us thought.Its actually the opposite and I wonder what the "ecologist" out there would say.To be honest,Im more convinced that tallow is more "green" than Palm Oil these days : at least ,if an animal have to die,we will use all of it (even its fat) to make soaps.But some have made us believe that this is not ethical,that people dont want animal products in their soaps and blah blah blah (reason given by many UK companies when they dropped tallow in their shaving soaps).

Here is an interesting article about how Palm Oil is obtained and the impact that the forest suffers due to the massive Palm Trees plantations.

http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/#.UEjffMThUHk.facebook

I have never thought that a tallow based soap is better than a Palm Oil/veggie based,but I believe in good formulations , however,maybe its time to go back to the good old ways and use tallow : the environmental impact would be a little bit lesser,I think...

86 7,123
Reply
 09-06-2012, 12:05 PM
#2
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
User Info
Kind of reminds me of the Brazilian forest. Some people are not allowed to use tallow based products because of their religious beliefs. There must be some middle ground that will make everybody happy.

100 12,445
Reply
 09-06-2012, 12:34 PM
#3
User Info
Most of the oils I see used are coconut, but they're probably plantations as well.

Teiste, I agree about the use of tallow. But I've recently run into some information that tells me the trend away from tallow is a knee jerk reaction to BSE (mad cow disease). IMO it's completely unfounded, but the market is what it is. If Europeans won't buy tallow based soaps from their manufacturers, what we buy isn't going to keep a European manufacturer in business. So they switch over.

FWIW, BSE is found in nerve and brain tissue, not fat, and it needs to be eaten. So I guess I just don't understand the huge concern about BSE in tallow. Maybe I'm missing something.

32 6,309
Reply
 09-06-2012, 12:37 PM
#4
User Info
I think there is also this perception that tallow is somehow dirty because it is cow fat. Same with lard.

Neither is true of course.

9 2,988
Reply
 09-06-2012, 12:46 PM
#5
User Info
Teiste,

I totally agree with your rationale. However, there are many sources of ethically (sustainably) harvested palm oil for soapers. I, personally, would never use anything else.

6 315
Reply
 09-06-2012, 01:12 PM
#6
User Info
(09-06-2012, 12:34 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Most of the oils I see used are coconut, but they're probably plantations as well.

Teiste, I agree about the use of tallow. But I've recently run into some information that tells me the trend away from tallow is a knee jerk reaction to BSE (mad cow disease). IMO it's completely unfounded, but the market is what it is. If Europeans won't buy tallow based soaps from their manufacturers, what we buy isn't going to keep a European manufacturer in business. So they switch over.

FWIW, BSE is found in nerve and brain tissue, not fat, and it needs to be eaten. So I guess I just don't understand the huge concern about BSE in tallow. Maybe I'm missing something.

Maybe because so many shave soaps out there smell good enough to eat?! Tongue

31 7,914
Reply
 09-06-2012, 01:55 PM
#7
  • Exapno
  • Member
  • Northampton, England
User Info
As Kermit so rightly said, 'it's not easy being green'. The line between ethical and sustainable is a difficult one to walk. I'm a vegetarian, I choose to use only synthetic brushes and products that don't include animal derived ingredients. However, I am aware of both sides of the argument. The most sustainable material for a brush would probably be horse hair. Badger is more sustainable than Synthetic, as it's a natural material. Mink is probably more environmentally friendly as a material to make a coat out of than fleece (polyester) but you won't find me wearing a mink coat anytime soon. Palm oil, farmed responsibly is probably as sustainable as tallow. The problem lies in the fact that a great deal of it isn't farmed responsibly. I would far rather that both options remained available and that the farming of palm oil was put under greater scrutiny and control to ensure that the environmental impact was as small as possible. I suspect (and hope) that this might happen.

As an aside, unless you lived in the UK at the time it's difficult to appreciate the effect that the BSE crisis had on the country as a whole. One of the legacies is that many abattoirs went out of business. This also effected the cheese industry (not enough animal rennet). A switch to palm oil in products might have more to do with supply of tallow than being more 'green'. Also, Slantman's comment about religious beliefs is worth repeating. Companies are now selling to a global market, not just a local one. If including tallow means that your product isn't going to be able to be sold to a fairly large market I can see many manufacturers switching ingredients not to be green but because it makes 'business' sense.

