Your guide to natural and organic living


November 24, 2008

Badger balm USDA

Badger was started by carpenter/herbalist/storyteller Bill Whyte and family in the back room of their home.


Badger started back in 1993 with a carpenter/herbalist/storyteller called Bill Whyte, who had cracked, dry fingers. He liked growing and experimenting with herbs and natural ways to soothe the body, which eventually led him to create the Badger healing balm in his home kitchen.


Badger products are made in Gilsum, a small town (population of 800 people) in the South West of New Hampshire. Badger say:

“Gilsum is sprinkled with mines and they say that in the early days, after it rained, the streets glistened with beautiful garnets too small to set, yet brilliant to see. It is here, on the banks of the Ashuelot River, that you will find the Badger Miners, formulating, mixing and filling tins with wondrous products”.


Badger purchase their raw materials from certified organic growers and producers. They also make a point of supporting sustainable harvesting and fair trade where possible.

They use:

  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (from South Spain). This Olive Oil is cold-pressed whilst the olive is still fresh, which results in an oil low in acidity (= extra virgin) oil. This process preserves the nutrients of the olive oil.
  • Botanical extracts including: Organic Madagascar Vanilla, Wild African Shea Butter, fragrant Golden Yellow Beeswax. I found a page on their website which stated:

    “Rose Otto, for instance, runs about $5000 per liter. Organic Madagascar Vanilla Extract is $4000 per liter”.

  • Raw ingredients including: olive oil, coconut oil, essential oils and butters.
  • Beeswax is used in nearly all of their products but they are exploring vegan options.

Badger do not use:

  • Synthetic preservatives
  • Synthetic fragrance
  • Petroleum derived products
  • Sodium lauryl sulpahte
  • Dyes
  • Parabens
  • Carcinogens

They use steam distillation, mechanical pressing and CO2 instead of solvents to extract ingredients. Ingredients are never chemically refined, bleached, deodorised, reconstituted or hydrogenated.

Ethics, values and principles

Badger’s key principles:

  1. Individual responsibility in a team concept
  2. To take a personal and caring approach in communications
  3. Support organic, sustainable agriculture through their purchasing practices
  4. Creating a business environment that is respectful and supportive of all employees, and of the people they serve
  5. Personal and social healing through charitable giving
  6. Environmental responsibility
  7. Honesty and integrity business practices
  8. Fun is good
  9. Generosity

USDA Certified Organic Company – Badger are a USDA certified company. This means they use 95-100% certified organic ingredients in almost all of their products. The only exceptions to this are their sunscreens and sunscreen lip balms, body butters in metal tubes and soaps. The sunscreens contain zinc which cannot be certified by the USDA because their work is food standards. Their soaps contain lye and therefore cannot be certified for a similar reason. They also say:

Our body butters are actually more Certified Organic than not, but because the company that fills our metal tubes is not USDA Certified, our product cannot be (the USDA not only checks ingredients, but also production and shipping facilities), regardless of the percentage of organic ingredients.

Cruelty free – Badger are a member of Leaping Bunny which means they never have or never will test on animals.

Earth Day – They celebrate Earth Day by doing a roadside clear up for the community. Badger say,:

“We celebrate by spending a morning – wearing our sturdiest sneakers, green or not, and cleaning the local roadsides as well as our yard here at Badger. It will be a chance to turn the compost, clean out the garden beds, and plant a few flowers before we sit down together to enjoy a 100% organic, mostly local, and fair trade lunch”.

Supporting non-profit organisations – Badger support a range of non-profit organisations by donating (whichever is the greater) 10% before tax profits or $10,000 to organisations which focus on heathcare and welfare of children, environmental education and serving the local community. Some of these organisations include: The Salvation Army, The American Red Cross, International Campaign Tibet and the Keene Community kitchen.


Badger use a range of materials to package their products including glass jars, metal tins for Badger Balms and plastic for lip balms and sun creams. All plastic packaging is pthalate free.