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Soap Good Enough to Eat

Errol Davis1 Comment

A long time ago I took a class called something like "Ethical Issues in the Food Supply" from an organic chem professor and learned a a startling fact: you can eat soap. That is, if you can manage to force yourself to chew it up and swallow it, your body can digest soap and derive nutrition from it.

So why don't we eat soap? Mainly because it tastes terrible. It turns out there is a whole class of stuff out there that's technically edible, but we don't consider food because we just don't want to eat it. This includes a lot of discombobulated fat molecules substances (my scientific terminology) such as soap, rancid oils, and gas station hot dogs. 

One takeaway is that if an earthquake hits and you're buried alive in your soap workshop next to a stack of inventory, you'll probably be okay. After a few years of therapy, anyway. You might wonder if we ever tried a little taste of warm, fresh-poured soap right after it hit the mold, because it smelled so damn good?  More than once.

If you've surfed any more of our blog posts or if you've ever read the ingredients on a bar of soap, you'll know that soap is mostly made out of oil. You might wonder if we use the same oil for cooking as we do for soap. The answer is no, but probably not for the reason you might guess. 

And that reason is...taxes. If we use any soap supplies for personal use we have to pay a special tax on it. "Use" tax, in fact. Since that turns out to be kind of a hassle to keep track of, it's a lot easier to keep separate cooking and soaping pots of oil. Now, if I happen to run out of cooking oil, every once in a very infrequent while, I might poach a little bit of olive oil off of the soapmaking shelf. 

Also, a gallon jug of virgin coconut oil from a discontinued product might have contributed to a lot of delicious stir fries last summer. 

Yesterday I ran out of cooking oil again, which actually gave me the idea of writing this post. There was no olive oil to poach, because I've been pre-mixing all of our base oils together in big batches in order to save time later.  So I just went ahead and used some pre-mix, olive/coconut/palm to fry some tofu for a salad. It turned out amazing. Not gas-station hot dog amazing, mind you, but still pretty damn good.