0 132
Reply
 09-06-2012, 07:18 PM
#8
User Info
(09-06-2012, 11:59 AM)Teiste Wrote: Gentlemen :

I have been researching the sources of Palm Oil (the kind of Oil used for veggie based shaving soaps) and I founded that is not that "green" or ecological as some have made us thought.Its actually the opposite and I wonder what the "ecologist" out there would say.To be honest,Im more convinced that tallow is more "green" than Palm Oil these days : at least ,if an animal have to die,we will use all of it (even its fat) to make soaps.But some have made us believe that this is not ethical,that people dont want animal products in their soaps and blah blah blah (reason given by many UK companies when they dropped tallow in their shaving soaps).

Here is an interesting article about how Palm Oil is obtained and the impact that the forest suffers due to the massive Palm Trees plantations.

http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/#.UEjffMThUHk.facebook

I have never thought that a tallow based soap is better than a Palm Oil/veggie based,but I believe in good formulations , however,maybe its time to go back to the good old ways and use tallow : the environmental impact would be a little bit lesser,I think...

I wonder if palm oil is what gives a Palmolive shave stick its unique smell.

It seems like you can't win for losing if you try to be conscientious. I have always wanted American cars, but as it turns out, some of them are built in other countries while the foreign ones are made in the US.

I love animals but seem to always find myself buying the wrong things. My ex-wife is an animal rights activist and she felt so strongly about it that she quit eating beef, pork, and chicken. If you buy eggs, it's not enough to buy them from free roaming chickens. Some of those are shot up with drugs. Some organic produce isn't organic enough. I'm not sure I know what the word means any more. All the mainstream toiletries and cleaners do animal testing. She boycotted St. Jude's Hospital because they said some animal testing was unavoidable in their research to find cures for diseases. She drank soy milk because in reality milk from cows was basically made of pus. Things I was familiar with and used for a lifetime suddenly became No Nos. I ran out of things to buy and finally had to just say, some of the worst examples I'd boycott but otherwise, I have to eat, drink, and clean something. Huh

I've carried a case of Ol' Roy (Wal-Mart) dog food in my truck for probably 6 months because some animal rights people don't like what's in it. I'll probably just throw it away.

I'd do anything for my pups, though.
Molly
   
Smitty
   

0 282
Reply
 09-06-2012, 08:11 PM
#9
User Info
One needs to do ones research! Period, exclamation!

If someone chooses an easy city life, guess what...? Then when one chooses to do it ones self, reality hits, but at least it's reality and a choice.

32 6,309
Reply
 09-06-2012, 08:55 PM
#10
User Info
Unless the product is marked as ecological, it probably isn't.
Unless the product is marked as vegetarian, it probably isn't.
Unless the product is marked as fair trade, it probably isn't.

And even when they are marked... it pays to research first.

You have to pick your battles... we buy ecological vegetables from a local farm when it's season for it, and are willing to pay a premium for a number of fair trade items (particularly coffee and chocolate)... but we don't go so far as to stop buying other things when a ethical alternative isn't available.

And to sort of bring this thread back on the track; does anyone know of a soap that uses sustainable, ecological, preferable fair trade, ingredients?

3 3,580
Reply
 09-06-2012, 10:24 PM
#11
User Info
I'd like to see us take care of each other first, then worry about the planet.

9 1,199
Reply
 09-07-2012, 06:39 AM
#12
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
(09-06-2012, 01:55 PM)Exapno Wrote: As an aside, unless you lived in the UK at the time it's difficult to appreciate the effect that the BSE crisis had on the country as a whole. One of the legacies is that many abattoirs went out of business. This also effected the cheese industry (not enough animal rennet). A switch to palm oil in products might have more to do with supply of tallow than being more 'green'. Also, Slantman's comment about religious beliefs is worth repeating. Companies are now selling to a global market, not just a local one. If including tallow means that your product isn't going to be able to be sold to a fairly large market I can see many manufacturers switching ingredients not to be green but because it makes 'business' sense.

+1 extremely well said, knowing all the facts can help paint a very different picture on why certain things come about Thumbsup

23 1,872
Reply
 10-31-2012, 08:59 AM
#13
User Info
Maybe the real reason was a fear of mad cow disease?
Really no oil source is totally Green but a guy needs a good shave right?

0 34
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)