Yes, indeed, the cellulose, cellulose gel and cellulose gum that you read on labels is factory-created by cooking virgin wood pulp in chemicals to separate the cellulose and then “purifying” it. Some manufacturers take it a step further and then add acid to make it even creamier. YUM!
Wood cellulose is found in everything from milk shakes to cheese to salad dressing to muffins and pancake mixes and syrup. It’s used to thicken and stabilize foods in place of the increasingly more expensive alternatives of flour and oil.
“Cellulose products, gums and fibers allow food manufactures to offer white bread with high dietary fiber content, low-fat ice cream that still feels creamy on the tongue, and allow cooks to sprinkle cheese over their dinner without taking time to shred.” Wall Street Journal 5/4/11
I always wondered why you could set a plate of Cheeto’s Puffs on fire! Wood burns!! Seriously, I was stunned watching it on video.
According to the same WSJ article, Organic Valley (a company I love) uses powdered cellulose in its shredded cheese products. Apparently, “Only powdered cellulose in its least manipulated form can be used in foods labeled “organic” or “made with organic” ingredients by the USDA.” ‘Least manipulated’ means no acid was used in processing. Yikes.
And here for your gross-out pleasure (courtesy of www.thestreet.com), I’ve listed some enormously major companies that use the highly processed and manipulated variety of cellulose i.e. processed in acid. Caution: you’ve eaten these foods!
Dole Foods (parfaits), General Mills (Fiber One cereal!), Kellogg’s (Chik’n Nuggets, Eggo Nutra-Grain Waffles (!), Cinnabon Pancakes), McDonald’s (pretty much everything, including Caesar Salad and milkshakes!), Pepsi (Aunt Jemima syrup and pancakes), Sara Lee, Taco Bell (no surprise), Pizza Hut (wah!), Kraft (Mac & Cheese and Nestle Hot Cocoa (!)), KFC (again, no surprise), Weight Watchers, Wendy’s and Arby’s (ice creams and salad dressings), Jack in the Box (ice creams, cheeses, sauces). GROSS ME OUT WITH AN ICE CREAM-LADEN SPOON.
Moral of the story: READ YOUR LABELS!! Know what you’re putting in your temple. It’s the only one you’ve got!
Tags: blog, body is a temple, cellulose, cooking show, earth friendly, eco-lifestyle, EcoRico, Giselle Achecar, green, healthy lifestyle, healthy living, healthy recipes, organic cooking, organic food, organic recipes, sustainable, wood pulp in food