Moisturising and emollient
Containing more than 50% of omega 9 oleic acid, rapeseed oil is very moisturising and emollient on skin, and is said to have good antioxidant properties, which helps the skin to be firm and glowing.
Also called canola or colza, the rape plant (a name that comes from the latin word ‘rapa’ wich means ‘turnip’) comes from the same family of mustard and cabbage and therefore has a slightly tangy taste when it hasn’t been refined. It has been cultivated in Europe and Asia since antiquity, painting beautiful, bright yellow landscapes in the fields during the flowering period.
This Japanese rapeseed oil is bought from a small collective of farmers in the Fukushima nuclear disaster area in Japan. The plant has the amazing ability to soak up irradiated caesium from the soil. However, when you extract oil from the rape seeds, the caesium stays in the plant, and is not present in the oil. As a result, this rapeseed oil is safe to use, whilst also cleaning up the soil. This is called bioremediation, regenerating the land using nature.
The Japanese Buying Team at Lush has worked closely with the Fukushima farmers to support them. Their work is providing a vital source of income for farmers who lost their livelihoods in the Fukushima disaster.
After seeing how this wonderful crop was helping to regenerate the land and the community in Fukushima, it made sense to include it in a finely crafted gourmet soap. It is blended by hand with tofu and mushrooms and named Tsunagaru Omoi, which means connecting hearts. The growing of rapeseed represents hope for the future for the communities affected by the disaster.
The soap launched in Japanese shops on March 1st 2016, to mark five years since the tsunami. This coincides with the Japanese gift giving holiday, White Day, on March 14th, exactly a month after Valentine’s day. The holiday connects hearts all over the nation so is a perfect opportunity to give support to those communities still rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of the disaster.
To find out more, why not watch a video of the Fukushima story here? You can send a message of support to those recovering by using the hashtag #ForFukushima on Twitter and Instagram. You can also pick up a 4-in-1 bar of Fun: 10 pence from every 200 grams sold goes to grassroots organisations providing recreational activities for children affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster.
The safety of our customers, employees and the materials we use is important to us. In order to ensure the cotton and rapeseed oil we use in our new products is completely safe, we measure them to the EU criteria surrounding radionuclide levels for foods imported from Japan following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, as per the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/6. Specifically, this regulations stipulates restrictions on the maximum levels of caesium-134 and caesium-137 present in foods. Each lot of rapeseed oil is tested in Japan to measure the radionuclide levels. When we first started working with the Fukushima rapeseed oil in 2015, we commissioned additional tests with a UK lab to get independent results. In both instances, the results came back below the individual laboratory's Limit of Detection (LOD), which is 10 Bq/kg for the UK laboratory and 0.022 Bq/kg for Japan, for both caesium-134 and caesium-137. This is far below the levels considered acceptable for food imported from Japan, which is set at 50 Bq/kg for infant food and 100 Bq/kg for other food.