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How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics?

How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics
How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics The common garden snail. Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images Mucin is a popular ingredient in K-beauty products like sheet masks. But how do they get the slime? By Apr 18, 2018, 9:30am EDT Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years.

The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox, You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here, I’d arrived at a snail farm an hour outside of Bangkok to interview the four Thai researchers who founded Siam Snail, and instead found myself reluctantly posing for pictures as snail cream was applied to my face, no closer to learning how exactly the snail slime had been extracted.

Instead of the private interview and viewing of the mucin extraction process I’d been promised, I was surrounded by at least 25 members of the Thai media, listening to a presentation in Thai with the occasional translation whispered my way. As we walked through the small farms — dense clusters of vegetation where snails are left to roam freely — the PR rep assured me I’d be able to return later to ask all my questions and photograph slime being collected from the snails, as I’d originally arranged.

  1. The tour ended with a group lunch by the river, complimentary jars of night cream, and encouragements to post on social media.
  2. After a month and a half of trying to schedule a follow-up visit, I received a text late on a Friday night saying that the board had decided to keep its processes confidential.

It was slowly starting to become clear why snail creams have become a topic of confusion and debate among skin care devotees. Weeks later, with emails to snail specialists gone unanswered, it was certain: This is a thorny subject. The question of how snail slime is extracted — and the related concern of whether it can be done humanely — is a difficult one to answer, but maybe not for the reasons you think.

  1. As K-beauty products have become more visible in the US, sold at a variety of price points in places like Sephora, Target, CVS, and Nordstrom, so too have snail creams.
  2. Made using snail mucin, the slime is collected, typically processed into a filtrate, and then formulated into the final product (though there are spas where snails directly crawl across your face ).

In ancient Greece, snails were used as a topical treatment for inflammation, and today snail mucin is also harvested in places like France and touted as one of the secrets to the effortless beauty of Italian women. The snail beauty boom as we know it today was kicked off in the early 1980s when Chilean farmers, who were producing escargot for the French market, noticed that handling their slimy livestock led to softer hands and cuts healing more quickly.

Oreans are really good at picking up what they’ve heard somewhere else and running with it,” says Janice Kang, the senior director of marketing and new business development in the Americas and Europe for DKCOS, whose beauty products are sold in places like Walmart, Target, and Ulta. She believes Korea’s position as a snail cream superpower is in large part because “snails are a big part of the diet and drinking culture,” which made it easy for many farms to quickly transition from the food industry to the beauty industry.

Michelle Wong, a science educator and chemistry PhD whose blog Lab Muffin explores the science behind beauty products, adds that in South Korea “consumers are more likely to try out novel ingredients even if they seem a bit ‘gross’ they’re a bit more results-focused.” The snail’s role as food source can obfuscate its role in the beauty industry.

  • In the absence of images of how snail mucin is collected, it’s not uncommon for blogs to use images of snails being cooked,
  • Taken from cooking shows or demonstrations of how to scrape a snail from its shell, these images of snails literally being killed aren’t a good approximation for the process of mucin collection — to produce mucin, snails need to be kept alive.

Chel Cortes, who runs the K-beauty-inspired online store Holy Snails, thinks “that a lot of the scrutiny” in the West around snail creams “is due to the animal itself,” tapping into “an innate bias against” what is not a particularly beautiful creature.

Blog posts theorizing about how snails are treated can also focus on the “weirdness” of the ingredient. On her own blog, Racked contributor Tracy E. Robey offers a humorously NSFW post about how just because something, like snail slime, sounds gross, it doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with it.

Complete with a Whitney Houston GIF asking for receipts in response to blogger claims that snails are being harmed, Robey writes that the history of the West denigrating Asian people based on the consumption of certain animals means there are “real life implications of once again calling Asian stuff weird and cruel with,

in this case, zero evidence.” What there is evidence of, according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, is that “snail slime has been shown to have many benefits on aging skin rich in hyaluronic acid,” giving it hydrating properties.

