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organic matters

Lighting the Way with Organic Candles

Organic candles are poised to become the latest in a wave of non-food items that are produced with ingredients from organic farms. The organic movement has been successful in producing foods of every variety that come from sustainable agriculture, and so it has been a natural process to extend the idea to cosmetics, cotton, wool, and other fibers, and now to candle wax.

The rate of change in the candle industry has been extremely rapid in the last ten years. For more than a century, candles have been made from petroleum paraffin wax. Paraffin is made from crude oil and can emit tolu- ene, benzene, formaldehyde and soot when a candle burns. Consequently, some innovative candle makers†in the United States looked for a more natural, healthful and sustainable raw material. They turned their attention to vegetable oil that could be the basis for a new type of candle wax. The first efforts centered around making soybean wax around 1995. Thus, a renewable resource could be used to make vegetable wax that doesn’t emit the harmful aromatic hydrocarbons of petrochemical paraffin smoke.

While the percentage of vegetable wax used in the candle industry is still small, it is the fastest growing sector of the business. Unfortunately, the vegetable waxes that were available in the marketplace were made from conventionally grown soybeans, which are not organic and are grown from GM (Genetically Modified) seeds.

Now, with the introduction of Organic Candle Wax, it will be possible to serve fine organic meals candlelit with organic candles.

But just what is an organic candle? It has to be made from Organic Wax. And Organic Wax must be made from Certified Organic vegetable oil and other Certified Organic Waxes. According to the National Organic Program that became law of the land in October 2002, agricultural products that use the term “Organic” must be produced in accordance with es- tablished organic standards. These standards were designed for foods, and also are being extended to cover practices for fibers such as cotton and wool, and agricultural ingredients in personal care products such as soaps and cosmetics. Organic Candles and

If you want to create atmosphere, light an organic candle! 50 Organic Shopper Spring 2010

Organic Wax are completely new to the marketplace. Lumia Organic, as the first company to make Organic Wax from Organic Palm Oil, is the first to apply for and receive organic certification for candle wax.

But why are organic candles better if they aren’t a food, cosmetic or apparel? Quite simply, the use of Organic Candles supports organic farmers. They need all the help they can get, in the face of giant agribusiness that uses more chemi- cal fertilizers and pesticides each year. Organic agriculture includes agricultural systems that promote the environmentally, socially and economically sound production of agricultural products. These sys- tems make soil fertility the key to successful production. By respect- ing the natural capacity of an eco- system, it aims to optimize quality in all aspects of agriculture and the environment. Organic agriculture attempts to eliminate the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Organic agriculture adheres to globally accepted principles, which are implemented within local socio- economic and cultural settings.

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