There's Wood Powder in Your Shredded Cheese

Illustration for article titled There's Wood Powder in Your Shredded Cheese

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.

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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]

Photo: AlexussK/Shutterstock

DISCUSSION

I honestly don't get the thrust of this post. Surely there are plenty of worse additives going into our foods that I should be far more concerned about than cellulose rendered from wood pulp .

I read this and the FoodRenegade article my take away is that this is a lot of trumpeting over nothing. "OMG!! It's wood pulp!!! Call the supreme court!!111"

The real take away here is that raw foods are (almost) always better for you than pre-processed foods. Oh, and take everything with a grain of salt. Blog posts included.