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YIKES! Are You Unknowingly Eating Hair or Feathers In Your Bread?


At its most basic form, bread is nourishing, sustaining and gives us energy. Bread is the basis of so many meals, the bricks that hold sandwich ingredients, spreads and veggies together. Eating bread is as basic to us as drinking water. Unfortunately, the bread you’re buying contains a much darker story.

We were appalled the first time we realized what was lurking in the bread isle at the supermarket, and you will be, too! We don’t want to think we’re eating ingredients other than what is only necessary to bake a loaf. Bread is the food of life after all. It shouldn’t be complicated, but our changing food habits have made bread production into a much more complicated process, full of disgusting ingredients.

L-Cysteine is one of those ingredients. Food manufacturers add this amino acid to bread because it helps speed up large-scale factory production. It’s used as a dough conditioner for bread-making, but do you really think we need this stuff?

According to the Health Freedom Alliance, “While some L-cysteine is directly synthesized in laboratories, most of it is extracted from a cheap and abundant natural protein source: human hair. The hair is dissolved in acid and L-cysteine is isolated through a chemical process, then packaged and shipped off to commercial bread producers.”

Um, what? Why would anything think gathering hair would be a good idea for a food additive? Eating other humans’ hair and other animals’ feathers? Ick! You should know which common food items contain this hairy extraction. Here are a few items you’re eating that may contain human hair or duck feathers since l-cysteine is one of the ingredients.

1. Bread Loaves

Take a look at the ingredient list on bread packages when you’re at the grocery store. If the bread is sitting on the shelf, there’s a good chance it contains l-cysteine. Without it, out bread might not be so doughy (oh, the horror!). Wonder”bread” isn’t bread. Opt for Ezekial 4:9 frozen organic sprouted grain bread instead, which you can find in the frozen natural and organic food section.

2. Pizza

Don’t let the tasty marinara sauce, ooey-gooey cheese and colorful veggie toppings fool you. Your favorite pizza joint might just be using the hair-feather dough conditioner to make their crust. The guy at the counter will be all like, “Do you want pepperoni, cheese or veggies on your pie? Human hair is non-negotiable but we won’t tell you its in the crust.”

3. Tortillas

Whether you’re getting your tacos from a restaurant or making your own using store-bought tortillas, they might be hiding the hair or feathers. La Tortilla Factory sells Low Carb, High Fiber Tortillas Made with Whole Wheat that contain l-cysteine, though it should be noted that the company sells plenty of other tortillas without it. Whew, see, it’s not even necessary to use this ingredient to make food products, so why are companies still doing so?

4. Bagels

A quick stop for a seemingly innocent bagel and coffee can quickly turn into a meal hiding l-cysteine. Watch out for bagels, whether eating out or opening a bag at home. Luckily, some restaurants, such as Einstein Bros. bagels, have transfered over to using a synthetic form of l-cysteine that is not made from human hair or duck feathers. It would be cool if the bagels contained all natural, plant-based ingredients instead, but hey, we’ll celebrate one small win at a time!

5. Pastries

No, even the sweet treats are not safe from l-cysteine. Watch out for any dessert or pastry item at a fast food restaurant or supermarket, like cakes, breads, cinnamon rolls, croissants and other pastries.

As a country, we’re far from the idealistic situation of buying freshly baked loafs from the local baker. Instead, we hop into the store where we buy all of our other groceries and pick up a soft loaf that’s on a shelf next to dozens of other soft loaves. L-Cysteine is hiding among those products, but rest assured the food companies will not go out of their way to alert you. So, be sure to read the ingredient label the next time you shop.

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0 comments on “YIKES! Are You Unknowingly Eating Hair or Feathers In Your Bread?”

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3 Years Ago

To clarify, you arent eating hair. Anyone thats taken any organic chemistry course knows that compounds can be harvested in a very pure form from the raw materialit is derived from. Bread does NOT jave hair in it unless the baker was directly shedding into the dough. The l-cystein was purified in a lab and used in bread. Your body is made of nutrients that originally came from decayed plant materials and rotten animals that went back to the soil. Those carbon atomsare in your body and theres noghing you can do about it. Be scared of everything you eat because we are made of compounds and atoms from one source or another. Thats absolutely tin foil hat material, and its a perverted sense of reality. Anyone that can take a grain of this article and believe it is a truly helpless individual. Its a marketing scheme to get the reader to believe there is hair in your food so you buy from companies that give the writer a kick back. Much like Vani Hari, aka Food Babe, does daily.

04 Dec 2014

“Its a marketing scheme to get the reader to believe there is hair in your food so you buy from companies that give the writer a kick back” -- You\'re incorrect. As a writer I did not receive a kick back from mentioning a bread brand that I love, eat almost every day, and started consuming on my several years ago, without financial incentive. So to say the only reason for this piece is to get people to “buy from companies that give the writer a kick back” is wrong. This article is meant to inform people that some of the bread they consume might contain l-cysteine, which is not necessary to make bread. We need to get back to the basics. This article is not about arguing that we shouldn\'t eat food at all. Come on! It\'s about making better choices. Some people don’t care what they eat. Others care very much and want to know how their food additives are created and clearly, more than a thousand people were interested in the fact that they might eat bread containing an additive that is derived from duck feathers or hair. This article is not meant for fear mongering; it’s information to help consumers make better food choices. I believe that sprouted grains are better than lab-created additives, no matter how “pure” that additive is. Buy bread with whole food ingredients, because you don’t need additives to make bread. That’s the point. No kickbacks required.

3 Years Ago

Is this article supposed to be a satire? Because it really sounds like whoever wrote it is being totally serious. You really are trying to say an essential amino acid is bad for you because its in hair. Well I wonder how it got there, afairy didnt come along and sprinkle it on your head. Amino acids make up muscles, enzymes, and essential structures all over the body. Telling people to avoid essential nutrients is absolutely ridiculous. Am I allowed to eat anything with Vitamin B12 or Folate? What about calcium because that can be derived from human bones.

3 Years Ago

For what its worth, I\'ve contacted many bread manufacturers who list L-cysteine in their product ingredients, and none of them use hair-based sources - they are all synthetic.

17 Sep 2014

Even if it is derived from hair, this article doesnt hold a dropof water. Its one of thousands of fearmongering blog pieces.

04 Dec 2014

Hi Eric, I received some of my information for this piece from the Vegetarian Resource Group: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/faqingredients.htm#cystine. They state "We reported the human and animal origins of L-cysteine in The Vegetarian Resource Group\'s Dictionary of Food Ingredients ten years ago. Then, the most common source was human hair found on the floors of Chinese barbershops. Today, it is derived from Chinese duck feathers approximately 80% of the time (estimation based on values given by several companies that manufacture and sell L-cysteine)." Is this number incorrect? I would encourage you to please contact the group if you feel this number does not reflect the bread out there today. I have also read that many manufacturers have switched to synthetic sources, but the facts from VRG state not all of it is synthetic. I am interested in knowing how this number has changed and if we can get the VRG to update their info.

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