From Farm to Beauty: Unveiling the Origin of Tallow

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Written by Sarah Huerter

Where does tallow come from?

Tallow, to put it simply, is cow's fat. A fancier way is to say tallow is rendered beef fat, also known as the “liquid gold of cooking fats”. Rendering tallow is the process of breaking down and melting the animal fat. After heating the tallow, it becomes liquified, and excess moisture is diffused. The next step is straining to remove impurities, at which point the tallow cools and solidifies, becoming shelf stable.

Is grass-fed and pasture raised important?

Yes! The quality of tallow is directly related to the environment and diet of the animal. When a cow eats grass, rather than grain, it’s a healthier animal, period.. Furthermore, toxins tend to be stored in the fat of animals, so if the animal is eating GMO and otherwise poor quality grains, the worst part of that makes its way to the fat. Pasture-raised means the cow cavorted outside on a pasture, in its natural environment… allowing the best quality life and thus the highest quality tallow. It’s important that we value the life of the animal and choose to source tallow from a stress-free and happy grazing animal.

What are the benefits of tallow?

It’s not new information that tallow offers a wide range of benefits. Our ancestors have long been advocates of tallow, making sure that nothing goes to waste. Tallow is rich in fat-soluble and bioavailable vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are easily absorbed into the body and skin. Consuming nose-to-tail allows for all necessary nutrients to be met in abundance. 

Tallow contains vitamin D which is fantastic for bone health and vitamin A, which supports healthy skin, eyesight and teeth. The high saturated fat content of tallow, it's 50% by the way, means these fat-soluble vitamins will also be better absorbed into the body…whether through digestion or through the skin!

How else is tallow used?

Did you know McDonalds used to cook their fries in tallow? Tallow was more widely used as cooking oil… until vegetable oils hit the market and the low costs led to their popularity. These days we have a better understanding of how these oils affect our health. We know that beef tallow is a far healthier and safer alternative than vegetable oil. Cooking with tallow is making its comeback as a kitchen staple!

There’s no denying that we are bombarded with chemical ridden beauty products. I feel confident applying nourishing tallow to my skin. I certainly cannot say the same with synthetic and lab made chemical skincare products. Tallow skincare is the new wave of a clean and natural moisturizer… And it’s here to stay.

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