It would totally ruin Taco Tuesdays if you reached into your bag of delicious shredded cheese and it had all congealed into a giant yellow-orange clump. But that never happens! Ever wonder why? Food companies add wood pulp, that's why.
Wood pulp—or cellulose, to be exact—is made from grinding out wood and other plant matter. You eat it all the time, probably! It's dumped into all sorts of dairy products because it's a cheap replacement for other, non-wood ingredients, aside from keep cheese slivers from clumping together, FoodRenegade reports.
Is this such a bad thing? The crew at FR gives an emphatic yes, because it's so unnatural. But so is eating shredded cheese out of a bag to begin with. The FDA says cellulose wood cheese is okay to eat, and when I want to make nachos or a baked potato or just put a handful of cheese in my mouth, a lot of the time I'd rather not take out a grater. You know what else isn't natural? Cheese graters. Nor is cheese itself. If we continue this gourmand naturalism ad infinitum, we'll be eating nothing but sand and blueberries. I say let's use the safe food tech we have—delicious, easy, orange cheese in a bag, sprinkled with wood dust. [FoodRenegade]