While it’s “unclear whether are truly better than traditional moisturizers or ingredients like retinol,” they have been shown to “stimulate collagen production and enhance wound healing,” which is one major reason they’ve become so popular among skin care devotees.

According to Wong, “snail slime also seems to have whitening properties,” and since it “contains allantoin (an anti-irritant) and a number of moisturising ingredients, it’s likely to help, counteract the irritation caused by many whitening” agents, tapping into a “huge market in Asian countries.” According to the brand representatives I spoke with, though there are many ways to collect mucin, popular techniques usually involve leaving snails in a dark room and having them crawl on a surface like mesh, specially made glass, or a tarp, and then collecting the slime afterward.

Brands like Mizon and CosRX use mucin collected through some version of this method. DKCOS sources from multiple suppliers that use different methods. Snail8 collects slime by stimulating snails by hand, and techniques involving a steam bath or salt water also exist. How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics An employee of a cosmetic laboratory prepares a product for Jeanne M, a cosmetic brand that uses snail slime. Photo: AFP/Getty Images Whether because of the 2016 discovery that certain companies were outsourcing the folding of beauty masks to private homes, or the reminders that certain clothing manufacturers have continually employed child labor, shoppers today have good reason to ask critical questions about where products come from.

  • That there are so few images online of the actual collection process can be troubling, and in the absence of clear supply chains and manufacturing procedures, it can be easy to worry that some wrongdoing is being covered up.
  • But according to various brand representatives, it’s less that suppliers are trying to hide what they’re doing wrong.

They’re trying to hide what they’re doing right. Alicia Yoon, the founder of Peach & Lily, an “online portal” for K-beauty products, credits supplier evasiveness, whether it’s about their process for collecting “snail mucin or even botanical extracts,” to the fact that having “the most cost-effective and highest-quality ingredients secret sauce in a highly competitive industry.” That’s why CosRX’s supplier won’t allow filming at its facilities, out of “concern that their refinement technique be leaked,” says team manager Hye-Young Lee, who says that “with the K-beauty boom,” there’s a real concern that domestic and international competitors might be trying to “take note of their valuable technology.” The secrecy around proprietary information means that only designated CosRX staff are allowed to visit and regularly inspect their supplier’s facilities.

Kang says that a few of DKCOS’s suppliers won’t allow anyone from the brand to visit at all. So when PR reps for beauty brands didn’t answer my questions, there was a chance it was because they didn’t have any answers themselves. The process of getting those answers, and having English-speaking reps contact their Korean offices and suppliers for sensitive industry information, can stretch the process for weeks or even indefinitely.

Even Lee, who has previously fielded similar questions and provided redditors with documents broadly outlining the mucin collection process of CosRX’s supplier, still took weeks to answer as she waited on information and translations from other teams within the company.

  • Because of these barriers, South Korea’s ban on animal testing in cosmetics, which went into effect fully in February 2017, is often pointed to as proof that animals in the industry are being treated well.
  • The topic of animal abuse across various industries has sparked controversies in Korea, and Korean consumers are quite vigilant and vocal about what they’re consuming,” says Yoon.

Though there’s a distinction between animal testing and using animal byproducts, she, along with Lee and Kang, point to these laws as a reason customers can feel confident that snail farms are following humane standards. “Looking away from the emotional standpoint, it just doesn’t seem cost-effective” to harm them, adds Cortes, pointing out that snails, which produce mucin throughout their lives, are moneymakers. How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics Snails crawls on a woman’s face in a beauty salon in Japan. Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images Because beyond all the perceived weirdness of snail slime and the usual questions about whether any specific beauty product truly holds the answer to ageless or “perfect” skin, one question remains the most contentious: Are the snails suffering? And if they are being treated poorly, can they even feel pain? Snails aren’t the cutest or sexiest of the animal rights causes, which might be why so few resources about their treatment in the beauty industry are available online.

