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Three Reasons Soapy Gnome is Palm-Free

Palm oil is used in many foods, soaps, and body care products.

In soap, palm oil makes a nice hard bar and helps create a stable lather. In many soap formulas, it makes up as much as 50% of the ingredients. It’s also a relatively inexpensive oil which makes it even more appealing.

Soapy Gnome has never used palm oil in our soaps.

As a former Environmental Science teacher when I started making soaps I knew that I wanted to avoid palm oil. From the first recipes I tried to the ones I created on my own, they’ve all been palm-free.

We have intentionally chosen to keep palm oil out of our soaps and minimize it as much as possible in our body care products. We don't even use sustainable or organic palm oil.

There are three main reasons that Soapy Gnome avoids the use of palm oil.

1. Palm oil plantations are the number one culprit of world-wide rainforest destruction. This destroys the habitat of many endangered species including the Sumatran Orangutan and the Sumatran Rhino. Not only does it destroy the land for the animals, corporations are displacing the indigenous people from these lands. Child labor and modern-day slavery are also a part of the industry.

2. To create new land for plantations, the forests are burned, releasing incredible amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. This carbon is a contributor to climate change.

3. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)--an organization to help promote the greener farming of palm--has little power to police plantation practices. Some of the biggest corporations that are RSPO certified are still illegally burning forests and displacing humans and animals. 

I may sound a bit like a conspiracy theorist, and I'm generally not, but I don’t trust the labels of sustainable or organic palm in this particular industry. 

For Soapy Gnome, the right choice for us is to avoid the use of palm oil altogether in our soaps. 

We’ve created a fabulous soap recipe without it, so we don’t feel like we’re missing out.

For more information, a great place to start is this article in Scientific American. Check out this list of sneaky palm oil names.

March 12, 2018 by Jennifer Frech

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