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Human Hair In Food?

The Baltimore Sun dated March 27th had a fascinating hair related article.  Well sort of.

The Sun was talking about an article done by Mother Jones and was about remy hair often used in hair extensions and wigs.  The headline for the Mother Jones article was "The Human Hair Additive In Your Food."

(Image of hair being cut - Haap Media, Inc., - All Rights Reserved)

Scott Carney, the writer of the piece explained that hair clippings from short hair are used mainly as fertilizer or as source materials for L-cysteine which is a common food additive.  L-cysteine is am important amino acid that helps hair maintain a strong and healthy mantle.

L-cysteine is also a meat flavor enhancer, an expectorant and even a cigarette additive.

Does that mean you're eating human hair when you eat certain foods with L-cysteine listed on the ingredients.  Most likely not.

L-cysteine is also derived from other sources not human hair related including synthetically in labs.  In fact, the majority of food manufacturers avoid using a human hair related L-cycteine for a variety of reasons.  Yes, it sounds a little strange but not too worry.

Some food manufacturers will utilize sugar or syrup or even duck-feathers as the base for the creation of the popular amino acid.

If the thought that you L-cysteine might come from human or animal feathers or fur, you may wish to read all the ingredients and either write to the manufacturer or cross that food off your list.

"[M]any industrial food makers buy their cysteine prepackaged with yeast and other additives as bulk 'dough conditioners,' without regard to the origin of the components," a rabbi told the Mother Jones reporter.

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