The Many Benefits Of Grass Fed Tallow And Why We Use It
When you think of glowing skin or disease prevention, melted animal fat is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, tallow is a saturated fat you’ll want to keep stocked in your pantry for its numerous health benefits and countless uses.
Many refer to tallow as an ‘old fashioned fat’ because historically, it was the primary fat used for cooking and frying thanks to its unusually high smoke point. However, tallow was replaced with refined vegetable oils (such as canola), when incomplete studies claimed that saturated fats cause heart disease. (Spoiler alert: there’s still no scientific evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease).
As a saturated animal fat, tallow almost looks like a hybrid of coconut oil and butter, but with a dry, waxy texture. It’s generally made from cattle fat, but can come from any animal, except pork — pork tallow is called lard. So, tallow is basically cow lard. Beef tallow is: 50% saturated fat, 42% monounsaturated fat and 4% polyunsaturated fat.
Believe it or not, tallow is the original ‘body butter’. Sure, slathering beef fat all over your body may not sound appealing at first, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
The structure of our cell membranes is made up of approximately 50% saturated fats, which is very similar to the percentage of saturated fatty acids in tallow. Fatty acids are also the building blocks of healthy skin cells, which makes them an important nutrient for skin repair and regeneration. Since anything we put on our bodies is absorbed through the skin, you can get some of the health benefits of tallow by applying it topically, as well as by eating it.
Believe it or not, most commercial soap bars are made with tallow! And a lot of moisturizes still contain tallow as a base ingredient - you probably just don't recognize it as it's normally written on the labels as Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Oleic Acid and Palmitic Acid, these are all names for fatty acids – produced from natural fats and oils – that are added to soaps, cosmetics personal care products, and some foods including margarine, shortening and other baking ingredients. Almost all stearic acid in Canada is made from tallow, with smaller amounts coming from palm oil
So why would we we choose to use this in our products? Well we believe that skincare products should nourish our skin without having to impart hormone disrupting toxins and fragrances (these nasty ingredients are made in laboratories). With our skin being our largest organ and the gateway right into our body, our skincare products should be made with wholesome, clean and recognizable ingredients this is how people cared for their skin before chemicals became the norm.
Grass fed tallow is ultra rich in the same kinds of lipids that are found naturally in youthful, healthy looking skin. Grass fed tallow also contains fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E & K. All intrinsically balanced by nature, with no further improvement or enrichment needed. This makes grass fed tallow highly skin compatible, allowing it to absorb easily into the skin to improve the protective barrier function of the skin, prevent moisture loss and regenerate the appearance of healthy, youthful looking skin.
Using tallow was a conscience decision made by us based on it's well established history of use and because of the science behind it. Using tallow enables us to consume a widely available resource, support local farmers and families while staying true to pre-industrial recipes that were simple and functional, without weird ass conventional synthetic cleansers and conditioning ingredients usually made in part with petrochemicals. Using tallow also eliminates our need to add a multitude of other ingredients from worldwide sources to make up the same benefits that we gain from this one ingredient. Seems like an unpopular move to make in the wake of veganism and anti commercial farming, but global warming isn't happening fast enough for us to start growing coconuts and palm oil plants here in Canada.
And on the subject of palm oil it is used heavily in food and cosmetics production as it is very cheap—and it’s cheap thanks to very unsustainable harvesting practices that are destroying rain forest, exploiting workers in foreign countries, and leaving endangered species like the orangutan without habitat. Yes you can purchase ethically grown palm oil but it is so expensive and still has to be shipped from miles away that it's just not a viable choice for our small business.
We are not taking a stance against vegans or those that are concerned about animal welfare, and having grown up on small scale farms could not agree more with the need to destroy our destructive attitudes towards mass meat consumption and the unfair treatment of animals. We believe in a balance between these views, and returning to a time when we as a society had more respect for that balance and for using the plants and animals around us.