Are you eating wood pulp?
Why is it important to read labels and know your ingredients? Because food manufacturers have the tendency to play with words. It's important to understand what is in the foods you're buying (and eating) unless of course you don't care what you're eating. If you're like those who say, "I'm going to die some day anyway" or I don't worry about what I eat" then please go ahead and put water in the gas tank of your car. It's going to die some day anyway, right?
Cellulose, a/k/a fiber, is used by food manufacturers to bulk up their food products (as an extender). Cellulose has no nutritional benefit and is not digestible in humans. It does, however have monetary benefits to food manufactureres because it's cheap. Also, adding cellulose to their food products allows them to make claim "extra fiber" claims on the packaging even those that are USDA Organic Certified. Yes, it's true!
Natural News says: Wood cellulose is not toxic. But it's not food either. Our enzymes cannot digest cellulose. Yes, we all need to take in fiber. Dry legumes, whole grains, and most fresh plant foods contain fiber (find out who the "woody's are).
About.com says: In recent years, cellulose has become a popular food additive due to its unique chemical and physical properties when combined with water. Although cellulose can be found in most plant matter, the most economical sources for industrial cellulose are cotton and wood pulp (read about how it's used in foods here).
Wikipedia says: Humans can digest cellulose to some extent, however it mainly acts as a hydrophilic bulking agent for feces and is often referred to as "dietary fiber". See more about cellulose.
Britannica says: Nondigestible by man, cellulose is a food for herbivorous animals (e.g., cows, horses) because they retain it long enough for digestion by microorganisms present in the alimentary tract; protozoans in the gut of insects such as termites also digest cellulose. Of great economic importance, cellulose is processed to produce papers and fibres and is chemically modified to yield substances used in the manufacture of such items as plastics, photographic films, and rayon. Other cellulose derivatives are used as adhesives, explosives, thickening agents for foods, and in moisture-proof coatings.
So, if you see an ingredient listed on your boxes of high-fiber cereal or snack bar called "cellulose" or an ingredient with the word cellulose in it like those listed below, then you are eating the pulp from virgin wood. The best way to be sure of the ingredients in your food is steer clear of processed foods (boxed, canned, frozen etc.) and prepare your own meals from organic whole foods (fresh produce, legumes, whole grains) or purchase them from a trusted source.
- Microcrystalline cellulose(MCC)
- Cellulose gel
- Cellulose gum
- Carboxymethyl cellulose
To your healthy every day!