  1. Apart from beauty blogs featuring images of snails being cooked, or forums with people talking through allegations of cruelty, the only easily accessible information from a major animal rights organization comes from a PETA article and beauty product roundup,
  2. Though the article is correct that some companies use salt in the process of collecting mucin, its claim that this is “known to harm” snails conflicts with its linked source, which assures “those concerned about the animal rights issues” that “the snails are left unharmed by the process.” (When I first reached out to the organization in February for comment, I was told this would be looked into, but as of publication, the article has not been amended.) Many researchers looking at animals with simple nervous systems, like lobsters, snails, and worms, argue that because these animals cannot process emotional information, they cannot experience suffering, a claim that PETA has challenged.
See also:  Why Is Animal Testing For Cosmetics Bad?

“Any time that animals — no matter their size — are raised for their body parts or secretions, you can bet that cruelty will be involved,” says Jason Baker, PETA’s vice president of international campaigns. “Given all we know about their capacity to experience pleasure and suffering, it’s inexcusable to treat them callously like pieces of laboratory equipment to be manipulated, used, abused, and discarded for any reason.” Baker also says that because these products aren’t vegan, Korea’s animal testing ban isn’t enough of an assurance that snail creams are cruelty-free, pointing out that “since the early 1980s, experimenters have documented that snails and other gastropods detect and will try to escape from painful stimuli.” The cited studies do show that snails retreat from certain painful stimuli, though they also concede this could be a reflex rather than the more complex emotional response and pattern of behavior we associate with suffering.

One source also cites the controversy over whether anesthetized invertebrates’ slowed response to painful stimuli is proof of dulled pain or simply because their muscles are too relaxed to react. Intended to better inform laboratory procedures when dealing with invertebrates, many of these studies note the physical reactions of these animals while still acknowledging that we cannot draw definite conclusions about how they process pain.

While researchers and animal rights activists are still debating the highly subjective definition of suffering and trying to find ways of testing and measuring it, some authorities, like Canada’s Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, have concluded that “the balance of the evidence suggests that most invertebrates do not feel pain.” “There’s a lot of debate about the extent to which animals feel pain and suffering, even amongst biologists,” says Wong, so if you haven’t made up your mind yet, you aren’t alone.

Snail slime remains a contentious, as well as popular, outcome of the K-beauty boom in the US. And while many of the brands I spoke with admitted that snail mucin receives more scrutiny than most other ingredients in the beauty industry, there still aren’t many easy answers about how each company gets its snail mucin or how invertebrates process the sensation of crawling over mesh or being put in salted water.

“Unfortunately, the beauty industry is shrouded in mystery. I think it’s been that way since it was first created,” says Cortes of Holy Snails, who thinks the “beautifying” of products and the importance of brand stories have in many cases led to “marketing in the way of information.” In the face of barriers presented by marketing and proprietary information, it’s good to question the products we purchase and what we know about them.

Are snails harmed for snail mucin?

How Snail Mucin Is Harvested? – Traditional methods of harvesting snail mucin were cruel – the snails were essentially dunked in pots of water with salt, vinegar or other chemicals to force them to excrete mucin. Thankfully, the methods for harvesting snail mucin have changed considerably.

  • These days, there are a variety of “cruelty-free” methods of snail production and slime extraction.
  • In fact, research shows that the quality of the mucin itself depends on breeders keeping good environmental conditions for their snails.
  • As a result, breeders themselves regulate what the snails eat, how they are kept and how the slime is extracted.

This also helps in certifying snail mucin products as cruelty-free. In Italy, for example, snail mucin is extracted by immersing the snails in a special steam bath that acts like a spa for snails. The snails are not harmed in this process. In other farms, the snails are simply placed in an environment where they can move over a bumpy surface, because this causes them to make slime like they do naturally.

How do they get snail mucin for skincare?

