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Got Saw Dust? September 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor.

Donald-DuckaOn the search for a better burrito, we scanned the 137+ varieties of tortillas available at Publix to find one with a healthy mix of ingredients.

Most flour tortillas had a gram of fiber.

The whole wheat tortillas had 2 grams of fiber.

Then we picked up a package of high fiber tortillas which boasted a whopping 11 grams of fiber.

Per tortilla, not per package.

Curious, we read through the ingredient list looking for the source of that fiber.

Donald-Duck-BaseballWas it from oats?  No.

Was it from bran?  No.

How about wheat germ?  Again, no.

Then we spied the fiber source . . . cellulose fiber.  Also known as wood pulp.

Well, you don’t have to hit me over the head with a baseball bat before I can figure out what’s going on . . .

Food manufacturers are obviously as concerned as consumers about getting more fiber into our food.

Wanting to avoid genetically modified FrankenFood, they turned to the forest and saw the trees!

Trees, standing tall and overflowing with pulpy goodness.

Real trees, not GMO trees loaded with FrankenFiber.

They called lumber yards and floor liquidators, ordering up 10,000 cubic tons of surplus saw dust to bulk up our food and our bellies.

Donald-Duck-LazyThey boiled it down and added it to cereals, granola bars, loaves of bread, ice cream, and tortillas.

And that, in a nutshell, is why processed food tastes like saw dust!

Aah . . . that’s better!



1. Under the Oaks - September 13, 2016

That is crazy! CH makes a delicious burrito. We just buy a bag of BIG flour tortillas. I don’t check the ingredients for any of it because we don’t eat them that often but they are so much better than the Bell’s which we do not go to anymore! They are so simple it is embarrassing! I do check for fat, fiber, and sugar on most all the stuff we eat. Ewwwwwwwwwww, I can’t get over the saw dust!

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

We usually have a package of tortillas on hand for wraps, soft tacos, and burritos. Quick, easy, and versatile.

Lots of “diet” foods contain cellulose fiber to fill us up without filling us out. But it is a bit disconcerting to see how many foods contain cellulose fiber these days.

2. Bun Karyudo - September 13, 2016

I’ve just started chewing on my table to cut out the middleman.

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

Brilliant! And no prep or dirty dishes after the meal!

Bun Karyudo - September 14, 2016

That’s right! 🙂

3. Rainee - September 13, 2016

A sobering thought Nancy! Proves that more fibre is not always good. Like natural is not always good eg tobacco 🙂

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

I did read an article about this “tree trend” from the New York Times in 1985. The journalist noted that eating cellulose fiber isn’t harmful to our health.

Good to know we won’t end up with splinters in our spleens!

4. Jill Weatherholt - September 13, 2016

Sure wish I’d known this when I worked at a wholesale cedar lumber yard, Nancy. I’d been licking the floor. 🙂

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

Bwahaha! And to think of all the sawdust I swept up and tossed away from my dad’s woodworking shop. 😉

5. William D'Andrea - September 13, 2016

Does this mean that if you eat one of those burritos you might get a splinter in your tongue?

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

Or worse . . . it might stab you on the way out.

Anne Lene @ MinimalistSometimes - September 14, 2016


nrhatch - September 14, 2016

Tee hee.

6. Tippy Gnu - September 13, 2016

But what was the quality of the fiber? Walnut? Mahogany? Cherry? Or just plain knotty pine?

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

Make mine Old Hickory . . . With a side of Cherry on top.

7. Kate Crimmins - September 13, 2016

Argh! I have some twigs in my yard to sell!

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

Exactly! A new cottage industry is born.

8. colonialist - September 13, 2016

Oh, yes indeed. Only, I think they ran out of real sawdust and are now using non-organic substitutes!

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

No doubt. Some other kind of non-nutritive cereal filler.

9. L. Marie - September 13, 2016

Oh my goodness. Talk about fiber in your diet. 😦

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

Nonsense that makes cents.

10. anotherday2paradise - September 13, 2016

Wow, that’s quite a revelation, Nancy. To think just how much sawdust I’ve swept up and tossed in the refuse bag over the past 6 months, when I could have been making Burritos with it instead. Who knew? 🙂

nrhatch - September 13, 2016

Great for burritos & terrific in smoothies!

anotherday2paradise - September 13, 2016

Thanks for the tip. 😀

11. diannegray - September 13, 2016

Wow Nancy – you could have hit me over the head with a baseball bat as well (or I might have just taken a bite out of it). I never knew this.

nrhatch - September 14, 2016

I heard about the “saw dust” in our food quite a while back when I wondered why most slices of bread contained 80 calories, but Roman Meal only had 40 for the same size slice.

What I did not know (until “researching” this post) was how many foods now contain non-nutritive fiber courtesy of wood pulp.

I bet Woody Woodpecker is laughing out loud!

12. Behind the Story - September 13, 2016

They have 137 varieties of tortillas? Wow!

You’ve identified another problem with processed food. When you have a tasteless ingredient like sawdust, I guess you have to add more salt and sugar.

nrhatch - September 14, 2016

I didn’t actually count them, but the 8-foot-wide section had four or five shelves of tortillas ~ corn, wheat, ancient grain, gluten free, high fiber, etc. With different brands for each. And most varieties come in at least 3 sizes ~ taco size, burrito size, super size, etc.

And, yes, as the quality of our food goes down, additives like salt, corn syrup, and oil are added in copious amounts to provide taste and texture.

I’m glad I prepare most of our meals from “real food” ~ fruits, veggies, grains, beans, and (of course) chocolate. 😀

13. Don - September 14, 2016

Unbelievable! Nancy.

nrhatch - September 14, 2016

It would be interesting to see if the shelves of food in Britain are also riddled with potholes ~> pseudo foods.

14. suzicate - September 14, 2016

Recently it was a big thing about some companies were putting more than 8% wood pulp in their parmesan cheese. My shock was they are allowed to even add 8% wood pulp in the first place. Unbelievable!

nrhatch - September 14, 2016

Especially in cheese! No one expects cheese to be Fiber Filled.

15. suzicate - September 14, 2016

I stand corrected on that. The FDA allows 2-4 % additive, but Kraft had 7.8% in theirs…was a while back when I first read it. Just googled to make sure I wasn’t giving misinformation.

nrhatch - September 14, 2016

Thanks for checking. Glad the FDA is looking out for us. NOT.

16. Debra - September 15, 2016

It’s shocking what stands in for food these days, isn’t it? I think it’s actually shameful. I must say that in California we have more tortillas than you can count, and many major brands are now carrying ones made with spelt or untypical flours. Even California Disney has a tortilla plant right in the center. LOL! I don’t want any made from trees, though. 🙂

nrhatch - September 15, 2016

The growing interest in ancient grains fascinates me ~> as demand grows, supply expands, which causes more demand, and a sprouting of new products, etc. Yesterday, we picked up some Cascadian Farms Granola ~ all organic, no GMO’s, with several types of ancient grains. Here’s to the Trickle Up economy . . . where consumer demand steers the ship!

That’s interesting about Disney running a tortilla plant. Tortillas are BIG business these days.

17. Tiny - September 15, 2016

That does not surprise me. I will let you in on my Finnish secret: traditional rye bread (baked in N.Y. by NordicBreads.com) has 12 g of fiber in one little round bread from organic whole grain rye – I usually toast one 1/2 for lunch and have it with some healthy toppings 🙂

nrhatch - September 15, 2016

Traditional rye bread = Awesome! I used to enjoy getting it from any of the Jewish deli’s around us in NJ.

Here the rye bread is nothing to get excited about. Thanks for the tip about NordicBreads.

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