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What happens to the bad stuff in animal fat once saponified?

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valerieinthegallery

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I have read dozens of threads on here re: animal fats in soap and although a few have touched on this, it was never really explored much, as far as I could see.

So, say I make some soap with lard from the grocery store. That lard came from pigs that I am assuming were raised in factory farms, where they were fed and loaded up on all sorts of nasties. From what I understand, fat loves to absorb all of that. (Toxins, antibiotics, etc.)

Now, I know that when you have lye molecules and fat molecules and they walk off into the sunset hand in hand, the lye and the fat changes right down to the molecular level, nulling and voiding the lye molecules and the fat molecules and creating a whole new, completely different molecule. A soap molecule! Yay, soap!

So.. theoretically, the lard isn't technically lard anymore. But what about the stuff that was IN the lard? What does that turn into? Something better? Something neutral? Something just as bad? Or nothing at all? It can't just cease to exist if it was there before, right? So what is it now?
 

DeeAnna

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"... So, say I make some soap with lard from the grocery store. That lard came from pigs that I am assuming were raised in factory farms, where they were fed and loaded up on all sorts of nasties. From what I understand, fat loves to absorb all of that. (Toxins, antibiotics, etc.) ..."

Before we get into this, I really would like to know what references you are reading that show there are antibiotics and undesirable toxins in pork and specifically in lard. And further, what health risks are there from these contaminants? I'm not really sure we can address your questions if we really don't know for sure there is even a problem.
 

JBot

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Before we get into this, I really would like to know what references you are reading that show there are antibiotics and undesirable toxins in pork and specifically in lard. And further, what health risks are there from these contaminants? I'm not really sure we can address your questions if we really don't know for sure there is even a problem.
I LOVE THIS. There's so much chatter about all the "toxins" in this and that, and people just assume it's true. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but shouldn't we verify the information before we accept it as a fact? (Side note: Facebook does not count as a "source.") If you do have a credible source, consider whether that source might have an agenda or stand to gain financially from people turning away or toward a certain product or industry. For example, I'd look very carefully at a study claiming that vacuum cleaners cause cancer if the study were sponsored by The Broom Association of America. But so few people really examine the sources of articles/studies or look critically at the supporting data, let alone understand how to interpret that data. They glance at the slick-looking chart and accept the bite-sized "facts" as gospel truth.

Also consider that unlike peer-reviewed publications, there is NO FILTER on the internet. People can put up a professional-looking website that says any kind of nonsense you can think of. And remember that testimonials are not data!

While we're at it, what does "toxin" mean, anyway? People CONSTANTLY misuse this term as a catch-all for Things That Are Yucky and Might Be Bad For You. Drives me bonkers.

Please note: this is not directed at Valerie specifically, since I have no idea what kind of research she's done. Maybe she's been very thorough. I simply appreciate DeeAnna's request for references, which so few people seem to stop and think about.
 

Seawolfe

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Plants are well known ecological detoxifiers, absorbing atmospheric pollutants, hydrocarbons and heavy metals amoung other things. I am not a botanist, but I will assume some of that is sequestered in their lipids, from which oils and butters are extracted. May as well worry the same about them, more really since no continental air is really "clean".
 

JayJay

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I have read dozens of threads on here re: animal fats in soap and although a few have touched on this, it was never really explored much, as far as I could see.

So, say I make some soap with lard from the grocery store. That lard came from pigs that I am assuming were raised in factory farms, where they were fed and loaded up on all sorts of nasties. From what I understand, fat loves to absorb all of that. (Toxins, antibiotics, etc.)

Now, I know that when you have lye molecules and fat molecules and they walk off into the sunset hand in hand, the lye and the fat changes right down to the molecular level, nulling and voiding the lye molecules and the fat molecules and creating a whole new, completely different molecule. A soap molecule! Yay, soap!

So.. theoretically, the lard isn't technically lard anymore. But what about the stuff that was IN the lard? What does that turn into? Something better? Something neutral? Something just as bad? Or nothing at all? It can't just cease to exist if it was there before, right? So what is it now?
I hear your concern and I think that you raise a legitimate question. It is true that factory farmed animals are fed a constant supply of antibiotics and hormones. I think that is is reasonable to wonder how much of that is contained in the animal's fat and what happens to that "extra" stuff after it has turned to soap. I get the question but I have no answer for you.