How is snail mucin collected? For Cosrx products, snails are placed over a mesh net in a dark and quiet room. As nocturnal creatures, the snails prefer this environment. For about 30 minutes, the snails are left alone to freely roam the net, leaving mucin in their trails.

Is snail mucin cruelty-free?

How is Snail Mucin collected? Are snails harmed? Traditional methods of collecting snail Mucin were cruel – the snails were essentially soaked in pots of water with salt, vinegar or other chemicals to force them to excrete Mucin. Thankfully, the methods for collecting snail Mucin have changed considerably! These days, there is a range of cruelty-free methods of snail production and slime extraction.

  1. Study shows that the quality of the Mucin itself depends on breeders keeping good environmental conditions for their snails,
  2. As a result, breeders themselves control what the snails eat, how they are kept and how the slime is extracted.
  3. This also helps in confirming snail Mucin products as cruelty-free.

Because snail Mucin products are used topically, only edible snails are used in skin care products. The popular edible snail species are the Roman snail (Helix pomatia), the common ingredient of the snail, and its close relative the garden snail or the baby gray (Helix aspersa).

How do they make snail beauty products?

Snail slime has many names: snail mucin, snail secretion filtrate, or just plain snail mucus. But is it going to save your skin? Snail slime has hit the beauty market in spectacular fashion, enhancing face creams, moisturizers, gel masks, and skin repair serums.

  • South Korean cosmetics companies have been at the forefront of this trend with claims that these snail slime products reduce wrinkles, repair damaged skin, improve acne scars, and lighten dark spots.
  • So, from what magnificent snail comes this “miracle” beauty product? The common garden snail.
  • It’s scientific name is Cornu aspersum, and if you’ve seen a snail on the sidewalk after a rain, chances are it is this species.

It’s not only common in Los Angeles, but thrives as an introduced species far beyond its native Europe. Check out the 650-plus observations of this species on iNaturalist from Van Nuys to New Zealand. Garden snail slime, as an ingredient in “cosmeceuticals” (a hybrid cosmetic and pharmaceutical product), is collected from live snails, filtered, and then added to other ingredients to make various skin products, some of which show promise in small studies to heal sunburn and accelerate wound repair,

In analyses of snail slime, cosmetics researchers discovered that the garden snail has five types of mucus cells, each of which produce a unique mix of chemicals, including one of the darlings of the skin-care industry, glycosaminoglycans, or GAGs, These molecules attract water and are therefore often used in moisturizers to plump up skin.

When referring to Cornu aspersum, snail slime product labels use creative names including ” black snail ” or ” Chilean earth snail,” which presumably sounds more exotic than “common garden snail.” One product hails the species’ “ever-resilient” qualities and notes that it is “lauded for its ability to survive harsh environments.” In more scientific sounding contexts, it is referred to as ” Cryptomphalus aspersa, ” a mostly unused alternative name, or ” Helix Aspersa Müller,” also incorrect as Helix is now considered an out-of-date genus name and aspersa, the species name, should be written in lowercase in italics.

  1. The story of the naming and renaming of this species by biologists since the late 1700s deserves its own discussion, which you can find some of here,
  2. One of the major players in that story is Otto Friedrich Müller, a Danish naturalist who first described this species in 1774.
  3. This is the very same “Müller” sometimes tacked onto the end of the species name, by convention.
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I would like to think that Otto would be amused to know that 240 years after he described this species, its slime is “beautifying” faces across the globe. Many thanks to Su Oh, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, for bringing the Tonymoly snail mask back from South Korea.

Is it halal to use snail mucin?

Myth: Snail mucin extract isn’t Halal – Truth: Under Halal regulations, snail mucin extract is permitted when is not eaten, has no blood (snail mucin is the excretion from a snail), and as an ingredient only if it’s harvested ethically. That’s why here at NUME-Lab Switzerland, we treat our snails with SPA treatments to collect mucin.

Is there any science behind snail mucin?

