2. Human Hair
Listed under “ingredients” as: L-Cysteine
How we consume it: Bagels, cakes and more.
Believe it or not, this compound made from human hair and/or duck feathers is actually used as a flavor enhancer. L-Cysteine is pretty common, so don’t be surprised if you’ve already eaten some today.
3. Coal Tar
Listed under “ingredients” as: Food coloring.
How we consumed it: Almost any artificially-dyed food
When manufacturers began making synthetic food coloring nearly 120 years ago, they relied heavily on coal tar (the byproduct of carbonized coal). Although the food industry has mostly phased out this product, the alternative isn’t much better: oil.
“Although certifiable color additives have been called coal-tar colors because of their traditional origins, today they are synthesized mainly from raw materials obtained from petroleum,” says the FDA website.
Listed under “ingredients” as: Propylene Glycol
How we consume it: Salad dressing
Propylene glycol is commonly used as an anti-freeze (but less toxic than ethylene glycol, a similar product), and can also be found in salad dressings as a thickening agent.