I am interested in what other people can find on the topic, and I wish I had time to do some research myself.
 

lenarenee

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Plants are well known ecological detoxifiers, absorbing atmospheric pollutants, hydrocarbons and heavy metals amoung other things. I am not a botanist, but I will assume some of that is sequestered in their lipids, from which oils and butters are extracted. May as well worry the same about them, more really since no continental air is really "clean".

I had no idea! I've always heard about "clean air" plants, and trees that clean the air...but that's as far as my head went. Guess I thought their respiration of carbon dioxide magically cleaned the air!

Valerie, your thoughts are following in my footsteps; I had those same concerns but didn't find any definitive answers. I was going crazy trying to find truthful answers, but the search just consumed too many hours.

For me, it comes down to this. Word on the 'net is skin absorbs everything, but my pharmacist and doctor tell me otherwise. The skin is designed to help keep many things out. Some molecules are too big to be absorbed. The transdermal medications (patches) are made with a chemical that helps the medicine be absorbed.

However, some things are absorbed. I prefer my homemade soap to syndets because of the suspicions of some of their ingredients.

And most of all, I eat meat, and usually a slice of bacon with every breakfast. I'd like to eat 3 or 4 slices, but don't. I think there's more potential to be affected by toxins in pork fat with the ingestion of that bacon, far more than lard in my soap.

So now Seawolfe tells us even vegetables aren't as clean as we thought! Looks like we gotta pick our poison. (or at least, the ways we choose to lesson our poisons)

Off topic here, but.....is it a bad sign when your fortune cookie doesn't have a fortune in it? :think:
 
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JayJay

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^^^ this.

Along with those points, I also found myself wondering about what would be absorbed through the skin from using soap
I am hoping that we don't absorb much. And I am also assuming that our bodies can handle most "toxins" we encounter. So I am not personally worried.

But just like our Vegan Soap thread,people sometimes want to avoid certain things in their soap just because they want to avoid them. That's really one of the big advantages to making one's own soap. We can include the ingredients that we like and exclude the ingredients that we don't like....for whatever reason.
 

valerieinthegallery

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"... So, say I make some soap with lard from the grocery store. That lard came from pigs that I am assuming were raised in factory farms, where they were fed and loaded up on all sorts of nasties. From what I understand, fat loves to absorb all of that. (Toxins, antibiotics, etc.) ..."

Before we get into this, I really would like to know what references you are reading that show there are antibiotics and undesirable toxins in pork and specifically in lard. And further, what health risks are there from these contaminants? I'm not really sure we can address your questions if we really don't know for sure there is even a problem.
I haven't read all the other replies yet, but I first wanted to clarify my position in case it seemed I had an agenda. I have no agenda. I want to use lard. I HAVE used lard. Admittedly, I don't feel AWESOME about using it, and part of getting myself to the point where I do is to ruminate on the things about it that are troubling me, which is why I asked this question. It is simply something that has been on my mind, and something I would like to explore further before I go open up the 4 pound tub of lard that is sitting on my kitchen table right now as I type this.

As for sources, it is pretty well-documented how pigs in factory farms live, what they are fed, etc. It's not like it's a big secret. I don't think any one of us here, regardless of how much we love lard, could ever say that we love the lives these pigs live. I'm not talking about the farm down the street; I'm talking about factory farms. I'm not saying I'm against killing them for food; but I am against the lives they live before we do it.

From what I read, a lot of things get stored up in fat, so because I haven't dug up any sources, let's just say that THEORETICALLY, if there were things in their bodies that were less than desirable, there might be traces of that in their fat - hormones, antibiotics, things that are mixed into their food.. even their cortisol and adrenaline that is released as they are lined up for slaughter.

This is the point where I should say that I am not a vegetarian. I eat meat. I eat pig meat. I make a GREAT loaded baked potato soup which involves sauteing garlic and onions in bacon fat. NONE of this is based on an agenda. I just like to know the ins and outs of everything that I am interested in. And I am interested in this. So THEORETICALLY, if there are undesirable things in a pig's body that get absorbed by fatty tissue, I am just wonder how saponification deals with those particles. That's all.

Off to read the rest of the comments.

I'm sorry if I opened a can of worms and got people upset. I just like to know stuff.
 