A Quick Summary Of The Benefits Of Snail Mucin – Snail mucin has been used since ancient times for its skin healing benefits. A number of research studies have demonstrated that snail mucin can significantly increase the rate of wound healing. This healing effect appears to be due to the complex chemical composition of snail mucin and its ability to increase the production of new skin cells, prevent the death of existing skin cells, and enable the movement of skin cells to the wound site.

  • More recent research has highlighted the antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antitumoral effects of snail mucin which suggests that it has a broader range of benefits for the skin.
  • Considering that a number of anti-aging treatments, such as laser treatments and microneedling, exert their anti-aging effects by creating a wound healing response, it is highly likely that snail mucin can have anti-aging benefits.

However, there is less research regarding the cosmetic benefits of snail mucin and the majority of studies are weakened by their small sample sizes and the addition of other known anti-aging ingredients in their experimental formulations. However, based on the chemical composition of snail mucin and the existing research, snail mucin may provide a wide-range of cosmetic skin benefits, including:

  • Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reducing pigmentation
  • Reducing post inflammatory erythema
  • Increasing skin hydration and stratum corneum barrier function
  • Reducing enlarged pores

In addition, the antimicrobial properties and anti-redness effects highlight snail mucin as a potential acne treatment. There are, however, some ethical and animal-welfare concerns regarding the extraction techniques used to collect snail mucin for skincare products.

Is the COSRX snail mucin ethical?

Our snail mucin products are also 100% cruelty-free which caused no harm to animals throughout the making process.

Is snail mucin actually from snails?

Quite literally, snail mucin is a snail’s secretion. You may also see it referred to as ‘snail secretion filtrate’ (SSF) on the ingredient list of skin-care products.

Is COSRX an ethical brand?

Image credit: brand COSRX has confirmed that it is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals, and neither do their suppliers or any third-parties. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is required by law. When you shop through the above links, we donate 15% of our proceeds to animal charities!

    Why is Korean skincare so good?

    Korean beauty products utilize the most effective Western ingredients —and so much more. With an impressively large repertoire that includes ground-breaking ingredients such as snail mucin and bee venom, their compellingly fresh formulations can deliver results you could never achieve before.

    How much is 1 kg of snail slime?

    Thai farmers on the cash trail with snail slime by Delphine Thouvenot And Anusak Konglang How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics Snails in Thailand’s farms were once the scourge of rice farmers, loathed for eating the buds of new crops Giant snails inch across a plate of pumpkin and cucumber in central Thailand, an “organic” diet to tease the prized collagen-rich mucus from the molluscs, which to some cosmetic firms are now more valuable than gold.

      With her 1,000 snails, the teacher makes an extra $320 to $650 a month.It is one of more than 80 farms in Nakhon Nayok province, two hours from the capital Bangkok, cashing in on the global snail beauty market, estimated at $314 million, according to research group Coherent Market Insights. The precious slime is patiently “milked” from the glands of the snail by dripping water over it using a pipette.Its raw form is sold to Aden International, a Thai-based cosmetics company that primarily ships its products to Korea and the US.The sole snail slime producer in Thailand, Aden was started three years ago as a business-savvy solution to the snail infestation in Nakhon Nayok, said founder Kitpong Puttarathuvanun.

    And his bet paid off—Kitpong sells the serum under the Acha brand, but also supplies Korean and American cosmetic companies with a dried powder at 1.8 million baht ($58,200) per kilogram, he said. How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics The precious slime is patiently “milked” from the glands of the snail by dripping water over it using a pipette Gold is currently worth $46,300 a kilogram. Compared to Aden’s snail slime, the mucus produced in China—milked daily instead of once every three weeks in Thailand—is valued at about 80,000 baht ($2,600) per kilogram, Kitpong said. How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics The global snail beauty market is worth an estimated at $314 million It “triggers the skin cells. and helps heal the skin”. At the moment, no have been done on the curative qualities of snail serum and slime, but snail farmer Phatinisiri is already feeling the market heat up. How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics A doctor in charge of the purification process said snail mucus contains collagen and elastin—ingredients that ‘can make skin firm with less wrinkles’ © 2019 AFP Citation : Thai farmers on the cash trail with snail slime (2019, July 20) retrieved 27 April 2023 from This document is subject to copyright.

