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Where does soy wax come from Americas Candle Company

It’s at the heart of our little slice of the American dream, but where does soy wax come from and how is it made? Soybeans originated in southeast Asia in 1100 BC. Japan and many other countries were growing soybeans by first century AD but here in America, they made their debut in 1770. Because soy sauce had become popular in Europe Ben Franklin shipped some soybean seeds to a friend who lived ‘over the drink’, to be planted in his personal garden. Around 1850, farmers in Illinois and the corn belt states got their hands on soybean seeds which were a thank you from a Japanese fishing boat crew member who was rescued from the grips of the Pacific Ocean. The soybean began to increase in popularity as farmers began to plant them for their livestock. These little beans thrived in the hot, humid weather that the mid-west and central United States experiences. By the turn of the century, soybeans was becoming a common animal feed crop. Famous American chemist, George Washington Carver elevated the soybean in 1904, when he discovered that soybeans are a good source of protein and oil. He understood that the soybean could be of great benefit to the health of soil quality if soybeans or other crops were rotated in three year cycles with farmers’ cotton crops. When this method was practiced, better crops ensued as vital nutrients were being replaced. The American Soybean Association was founded in 1919. At the time of it is founding, only 20 proven varieties of soybeans were being used by farmers, but William Morse, the president of the ASA decided to dig deeper in the soybean and spent two years gathering over 10,000 varieties of soybean and bringing them back to America for study.
In the 1940’s soybean farming really started to become an American crop. World War ll created a steep demand for lubricants, plastics, oils and other products, which was a demand that the American soybean farmers filled. After the war, as food shortages dissipated and prosperity across the country improved, meat was once again in full demand and that livestock needed to be fed. Soybeans were the crop of choice for chickens, hogs, turkeys and cattle because of the high protein. Since the 1950’s the soybean has continued to be the staple of American livestock.
So what about soy wax? In 1991 a candle maker named Michael Richards was on the hunt for an alternative to bee’s wax. Like anyone with motivation and curiosity, he experimented with many types of vegetable products. His curiosity eventually led him to the soybean. He was able to create a wax from the magical bean that burned cleaner than paraffin wax did and cost less to produce than many alternative waxes.
Soybeans are first harvested, cleaned, cracked, de-hulled and then rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes. Fatty acids in the oil become saturated during the hydrogenation process, which changes the melting point of the soybean oil and makes it solid at room temperature. The solid wax is then turned into either flakes or pellets for use in candles.
Today, 31 of the 50 states in America have a soybean production industry, but by far, Iowa, Indiana and Minnesota lead the pack. We proudly purchase our 100% soy wax from Iowa, where it is grown with care by our great American farmers.