Not all Soy Wax is Equal

Soy Wax
Soy Wax

There are a lot of things not to like about Soy Wax.  Much of it is produced from GMO Soybeans, some of it is produced on land cleared of rain forest, and some of it has added paraffin which increases its toxicity.  Most of it is not the environmentally product that most claim it to be.

When Kim first suggested to me that she wanted to add soy candle making to our list of Little Green Workshops, these issues were foremost on my mind.  I did look at beeswax, but found it to be quite expensive.  As we live in a financially depressed demographic, we thought it best to keep the price way down, so we looked for alternatives that would be in line with our values.

All things being equal we found that there are some manufacturers that do produce an environmentally friendly product that satisfied our concerns.

So, as we have a soy candle making workshop this weekend, which is fully booked, it was timely that I received this email today.  Len asks some important questions about wax derived from soybeans.  Take it away Len!

Hi Gavin,

I was thinking about your Soybean candles the other day and wondering why Soybean and not Beeswax. Found your first blog on the subject and received the answer – cost.

From memory a bee uses 10 KG of honey to make one KG of wax. which explains why it’s so expensive. So therefore if honey is selling for $7 to $10/KG then wax should be $70 to $100/KG which it isn’t so in fact beeswax is a bargain. Possibly that isn’t a convincing argument but it adds some perspective.

Anyway, the reason for thinking about it was in the back of my mind there was an idea that Soybean growing had some impact on the Amazon deforestation and also if Soy wax came from Roundup ready Soybeans. Have you looked at any of these issues?

Regards
Len

Cheers Len for your email.  Yes we had the same concerns when we first looked for a supplier of the soy wax. We looked for non-gmo, non rainforest destructive, and contained no added paraffin. 

We found a soy wax that met all of these conditions that was made in the US. The product is EcoSoya®.  I was wary of greenwash at first, but upon investigation I found that the company that makes it, Nature’s Gift International, does indeed care about the environment enough to make a better soy wax.

The company declares this about their soy wax;All EcoSoya® soy waxes:
  • Are made in the USA with DOMESTICALLY grown crops.
  • Are 100% vegetable, made with Pure Soybean oil, GUARANTEED!
  • Are all NATURAL and biodegradable.
  • Are manufactured meeting FDA standards.
  • Are Kosher Certified.
  • Are NOT tested on animals.
  • Are FREE of palm wax.
  • Are FREE of petroleum, paraffin or beeswax products.
  • Are FREE of pesticides and herbicides.
  • Are FREE of toxic materials.
  • Are FREE of Genetically Modified Material.

Here is the source: http://www.ngiwax.com/aboutecosoya/purityofecosoya.html

Yes, I still have concerns about the manufacturing process, and what process it takes to make soy wax.
Yes, it is hydrogenated vegetable oil, and it must go through a lot of processing to turn it into wax.
Yes, the carbon emissions from food miles are high to ship it to Australia, however I can find no local manufacturer.It is not perfect and  it is what it is.  It ticks as many boxes as it can, and I am comfortable using it in our classes.  With bee populations on the decline, which in itself is very sad and needs a better solution, I believe that EcoSoya is a viable alternative.
By the way, this is not a sponsored post.  I just wanted to raise the issue, as I knew that not all soy waxes are the same.
Do you know where your soya wax comes from?

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