Read the label * Cellulose
Reading labels is a practice you can never give up. Even when you’ve found a product you love (love!), the manufacturer can change the ingredients at any time, and the only notice they have to give is that ingredient label.
One of the ingredients you may see on a label – particularly for any food marketed as “high fiber” (and especially when you know it’s not made almost completely from whole grain and vegetables) – is cellulose, which also comes to us as cellulose gum, powdered cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, etc.
Cellulose is virgin wood pulp that has been processed and manufactured to different lengths for functionality, though use of it and its variant forms is deemed safe for human consumption, according to the FDA, which regulates most food industry products. The government agency sets no limit on the amount of cellulose that can be used in food products meant for human consumption.
Cellulose also extends the shelf life of foods. Think about it: wood pulp doesn’t rot as fast as food. (Not very appetizing, though.)
It’s also less expensive than actual food products as a binder or filler, which is no doubt the real reason food manufacturers use it. That still doesn’t make it good for humans to eat.
Check here for a list of foods that contain a lot of cellulose. And keep reading labels. You never know when they’re going to change.