    What dangers do snails face?

    Among the greatest of these threats are invasive predators, habitat loss, and climate change.

    Is it OK to put snails on your face?

    4. Anti-aging holy grail – Snails have antioxidant properties that can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. In addition, snail slime contains hyaluronic acid, which helps to hydrate the skin and promote collagen production.

    Do slugs feel pain from salt?

    Here’s a question we’re hoping you’d only wonder out of curiosity and not experience: why does salt kill slugs and snails? The answer is simpler than you might suspect. Rather than by a complex chemical reaction, salt acts as a snail and slug’s kryptonite by dehydrating its slimy exterior.

    • Salt essentially draws the water out of their skin ­– an osmosis effect – and they die within minutes of dehydration,” says Dr Gordon Port, senior lecturer at Newcastle University.
    • Slugs and snails are extremely dependent on a high water content in their bodies.
    • They constantly need water to replenish any the lose.

    “We don’t know how much pain they feel when in contact with salt, but a slug or snail caught in granules will try to wiggle away while exuding a lot of mucus to clean their skin.” In other words, unless you want snail or slug snot pooling on your kitchen floor, it isn’t something that’s recommended – by scientists or the animals themselves.

    Do snails feel stress?

    ScienceShot: Stressed-Out Snails Become Forgetful Snails get stressed out, too—and it’s not good for them either. Scientists have found that multiple sources of stress can impair the memories of the slimy gastropods. A team placed pond snails ( Lymnaea stagnalis, like the one above) in water-filled beakers that varied in stressfulness: Some were overcrowded, some contained water low in calcium (stressful, for a snail), and some were both overcrowded and low in calcium; the beakers varied inconsequentially in oxygen levels.

    1. Then, the team placed the snails in an uncrowded beaker containing water with a normal level of calcium and trained the snails to not come up for air—no big deal for pond snails, who can also get oxygen by absorbing it underwater through their skin.
    2. Each time a snail popped its breathing hole out from under its shell and above water, it received a gentle poke.

    After the lesson, the snails were put to a test: Could they remember to take in oxygen just underwater? The team reports today in PLOS ONE that whereas snails trained after spending time in an environment with just one stressor were able to remember the training for minutes or even hours, ; they came up for air despite their training.

    Do you starve snails before you eat them?

    Before he could start farming escargot, Ric Brewer needed to get his hands on some sexually-active snails. Fortunately, in western Washington state, where Brewer now oversees a large and slow-moving herd, that’s as simple as turning over a few leaves.

    My mother had all of her church lady friends out in their gardens gathering snails for me,” he says. “They were the founding stock.” Now Little Gray Farms sells about 300 pounds of their offspring each year. Brewer breeds Cornu aspersum, known by its excessively common common name, the “common European garden snail.” The species is often overshadowed by its more soulful or mysterious cousins.

    The phylum mollusca, to which all snails belong, contains 100,000 creatures: the endless spiral of the nautilus; the brainless but delectable oyster; the seafloor obscenity that is the geoduck. But the snail’s dull shell is hiding a secret all its own. How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics Detail of a 4th century mosaic of a basket of snails Wikimedia Humans have indulged in this meaty treat since the Stone Age. Archaeologists unearthed evidence of 30,000-year-old snail shells emptied, cooked, and discarded in Spain. Similarly insightful garbage has been unearthed across the Balearic Sea in Algeria, and along the African coast into Tanzania: snails all the way down.

