What is Tallow?
What is Tallow?
Tallow is rendered Suet. Suet is the nutrient-dense fat that surrounds the organs of a cow or deer; most notably the kidneys.
Once heated, suet will liquefy into gold-colored oil that can be filtered to remove small fragments of tissue. Once cooled, tallow remains in a solid oil state at room temperature and can be stored for up to six months without refrigeration.
Unfiltered suet is commonly used as a binding ingredient in bird seed cones. Fine-filtered suet is commonly used in soap, body butters, balms and as cooking oil.
A practice done by companies to further purify the tallow is to "wash" it with water by gently heating it, then straining through progressively finer mesh. This method produces a tallow with little to no scent. See basic process below:
Suet and tallow have been commonplace ingredients for thousand of years. However, in the last century, using rendered beef fat (tallow) has been stigmatized while vegetable companies gained marketing ground for their products.
Recent publications, however, indicate their is a growing trend of clean, purified fats entering back into main stream as people become aware of their amazing benefits to our skin health.
Arguably, the most interesting aspect of tallow is that it contains many of the same lipids found in the human skin such as saturated fats, and in generally the same concentrations.
It also contains a high amount of CLA, an essential fatty acid known to reduce tumor cells in mice.
Grass-Fed versus Factory-Farmed Tallow
The diet, living conditions and access to outdoor air greatly affect the quality and nutrient level in tallow.
Grass fed, free-range, organically-raised cows produce tallow that is rich in nutrients and free from synthetic growth hormones. The exposure to sunshine and access to fresh, green grass allows the animal to take in and produce vitamins naturally.
Their nutrient-dense fat can then be used as a flavorful cooking oil, natural body moisturizer, soap, candles and more.
Studies have shown that grain-fed, factory-farmed cows do not produce this same type of tallow, in fact the level of CLA is almost undetectable. The unnatural GMO corn fed to the cattle creates havoc in their digestive system and limits the storage of vitamins within their fat. Also the lack of sunshine severely limits the production of vitamin D.
Uses for Tallow
Grass fed tallow is an excellent way to moisturize your skin. It can be applied directly to the skin via a tallow body butter, natural soap or tallow lip balm. It's great for even the most sensitive skin types and people with eczema and dermatitis.
Used in bar soap, grass fed tallow produces a rich, creamy lather that moisturizes as it cleans. Tallow also offers a firmness to a bar soap and tends to last much longer than an all vegetable-base soap. Shop tallow soaps now.