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lionprincess00

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I am more concerned with the ingestion of said perceived dangerous things in our supplies of food than I am slathering briefly onto my skin and rinsing off...which is well before a massive amount is absorbed (unlike the intestinal tract). I think there's plenty to worry about, but I save the concern for ingestion more so than the small amount of leftover Superfat (which is split fairly amongst the ingredients) that is rubbed onto intact skin, very briefly, and then washed off.
Not getting into the debate of gmo's or any other thing, but the soap factor (and saponifying in a lye bath) is fairly benign compared to daily ingestion to me...and veggies to me are as worrisome as the rest (with regard to whether or not things are truly safe and healthy...).
 

lionprincess00

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I haven't read all the other replies yet, but I first wanted to clarify my position in case it seemed I had an agenda. I have no agenda. I want to use lard. I HAVE used lard. Admittedly, I don't feel AWESOME about using it, and part of getting myself to the point where I do is to pontificate on the things about it that are troubling me, which is why I asked this question. It is simply something that has been on my mind, and something I would like to explore further before I go open up the 4 pound jug of lard that is sitting on my kitchen table right now as I type this.

As for sources, it is pretty well-documented how pigs in factory farms live, what they are fed, etc. It's not like it's a big secret. I don't think any one of us here, regardless of how much we love lard, could ever say that we love the lives these pigs have. I'm not talking about the farm down the street; I'm talking about factory farms. I'm not saying I'm against killing them for food; but I am against the lives they live before we do it.

From what I read, a lot of things get stored up in fat, so because I haven't dug up the sources yet, let's just say that THEORETICALLY, if there were things in their bodies that were less than desirable, there might be traces of that in their fat - hormones, antibiotics, things that are mixed into their food.. even their cortisol and adrenaline that is released as they are lined up for slaughter.

This is the point that I should say that I am not a vegetarian. I eat meat. I eat pig meat. I make a GREAT loaded baked potato soup which involved sauteing garlic and onions in bacon fat. NONE of this is based on an agenda. I just like to know the ins and outs of everything that I am interested in. And I am interested in this. So THEORETICALLY, if there are undesirable things in a pig's body that get absorbed by fatty tissue, I am just wonder how saponification deals with those particles. That's all.

Off to read the rest of the comments.

I'm sorry if I opened a can of worms and got people upset. I just like to know stuff.
an honest and thoughtful concern. Most of us here will fully respect this and empathize with it. I'm greatly interested in everyone's opinion of it as well, including yours :)
 

valerieinthegallery

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I LOVE THIS. There's so much chatter about all the "toxins" in this and that, and people just assume it's true. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but shouldn't we verify the information before we accept it as a fact? (Side note: Facebook does not count as a "source.") If you do have a credible source, consider whether that source might have an agenda or stand to gain financially from people turning away or toward a certain product or industry. For example, I'd look very carefully at a study claiming that vacuum cleaners cause cancer if the study were sponsored by The Broom Association of America. But so few people really examine the sources of articles/studies or look critically at the supporting data, let alone understand how to interpret that data. They glance at the slick-looking chart and accept the bite-sized "facts" as gospel truth.

Also consider that unlike peer-reviewed publications, there is NO FILTER on the internet. People can put up a professional-looking website that says any kind of nonsense you can think of. And remember that testimonials are not data!

While we're at it, what does "toxin" mean, anyway? People CONSTANTLY misuse this term as a catch-all for Things That Are Yucky and Might Be Bad For You. Drives me bonkers.

Please note: this is not directed at Valerie specifically, since I have no idea what kind of research she's done. Maybe she's been very thorough. I simply appreciate DeeAnna's request for references, which so few people seem to stop and think about.
haha - thank you for the note at the end that you weren't directing that at me specifically, because I am not one of those people you speak of. LOL.
 

valerieinthegallery

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I had no idea! I've always heard about "clean air" plants, and trees that clean the air...but that's as far as my head went. Guess I thought their respiration of carbon dioxide magically cleaned the air!

Valerie, your thoughts are following in my footsteps; I had those same concerns but didn't find any definitive answers. I was going crazy trying to find truthful answers, but the search just consumed too many hours.

For me, it comes down to this. Word on the 'net is skin absorbs everything, but my pharmacist and doctor tell me otherwise. The skin is designed to help keep many things out. Some molecules are too big to be absorbed. The transdermal medications (patches) are made with a chemical that helps the medicine be absorbed.

