Animal fat: by any other name it would still be the same vile substance. Tallow, suet and lard are all well-known forms of this awful ingredient, but what about glycerin and glycerides, and what does it mean when a label lists ‘stearic acid’ or ‘palmitic acid’?
The short answer is, if you have any concerns about ingesting or using substances derived from someone else’s body fat, then it would be wise to do a little further investigation before making use of something containing any of the aforementioned ingredients.
Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Oleic Acid and Palmitic Acid are all names for fatty acids – produced from natural fats and oils – that are added to soaps, cosmetics, personal care products, and some foods including margarine, shortening and other baking ingredients.
While each of these substances can be derived from plants, they are frequently obtained from a slaughterhouse by-product known as tallow or animal fat.
Tallow is a euphemism for body fat from cows, sheep and pigs. According to one website:
“Typically, tallow starts with the extraction of suet from a carcass. Suet is hard fat found in the neighborhood of the kidneys and around some other organs… Beef, pig, and mutton tallow are all fairly common. Tallow is also rendered from animals like horses.“
Next: Where do animal fats hide?