Food

Why Your Bread is Probably Made With Human Hair

Hair burger
Behold the commercial green burger: sourced from natural, renewable materials and guaranteed cheaper than the other guys!

“Soylent Green is made out of people. They’re making our food out of people. We’ve gotta stop them somehow!”                                                                   – Detective Thorn, Soylent Green (1973)

Confession: this is the most fun I’ve had brainstorming a post title. Sadly, it’s not clickbait, there’s nothing sensational about the title. A lot of yummy store-bought carbs (purposely) contain an additive sourced from human hair, animal feathers, hog bristles, or occasionally cow horns. It’s called L-cysteine.

L-cysteine is a non-essential amino acid that has strong antioxidant and anti-aging properties. It is good for the immune system and helps keep hair and nails healthy due to its role in synthetizing protein. Natural sources are highest in soybeans (655 mg per 100 g), sunflower seeds (451 mg per 100 g), and chicken eggs (272 mg per 100 g). If you’re a meat eater, pork, salmon, and chicken average about 220 mg per 100 g.

Reuse & Recycle 2.0

But the L-cys I am blogging about today serves a different purpose and comes from another source: the floors of hair salons in China.

China is the number one trade partner of the United States. Why? Because so many products can be had at a great price, including barbershop hair clippings. These are swept up and collected by laboratories, dissolved in a big vat of hydrochloric acid, then sold to commercial bakeries across the US and beyond for use as dough conditioner and shelf-life extender in many, many bread products including bagels, breads, and ready-to-bake pizza dough.

Why hair? Because it’s packed with L-cysteine. People hair is 20% L-cys by volume, double that found in animal hair or feathers, though these are used when the supply of human locks runs low.

Less Hairy Sources

There are versions made from less human sources like vegetables and sugar, but they are more expensive to produce and command only about 10% of the market share. Synthetic L-cysteine is out there but it’s not so popular because it can’t be labeled “natural” like food products containing the Homo sapiens version.

black and white portrait of an old man with long hair and beard
Wise old man or great source of L-cysteine?

Don’t want to wonder what and where the ingredients in your baked goods are coming from? Hit up a local baker or make your own stuff. Flour does not contain this additive. Plus it will have a lot less other mysterious junk in it.

Final Thoughts

For me, this discovery is but a single slice in the problem pizza that is mass production for cheap consumption. My solution: vote with your dollar. Buy locally from people who use normal ingredients and who take pride in the food they make, like the good old days I wasn’t alive to experience.

In the end, maybe a bit of hair in our food is not so bad. It is natural, after all. And it beats ingesting more carcinogenic, unpronounceable chemicals, right? Or does it? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

And hey, who’s seen Soylent Green?

 

To your health and mine,
Holistic Nick

 


Sources
AminoAcidStudies.org
Natural News
The Vegetarian Resource Group

3 thoughts on “Why Your Bread is Probably Made With Human Hair”

  1. I’m at an almost complete lack of words… almost. My first instinct was “No way Canada allows human hair in bread!” My second was to look it up. While the Bakery Association says human hair and other less than optimal sources are not allowed, duck feathers and goose feathers are the common ingredients used here. Still disgusting. We also allow imports from the US, so we’re still eating L-cysteine made from human hair. I was making my own bread for a while and you may have just cured my slacker tendencies. I know I’ll never look at my favourite junk food craving (pizza) the same again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, nothing like a little shock value to get back on the holistically healthy track! That’s interesting that Canada has restrictions on using human products in food, probably a good thing lol.

      But seriously, more than anything, researching the odd stuff in common food has been so eye-opening. We truly have next to no idea what we are eating when we trust another source to prepare our food. It’s nuts.

      Thanks for the comment and I hope we talk more soon.

      Like

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