SmartGrow uses hair to grow food

Dec 24, 2007

A new product marketed as SmartGrow uses human hair imported from China and India to help people with their horticultural efforts.

Tropical Research and Education Center researchers at the University of Florida said the new horticultural product has been proven to be a useful alternative to herbicides, but still surprises most people who learn about it, The Miami Herald reported Sunday.

"For people who say, 'Oh my God, this is hair' and think it's disgusting, they should know these farmers put manure on tomatoes like it's going out of style,'' researcher Aaron Palmateer said.

The imported human hair is used to create mats that can help cover plants' roots, keeping them warm and protected from environmental factors.

Palmateer said the mats help increase crop yields and plant growth, but the exact reason why is still being investigated.

The SmartGrow mats were even used this year by environmental activists during the San Francisco Bay oil spill, the Herald reported.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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