Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wish me luck for tracking & the Kobayashi Maru

Toe and I go to Denver for our tracking test tomorrow. The draw for the order of go is at 7:45, I'd like to get there by 7:30 so I don't feel rushed or panicky which means I'll leave our house at 5:45am... yikes.

It's supposed to be a nice day and if he tracks like he's been tracking and I "follow my dog", things should be fine and I hope to report he'll have a TD for tracking dog behind his name at the AKC.

Furry Husband and I also presented our goat milk lotion to a buyer at a larger corporate chain. She will pass it out to her staff and get their feedback. We're to call her in 3 weeks to discuss things further. If they say no, they say no but it's one more learning curve and one more sales call under my belt.

She had an interesting question. She asked what the preservative I use is derived from. I couldn't answer her but I told her I'd find out and get back to her. I called my supplier confident they would know... nope. I turned to the web. I couldn't find anything other than what my supplier could give me.

I discovered which laboratory made and sold the preservative. I called their customer service department. I asked them what Optiphen is derived from. The woman told me that question was too technical and she'd patch me through to a skin care scientist.

A man with a foreign accent picked up the line. I'm pretty sure he had more smarts than your average bear... usually when you are a SCIENTIST you're pretty 'effing smart! I asked him if he could tell me what Optiphen is derived from.

He was silent. You could hear him trying to figure out how to answer me...

"What do you mean 'derived' from? It's not derived from anything.... we make it. It's synthetic. We synthesize it."

I persisted...

"It's phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol... that is what it is. There is no 'derived from'. "

He put me through to a microbiologist who responded much in the same way. I know in the cosmetic/soap industry, there have been paraben scares, petroleum scares and evidently while discussing this quandry with the skin care scientist, the latest scare is propelyne glycol because of butylene contained within it. Caprylyl glycol does not contain butylene.

I made sure to point that out in my e-mail to the buyer, along with the chemical composition of the preservative, the material safety data sheet provided by the laboratory for the preservative and the conversation I had with the scientist and microbiologist. I hope that is enough information. I won't know til we speak again in 3 weeks!

It's a bit of a sticky wicket - this preservative issue. Without SOME sort of preservative, my liquid based lotion becomes a petri dish of cultures, bacteria and fungus. Harmful, harmful beasties. However, the 'all natural' crowd wants to feel good about buying everything green with no added chemicals or preservatives.

The natural preservatives - vitamin E, C, or A, grapefruit seed extract, essential oils etc. - aren't, in my opinion, safe enough and broad spectrum enough to cover the possibilities. Large companies have the labs and resources to find different preservatives - when one is labeled "bad", they easily move onto the next chemical without the offensive ingredient.

It's an interesting issue.

Sort of the Kobayashi Maru of the lotion/cosmetics world.


Susan said...

I would stay away from all synthetic chemicals. If I don't know what it is, I don't buy the skin care product product. But then I believe that all the chemicals people are constantly smearing on their skin are dangerous.

Shanster said...

Hey Susan - many people feel the way you do!

I'm not sure in today's world that you can be 100% all natural? I'm curious if you use a commercially sold lotion and what if any preservative it uses? And I do say that with utmost respect.

And if you make your own, that is awesome! It's SO much better and moisturizes like you wouldn't believe compared to commercial, mass produced products.

It's definately a concern and I don't think anyone knows the answer.


I grew up eating twinkies, Flintstones vitamins, Tang, hotdogs, frozen pizza, Chef Boyardee and using copious amounts of AquaNet in my teen years! The damage is done. I will be preserved forever.

I certainly eat my fair share o' chocolate and I drink soda here and there. When I don't have time, I buy pre-made food from the store. Yogurt, protien bars, soups, pasta sauce etc which often use preservatives ... along with using a cell phone, microwave and coloring my hair with chemicals - not to hide grey - I don't care about that but because it's fun to me.

I would rather use a proven and tested preservative, even if it is synthetic to avoid the contaminates that will, without a doubt, occur if I don't. That is something I believe and have seen in my product testing.

I won't put myself at risk for lawsuits if someone would contract a bad fungus, bacteria or infection because I didn't use a preservative. I believe it to be the lesser evil and I've read a lot on the subject.

It is, of course, as in all things, a matter of personal preference and that is what makes this world SO interesting and gives us so many options.

I do prefer my neighbor's all natural meats. They simply taste better to me by a million percent! We raise our goats for milk and cheese cuz I know it comes from happy animals and I truly enjoy the entire process.

The other issue with my lotion they had was that I use fragrance oils vs. essential oils. Fragrance oil is man made - essential oils of course are natural.

I personally enjoy the fun selection of fragrance oils - but I'm also not opposed to wearing a light amount of perfume which is similar to fragrance oil..

It doesn't bother me, personally, to not be 100% all natural with everything I use or eat.

What about others? What are your thoughts on natural vs. fake?

DebH said...

Oh honey...I think I am your twin! I have the same thoughts on all your reasonings. Totally...and my Father would be so afraid..if he only knew there were TWO of us out in this Nutzo world! Secretly though, I know he loves me all the more for it! ;)