    The preparation may have changed—ancient humans charbroiled their catch, while contemporary Europeans typically sauté snails in garlic sauce—but the fundamental appetite persists. Each year, the French consume some 66 million pounds of escargot. That’s more than a billion one-ounce organisms. In the United States, escargot is what would politely be termed an “acquired taste”—one we’ve most assuredly failed to acquire.

    Even Vendetti hasn’t tried them. Despite the depressed national appetite, snail foragers have always lurked among us. (One helpful blog recommends “luring” snails in with oranges ). But the real heroes of American escargot are farmers like Brewer, who have run headfirst into what’s arguably the strangest form of animal husbandry on Earth.

    • Though it’s a dark, damp, do-it-yourself affair, they promise snail farming is not without its (slime-covered) charms.
    • Before you can eat a wild snail, you must starve it.
    • Just as oysters are contaminated by dirty water, snails pick up the toxins around them, imbibing pesticides and heavy metals.
    • Earlier this year, an Australian teenager who ate a slug on a dare contracted rat lungworm and died.

    The parasite hasn’t showed up in common snails, but Vendetti says, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” To ward off illness, humans must handle any foraged food with care. Brewer subjected his garden snails to a week-long “purging process” before he began breeding them.

    “Keep them moistened in a fairly warm environment, and that will ensure they’re digestively active,” he tells me, almost as if he’s dolling out directions. “Once they stop defecating, then you know they’re pretty well cleaned out.” If this sounds cruel, it’s because it is. Farming anything other than alfalfa requires sacrifice.

    That’s particularly true when it comes to snails, because the creatures are considered pests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose agents are therefore perplexed by the rare farmer who wants them to propagate. To the USDA, breeding escargot is like tenderly raising a plague of locusts.

    • But because they’re snails—a-not-so-charismatic creature—the carnage can also be morbidly comical.
    • Related: Americans used to eat pigeon all the time—and it could be making a comeback As you might expect, European garden snails are European.
    • How exactly they got here is anyone’s guess, but it seems the brown helix has floated its way to every part of the world.

    It now thrives in New Zealand, South Africa, and across North and South America. In California, Vendetti says, ” the story goes there was a man who moved here and missed escargot and snail mailed—no pun intended—no, wait, pun definitely intended —himself some snails.” A few escaped from their mesh, and bred rapaciously in the desert heat.

    • Their insatiable appetites quickly caused problems.C.
    • Aspersum eats cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, bean, beet, brussels sprouts, lettuce, mangel, onion, peas, radish, tomato, and turnips.
    • It eats barley, oats, and wheat.
    • It loves flowers more than your mother on Mother’s Day.
    • It crawls up the bark of apple, apricot, citrus, peach, and plum trees—and then eats them, too.

    “It is federally illegal to take a live snail across state lines,” Brewer says. “You can be fined, there’s potential jail sentences.” Even on the farm, keeping them fed is a struggle. “They go through quite a bit of vegetation,” he says. “Kind of the way a herd of cattle will eat all the grass in that area, and you have to move them.” Taylor Knapp, owner of Peconic Escargot on the north fork of Long Island, New York, was one of the first snail farmers in the United States.

    1. He found that most escargot on the market was frozen and shipped in from Europe; finding something alive, or at least alive recently, was almost impossible.
    2. So he decided to go into business himself.
    3. It was three long years of working with the government,” Knapp says, but eventually he helped to establish the USDA’s containment protocol for the entire species.

    What looks like a greenhouse is actually Peconic’s elaborate gastropod prison. Groups of snails are stored in sealed, soil-lined crates. “It’s kind of like an indoor beekeeping operation,” according to Knapp, who gave himself the official title of “head snail wrangler.” The bins are shelved, turning a 300-square-foot greenhouse into a vertical maximum-security farm stocked with more than 50,000 snails.

    1. Should a snail escape from the sealed container, it will fall into a vat of concentrated saltwater, “which is kind of sad,” Knapp says.
    2. If it miraculously survived that assault, it would die outside: the greenhouse is surrounded by a non-vegetative perimeter, 12 feet by 12 feet, that Knapp laces with pesticides.

