Tallow, in the last 50 years, has all but vanished from our vocabulary. It was vilified by vegetable oil producers as an artery clogging, unhealthy fat when in fact, it is one of the best oils to both cook with and rub on your skin. Thankfully, emerging scientific research is exposing the real truth that tallow from grass fed cattle is actually a healthy fat and a great choice.
In this article, we uncover what tallow is, how it is similar to our own sebum and why grass fed is better than conventionally-raised.
What is Tallow?
Tallow is rendered Suet. Suet is the fat that surrounds the organs of a cow or deer, typically the kidneys. Once heated, suet will liquefy into gold colored oil that separates from the tissues originally intertwined throughout the suet (such as muscle and ligaments). At this liquid state, the fat is then strained through a filter to remove impurities. Once cooled, tallow becomes hard. Tallow is shelf-stable for up to 1 year and can last for many years if frozen immediately after rendering.
Tallow is used for cooking, skincare and industrial applications.
Grass fed tallow in particular is full of antioxidants, vitamins such as A, D and K, anti-microbial palmitoleic acid, and the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid called CLA - Conjugated Linoleic Acid - which has been linked to cancer prevention, fat loss and improved brain function.
A QUICK VIEW OF OUR TALLOW RENDERING PROCESS
A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON TALLOW
Long before families began relying on supermarkets for food and personal care products, men and women used what they had available to them in their homes. Tallow was used to make homemade candles, bar soaps and healing skin salves. Tallow was used for frying foods and for adding flavor to soups and stews.
Kitchens across the world used tallow to cook everything from french fries to fried chicken. Aside from its amazing flavor, tallow is a chef favorite because it is heat stable up to 400° F and rarely gets a rancid oil taste. Even locomotives employed tallow in their everyday adventures as a lubricant. Truth be told, while tallow was being slandered as a harmful thing of the past, it was and still is widely used all over the marketplace in disguise.
Did you know...?
...that tallow is commonly found in store-bought lipsticks, facial moisturizers, eye makeup, face foundations, shampoos, shaving creams, soaps and facial cleansers? Elements of tallow are frequently used under the names Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid and Sodium Tallowate. While using tallow in everyday products is certainly not a bad thing, using conventionally-farmed tallow is.
WHY IS GRASS FED TALLOW BETTER?
Tallow rendered from grass fed cattle has a wealth of benefits not shared by its cousin, the grain-fed, factory-farmed cow. Unfortunately, conventionally-farmed cows are fed an unnatural diet of GMO corn and held in over-crowded, confined housing with little or no access to the sun.
Tallow from grass fed cows is much different.
The grass, fresh air and sunshine a pasture-raised cow is exposed to when allowed to graze naturally provides the building blocks for the production of vital nutrients inside the animal's body. Just as the human body stores nutrients in the fat for later use, so does the cow, thus a wealth of benefits hidden inside its fat or tallow.
Benefits of Beef Tallow When Consumed:
- High in CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) a type of fat that has been shown to reduce cancer, lower body fat and improve brain function
- High levels of Vitamin A, D, E and K
- High level of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Rich in antioxidants
Benefits of Beef Tallow Applied to Skin:
- Rich in anti-aging antioxidants
- Rich in vitamins A, D, E and K that nourish the skin directly
- Easily absorbable as beef tallow closely resembles the human skin cell structure
- Tightens and maintains integrity of skin cells
- Promotes skin cell regeneration
TALLOW IS BIOLOGICALLY COMPATIBLE TO OUR SKIN'S SEBUM
Tallow is remarkably similar to our own skin's oil and has a history of use that spans the test of time.
Historically, tallow was a major ingredient in healing salves, bar soaps and creams for a variety of reasons. Many used tallow to prevent dry, cracked skin and to repair broken skin tissue and yet others just loved the way it made their skin look and feel.
Tallow provides key elements we need to maintain healthy, sturdy, cell integrity. Ever wonder why our elders appeared to have such soft, supple skin later in life?
Well, consider this. Our skin is biologically compatible with tallow in that they both contain 50-55% saturated fats (which are actually a good thing contrary to popular discussion) which help maintain skin cell integrity and tone.
In addition, both Tallow and Sebum (oil found naturally in our human skin) consist primarily of triglycerides which allow for easy absorption of nutrients.
WHY PURCHASE OUR TALLOW?
Because it's the best!
Our suet comes from the family ranch shown above, Edmundson Ranch. The grass fed cattle are raised with respect and admiration from the 3 generations of family that still operate the ranch hands-on. All cattle are grass-fed, grass-finished and NEVER treated with antibiotics, artificial growth hormones or steroids. Each cow is allowed to live naturally, while grazing in the Colorado sunshine.
Once the animal is processed for its beef, we render the fat using the old-fashioned, wet-render process. Essentially, we "wash" the suet in water in pots, then progressively filter the liquid tallow. We then chill the tallow, remelt it, restrain it and freeze it for freshness. Then, when we're ready to use it, we melt and filter it once more. Nothing but pure, clean, triple-purified tallow from grass fed cattle.
Our grass fed tallow is the #1 ingredient we use in our tallow skincare products. It hydrates like no other ingredient can and is biologically compatible to our own skin's oil. It can withstand temperatures of up to 400° without oxidizing, which makes it the best oil for cooking. Healthy fats like grass fed tallow are making a comeback for a reason. They have an impressive list of health benefits, are 100% natural and are like liquid gold for your skin!