One of the questions that Darlene and I frequently get asked at farmers' markets is, “what is tallow?” For those of you who don't know, tallow is rendered beef suet, and suet is the fat that lines the kidneys of a cow. If you use commercial soaps, you've probably already used tallow without even realizing it. Unfortunately, that tallow most likely comes from industrial feed lots where the cows aren't treated the way cows, or any animal, should be treated. On top of that, the commercial soaps have so many other added chemicals, that the benefits of tallow (even poor quality feed-lot tallow) in their products are completely destroyed.
We use grass-fed tallow because of how wonderfully it binds with our skin, the higher vitamin content (A,D, E, and Omega-3's), and the higher levels of CLA. We also use only locally sourced suet which means that we get to go directly to the farms and see how happy and healthy the cows are- something that is extremely important to us.
Another question we get asked quite often is, “Do you use lye?” and the answer to that is always “yes” because that is exactly what makes soap, well...soap. Without lye, there would be no chemical reaction and therefore the lye and the fats/oils wouldn't combine and we wouldn't end up with a wonderful bar of soap. We might be able to create something that is soap-esque by adding a bunch of chemicals together, but it wouldn't be soap (and it might not be all that great for you). Don't worry, though, all lye that is used in soap-making is gone by the end of the process and there is absolutely no lye contained in the final product!
We feel it is extremely important for people to know what, exactly, it is that they're buying. As always, feel free to comment here, send us an email, or find us at one of our markets if you have any questions about our products!