However, some things are absorbed. I prefer my homemade soap to syndets because of the suspicions of some of their ingredients.

And most of all, I eat meat, and usually a slice of bacon with every breakfast. I'd like to eat 3 or 4 slices, but don't. I think there's more potential to be affected by toxins in pork fat with the ingestion of that bacon, far more than lard in my soap.

So now Seawolfe tells us even vegetables aren't as clean as we thought! Looks like we gotta pick our poison. (or at least, the ways we choose to lesson our poisons)

Off topic here, but.....is it a bad sign when your fortune cookie doesn't have a fortune in it? :think:
Oh, I think you're right about that! (About ingesting more bad stuff in the eating of the pig than in the using of soap made from its fat!)

Interesting too about skin and its absorption of the substances put onto it. I will be looking more into that.

Can you tell my brain never rests?
 

valerieinthegallery

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Plants are well known ecological detoxifiers, absorbing atmospheric pollutants, hydrocarbons and heavy metals amoung other things. I am not a botanist, but I will assume some of that is sequestered in their lipids, from which oils and butters are extracted. May as well worry the same about them, more really since no continental air is really "clean".
Very VERY interesting stuff! Can't wait to learn more about this, too! Thank you for contributing this info!
 

valerieinthegallery

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I hear your concern and I think that you raise a legitimate question. It is true that factory farmed animals are fed a constant supply of antibiotics and hormones. I think that is is reasonable to wonder how much of that is contained in the animal's fat and what happens to that "extra" stuff after it has turned to soap. I get the question but I have no answer for you.

I am interested in what other people can find on the topic, and I wish I had time to do some research myself.
Thank you for this very rational, thoughtful response. It makes me feel a bit less crazy.
 

valerieinthegallery

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But just like our Vegan Soap thread,people sometimes want to avoid certain things in their soap just because they want to avoid them. That's really one of the big advantages to making one's own soap. We can include the ingredients that we like and exclude the ingredients that we don't like....for whatever reason.
True - the problem lies in not knowing whether or not you like something. I want to use lard SO bad, but there are some things I need to work out first, before I feel comfortable doing it. Cognitive dissonance is not an option for me.
 

valerieinthegallery

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I am more concerned with the ingestion of said perceived dangerous things in our supplies of food than I am slathering briefly onto my skin and rinsing off...which is well before a massive amount is absorbed (unlike the intestinal tract). I think there's plenty to worry about, but I save the concern for ingestion more so than the small amount of leftover Superfat (which is split fairly amongst the ingredients) that is rubbed onto intact skin, very briefly, and then washed off.
Not getting into the debate of gmo's or any other thing, but the soap factor (and saponifying in a lye bath) is fairly benign compared to daily ingestion to me...and veggies to me are as worrisome as the rest (with regard to whether or not things are truly safe and healthy...).
Re: the superfat issue, I do HP exclusively, using only a 0.5-1.0% superfat during the cook and then adding a 5% superfat at the end with a butter. So if there was ANY animal fat left over after the cook, it would really be a very miniscule amount.

Thanks for your input.
 

lionprincess00

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Re: the superfat issue, I do HP exclusively, using only a 0.5-1.0% superfat during the cook and then adding a 5% superfat at the end with a butter. So if there was ANY animal fat left over after the cook, it would really be a very miniscule amount.

Thanks for your input.
Well, thank you too! You know, it's a fine line between believing big business and being led blindly into the world of dangerous substances, and thinking it's all deadly and avoiding every unproven hazard.

There's a happy medium between danger and safety, and most people go from one extreme (oh, you're over reacting!) To the other extreme (it's all going to kill you!!!). It benefits us to raise concern, question, and think on things without believing any one person or entity blindly. So thank you for your thoughtful concern:)
 

jules92207

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I find all these thoughts very interesting and am enjoying reading this thread, it's a valid thought to start discussion on and makes me want to dig deeper into the facts, both the animal fat and the plants.
 

DeeAnna

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I just want to know what Valerie is basing her view "...they were fed and loaded up on all sorts of nasties...." I don't know on what her point of view is based, and I'd seriously like to know, so I'm asking about information sources. I look forward to reading more about the basis for her viewpoint and will respond with pleasure.
 

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