I'm interested in local sources of fats/oils

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Hello, I try to be as zero-waste as possible. One thing I don't love about soap making is the containers that the fats/oils come in. If I was a hunter, I think I'd be set on lard, as we are literally paid to hunt wild hogs here in Texas. But I've never hunted. I'd be interested in contacting local farms to see if I can have/purchase the fat from their animals. Does anyone have any experience with this or suggestions? I think you'd have to have a good system set up, because I'm guessing you'd be getting a butt-load of fat. Or If I had a palm tree farm, or a coconut tree farm, I could use that.

Anyone have any ideas for local fats/oils? Thanks.
 
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I don't really think a farm would be the right choice, they often send their animals away to be killed...a butcher would more likely have the dead animal...and it's fat.

You could look into local hunting groups as well. (Sorry I keep editing) To buy the fat from their hunt I mean...not necessarily for you to hunt.
 
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I'm participating in an EVOO co-op buy organised by a friend. She buys the huge 5 L metal cans from Creta, and we come and refill old glass bottles.

Bag-in-box (gastro professionals) has some appeal to me as well. It's not zero-waste, but much better balance than glass or plastic bottles, and better for the oils as well (no air contact). If they only weren't that expensive to buy! Economies of scale really kill initiatives to escape the packaging trap.

Same for the zero-waste stores that have become quite ubiquitous around here over the last years. You can go there with whatever vessel you have, tap oils from their large containers. I've seen shea butter in deposit jars there too. But their range of offers is quite limited, and prices alone qualify it for hardly anything outside gourmet cuisine anyway.

Some day when I'm in an urge to cheer up my regionality, I might contact one of the local oil mills (canola oil for biodiesel production is quite common around here), and ask them for a few litres of oil.

It's a sad reality of globalisation that it is far out of reach for internationally traded goods (tropical hard fats).
 
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I've gotten some tallow from a guy who raises and sells wagyu beef. He has it butchered then sells it out of his freezer on his farm. There is a market for beef fat during hunting season. It is often added to ground venison which is very lean. Between March and September (not hunting season) he sometimes gives it to me when I buy meat. I have also gotten it free or nearly free from the grocery store butcher. Be sure to ask when they're having roasts or steaks on special as they're doing a lot of trimming.

I'm going to ask the deer processor for some deer fat if one of my son's kills one this year
 

gww

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If you were not looking for commercial amount and have a big family, Just have them all save their trimmings off the meats they buy to cook for themselves. It might add up quicker then you think. We have freezers and buy stuff on sale and trim it and package it smaller for use later and the fat used to go in the trash can. Now that I am giving my family some soap, they all are saving their bacon grease and some have frozen some fat. Don't know about your stores but out here the stuff that goes on sale usually has lots of fat to be trimmed. Deer season starts tomorrow here. Guess if I am successful, I will see how much fat is on a deer and how easy it is to get but I have always processed my own and am thinking the bulk package of pork steaks I bought will end up having more fat on it then a whole deer does.
Cheers
gww
 
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One option to cut down on waste is to go in the other direction for some oils (I think in Texas you'll get fat from animals locally easy enough if you ask around enough) - with oils with a longer shelf life, buy in bulk? Having a 1 litre bottle 20 times is more waste than a 20 litre container 1 time. Not sure if you use enough oil that it would still be okay by the time you're finishing the container, but the idea to get in to a co-op with people is a good option - buy in bulk but share it out (and the costs of course!) so you can refill your container and the only waste is the larger container, which are usually metal and easier to recycle anyway

Edited to add - my local warehouse shops for the restaurant industry sell oils in metal containers, as an example
 
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All great suggestions and ideas. Thank you all. Having neighbors save bacon grease is a cool idea that I can probably get rolling the soonest. I've asked the butcher at the local grocery store once, and he told me wednesday was the day with the most fat, and I collected it once, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't all the "best" fat from the animal- but it did make soap! All check into all these ideas. Thanks, again.
 
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Hello, I try to be as zero-waste as possible. One thing I don't love about soap making is the containers that the fats/oils come in. If I was a hunter, I think I'd be set on lard, as we are literally paid to hunt wild hogs here in Texas. But I've never hunted. I'd be interested in contacting local farms to see if I can have/purchase the fat from their animals. Does anyone have any experience with this or suggestions? I think you'd have to have a good system set up, because I'm guessing you'd be getting a butt-load of fat. Or If I had a palm tree farm, or a coconut tree farm, I could use that.

Anyone have any ideas for local fats/oils? Thanks.
Though large hog farms go through meat processors, some small farms do their own butchering. I have been thinking of trying lard soaps. I plan to put a sign at the local feed store, to see if I can get any local pig fat to process for soap. I live in a rural area, so am hoping it won't be difficult to find someone. Now would be a good time as most people still do their butchering in the fall, if they do it themselves.

I have looked in the grocery store, but the lard they sell has preservatives and though that may not be bad for soap, it bothers me to start out with an ingredient that has preservatives. Of course, I may find i dislike the process of rendering the fat to get lard. It is probably very smelly. So we will see.

Love to hear back in a few months to see what you have found.
 
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I found a local hog processor by putting out a notice on Craigslist. He could provide with more leaf fat that I can ever use, and at a very reasonable price. It renders so cleanly into odorless, pure white lard. I haven't contacted him in awhile bc I wanted to try purchasing lard in bulk from the local restaurant supply store. It honestly wasn’t as nice, so when I’m done with this box, I plan to go back to processing my own.
 
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gww

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One whole deer, easy to get fat with no meat attached, equals one quart zip lock bag of un-rendered fat. I am pretty sure I get more off a value pack of pork steak. Just thought I would put it out there for anyone who might be interested.
Cheers
gww
 
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One whole deer, easy to get fat with no meat attached, equals one quart zip lock bag of un-rendered fat. I am pretty sure I get more off a value pack of pork steak. Just thought I would put it out there for anyone who might be interested.
Cheers
gww
Yes, venison is very dry, hardly any fat. I always make stew with what's given to me.
 

Ladka

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... I wanted to try purchasing lard in bulk from the local restaurant supply store. It honestly wasn’t as nice, so when I’m done with this box, I plan to go back to processing my own.
When I bought lard (rendered) in a food department it smelled delicious to prepare food with but I wouldn't like my soap to smell like food. What is chemically regarded impurities in a substance is what imparts the delicious taste and/or odour to food, and I like it BTW. However, it is most unwanted in a bar of soap for me. So I washed it, ie. rendered in salty water a few times so finally it was odourless. I dried it - wiped any residual drops on the surface and melted it for the last time, now without water. I heated it above 100 deg. Celsius so that all the "hidden" water evaporated. Now the lard is impeccable - no odour no colour - and is waiting in the fridge to be used.
 
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Thanks again all for the great ideas and help. I think now I'm on to learning more about the wild hogs in our area to see if/how I can get lard from them. A dream I had was to set up an RV next to a butcher or farm, they give me all their lard, and there is no waste. But I gotta start small somewhere lol.
 

MelissaG

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Look for a local butcher if you want local fats. They usually throw them out so they will likely be quite happy to sell them to you. The more that can be used rather than thrown out, the better. Most of the animal is used already but the fats are harder to find a buyer for.
 
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