    “I basically just pick weeds all summer,” he says. “That’s my job.” How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics Garden snail Wikimedia Once their snails are subdued, farmers hope for a love match—or several thousand. “Fortunately, snails are hermaphrodites,” Brewer says. Each snail can inseminate, and each snail can be inseminated and then lay eggs. The courtship ritual remains obscure, even to scientists, but it does involve those infamous “love darts.” If all goes well, one partner slides away with a clutch of 50 to 100 fertilized eggs.

    1. Before a new generation can emerge, the eggs must be buried.
    2. It’s kind of like a turtle,” Knapp says.
    3. They burrow headfirst, using this special muscle to dig a hole into the soil They’ll come back out of the hole, cover it in mucus and dirt, and then they’ll leave.” They never return.
    4. The eggs, high in calcium, have a pearl-like finish.

    If the soil is right—loose and aerated, with a perfectly balanced moisture content—the eggs will incubate without drying out or swelling with water. Over a two-week incubation period, the snail inside doesn’t so much hatch as turn its smooth white bead into a mobile home.

    If you watched a timelapse, you’d just start to see a spiral form on the outside of the egg,” Knapp says. “There’s nothing left over.” It takes about six to eight months for each of Knapp’s snails to reach maturity, at which point they offer as much protein per pound as fish, and other essentials like iron and magnesium.

    “We know they’re as big as they’re going to get when they form this little lip on the edge of their shell that looks like a baseball cap,” he says. What size a snail is when it displays this lip varies widely—never a good thing in livestock. “Sometimes we end up with these teeny-tiny snails,” Knapp says, “and sometimes we end up with these monsters.” Little Gray Farms has the same size problem, and Brewer is working to optimize his two-antennaed progeny.

    1. He recently secured USDA approval to move live snails across state lines, enabling him to introduce new and much-needed genes to the group.
    2. He also has a control population where he’s selecting the largest snails from each successive generation to breed, in hopes of growing bigger snails overall.
    3. Peconic, for its part, is playing with taste.

    “We had a restaurant that asked for them to be finished on mint,” Knapp says. For the last two weeks of their lives, that’s all the members of the impending shipment ate. “When you ate this thing, the snail tasted like mint.” They’re also experimenting with snail caviar.

    • The majority of Knapp’s eggs get to hatch, but some get salted.
    • The eggs taste like the soil they come from: “earthy, mushroom-y, herbaceous,” Knapp says.
    • I think they taste like carrots.” Given they’re more shell than egg, they’re harder than other forms of caviar, like salmon roe, to burst.
    • You could roll them around in your mouth like bubble tea,” Knapp says.

    Part of caviar’s appeal is that it’s easy to transport: just salt, pack, and ship. Escargot is more challenging. Peconic keeps its snails alive until a chef places an order. When the calls come in on Monday, Knapp kills the precise number of snails to fill the request on Tuesday, and the spoils arrive in cities across the country on Wednesday. How Do They Get Snail Slime For Cosmetics Escargot in garlic sauce Pexels Most people still abhor the idea of eating snails, but maybe it’s nothing more than a PR problem. The flavor and texture of C. aspersum tends to hide beneath its preparation: like any Paula Dean recipe, most snails are served smothered in butter, so they mostly taste like butter.

    What are the risks of snail mucin?

    Snail mucin is well tolerated and there are no negative side effects to note. However, it’s always a good idea if you have sensitive skin to test the product on a small area of your skin to make sure you don’t have a reaction.

    Is it halal to use snail mucin?

    Myth: Snail mucin extract isn’t Halal – Truth: Under Halal regulations, snail mucin extract is permitted when is not eaten, has no blood (snail mucin is the excretion from a snail), and as an ingredient only if it’s harvested ethically. That’s why here at NUME-Lab Switzerland, we treat our snails with SPA treatments to collect mucin.