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Palm Oil Alternatives

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LaLuna

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Hi All,
Recently I heard that the growing of Palm Oil plantations is responsible for large amounts of rainforest clearing in Malaysia. This is decreasing the amount of habitat available for orangutans, which are a precious and endangered species.
Actually I was horrified, because I love to use Palm oil in my soaps! It's cheap, and a great medium, and helps make a beautiful soap.
I went to Malaysia a few years ago, with my (then) baby girl, and we visited an orangutan rehabilitation centre (no, not for celebrity orangutans gone wild! For animals that have been kept in captivity, or orphaned or injured to learn how to live in the forest again) in the middle of a beautiful rainforest. I had a wonderful and terrifying experience with a mother oragutan and her baby, who were wandering near the path we were walking on, with no rangers nearby, and I had no idea if she was dangerous, as her behaviour seemed irratic at first. She kept her distance though, and my friends and I settled in to watch her. She was really interested in us, as we were her. My baby was hungry, so I started to breastfeed her, and I felt that the mother orangutan's behaviour changed towards us and became more relaxed when she saw an act that our two species had in common. It was a very special experience.
So when I discovered the other side of palm oil production, I immediately decided that I couldn't use it anymore. I know that I only use a miniscule fraction of the total palm oil produced, but that is the only fraction that I am responsible for.
So what can I use that will give me similar characteristics? Do any of you have any great recipes that don't use palm oil, but still turn out hard(ish) and perform well? My usual recipe is:
Castor oil 10%
Coconut oil 10%
Macadamia oil8%
Olive oil 30%
Palm oil 23.33%
Rice Bran oil 10%
Beeswax 8.67%
+ Lye & rainwater
+ clay & fo
It's a great recipe, and I'm loath to change it, but I must! I look forward to hearing your advice! :)
 
G

Guest

you can sub it for Crisco, soybean oil.. although some are mixed with cottonseed oil as well
 
G

Guest

using crisco, coconut oil, and olive.. my bars are hard everytime... I discount my water. Its enough for me
 
G

Guest

i know that..this is why i recommended the combination to her. :? :? thanks
 

LaLuna

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Actually I have adjusted my previous recipe, and even though the soaps seemed too gooey and soft to start with, even after a week or so, they have gradually hardened up. I haven't used any of the new "Palm oil free" ones, but they look great, and they did eventually harden up anyway! Thanks again :)
 
G

Guest

I've been using 100% soy wax in small amounts and am so far very pleased with the results. Cocoa Butter hardens the soap very well too. Olive and Avocado oils both get very hard with cure.

IN FACT - I made a batch with Olive, Avocado, Canola, Coconut, Cocoa Butter, Castor and Soy wax. It was just as hard coming out of the mold as my soaps with Palm. I can't wait to try them.

One of my favorite soaps is Olive and Avocado and Castor. Hard as a brick in a few weeks with a 50% water discount. VERY conditioning.
 

IanT

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LaLuna said:
Hi All,
Recently I heard that the growing of Palm Oil plantations is responsible for large amounts of rainforest clearing in Malaysia. This is decreasing the amount of habitat available for orangutans, which are a precious and endangered species.
Actually I was horrified, because I love to use Palm oil in my soaps! It's cheap, and a great medium, and helps make a beautiful soap.
I went to Malaysia a few years ago, with my (then) baby girl, and we visited an orangutan rehabilitation centre (no, not for celebrity orangutans gone wild! For animals that have been kept in captivity, or orphaned or injured to learn how to live in the forest again) in the middle of a beautiful rainforest. I had a wonderful and terrifying experience with a mother oragutan and her baby, who were wandering near the path we were walking on, with no rangers nearby, and I had no idea if she was dangerous, as her behaviour seemed irratic at first. She kept her distance though, and my friends and I settled in to watch her. She was really interested in us, as we were her. My baby was hungry, so I started to breastfeed her, and I felt that the mother orangutan's behaviour changed towards us and became more relaxed when she saw an act that our two species had in common. It was a very special experience.
So when I discovered the other side of palm oil production, I immediately decided that I couldn't use it anymore. I know that I only use a miniscule fraction of the total palm oil produced, but that is the only fraction that I am responsible for.
So what can I use that will give me similar characteristics? Do any of you have any great recipes that don't use palm oil, but still turn out hard(ish) and perform well? My usual recipe is:
Castor oil 10%
Coconut oil 10%
Macadamia oil8%
Olive oil 30%
Palm oil 23.33%
Rice Bran oil 10%
Beeswax 8.67%
+ Lye & rainwater
+ clay & fo
It's a great recipe, and I'm loath to change it, but I must! I look forward to hearing your advice! :)






I find your experience with the orang fascinating!, (though we hate to admit it as humans) we are JUST animals all living under the sun. I think that animals understand our behavior better than we understand theirs. Humans for the most part have lost the ability to communicate with animals in such a manner because it is mostly nonverbal....

I did not know that palm oil industry clears forests as you mentioned! I have not used it yet but I will try to seek an alternative that is renewable instead of using this oil or seek a supplier that does not support the clearing of forests.

on a side note, have you ever watched that show called orangutan island?? just curious...but I think you would enjoy it if you havent! Its on animal planet.


IanT
 

MakeArtNotWar

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Glad I did a search since I do not want to use Palm oil for this reason. Thanks for posting.
 

antella

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I'm using more shortening. I probably won't eliminate palm completely but I'm buying less. Not only for ecological reasons but because it's not that easy to get unless you order it sent to you and it weighs so much for shipping.

But if you eliminate palm for eco reasons and lard and tallow for animal concerns and shortening because there's cottonseed oil in it (and some people don't like that) it could sure make handmade soap a challenge. And then of course there's the rising cost of certain oils like olive. I think a lot of this might just be par for the course with any materials you use to make stuff for a business. But if you try to go totally environmentally-conscious it could cost a small fortune and become difficult to keep doing. That's my take on this part of soaping.
 

Krickett

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Ok have a question sort of on subject and sort of not. Is there a really big difference in castor oil and mineral oil? I mean could you subsitute mineral for castor and get the same effect? Many Thanks in advance for the info.

Krickett
 

MetalSubstance

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Mineral oil is totally unsaponifiable, since it is derived from petroleum and doesn't have the same chemical composition as plant and animal fats. I wouldn't think it would work as a substitute for castor oil.

--Metal Substance
 

digitalmayhem

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I would not substitute crisco (which is actually palm derived, no?)--but I won't use crisco in my soaps, at all.



I'm a pretty big proponent of environmental issues and sustainability--and what I think is more important than NOT using palm is that you purchase from suppliers who utilize *sustainably harvested* oils. Palm, especially, can be harvested WITHOUT cutting down trees and can be completely sustainable. If you use columbus foods, buy the organic palm which is sustainably harvested, and is only a teensy more expensive than the non-organic palm.
 

Krickett

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Thank you very much for the answer---NO Mineral oil usage for me!!

Krickett
 

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