Food Inflation, Now Wood Food Fillers

Food Inflation, Now Wood Food Fillers:  It’s not just Your Health.  When Does it Become Misrepresentation/Food Fraud?

As you know I get very “worked up” about knowing what is in my food:  Is it GMO? Does it contain MSG? Hidden Msg? Aspartame?  What is the food formula or food ingredients?  Is it what I call “Chemical Food”?

I wrote about Food Fraud last year that many seafood are not what they are represented to be.

But what if they reformulate, do not tell you, but have a small ingredients label on the product and don’t translate the “foodese” (or food chemical language, akin to my profession having legalese)?

Do you think that this is misrepresentation or just caveat emptor (“buyer beware”)? 

Is it ethical conduct by the food industry?  (Note:  Sometimes things can be “legal” but that does NOT mean that it is “ethical”.)

Isn’t it a sad state of affairs that when you go grocery store shopping, week after week, that the situation is getting so out of hand (increasing probably more than we realize) that you just can’t trust that the product is still the same but have to read each item and each label every visit? If you think grocery stores are the only ones that do this, think again.  Restaurant chains, including the fast food industry, has wood fillers in their products.

Why are we supporting this kind system with our dollars?

This is one of the reasons that I buy extremely little from the traditional grocery stores and use Thrive.  But if you don’t use Thrive, why don’t you find a food co-op or a local farmer and buy as much of your food from them?

The point is GET OUT OF THE FOOD PROCESSING DISTRIBUTION CHAIN!!!!  It’s become more of a big business food purchase and supply chain than it is a consumer market or service.

How much do they really care about you?  The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association fights tooth and nail to keep you from knowing what their members have put in your food.  If they had healthy products, they would not care if you knew.  In fact, they would spend money conducting public information campaigns to tell you what is in your food.

Instead, they press ahead using dirty tactics, i.e., Washington State and California food labeling referendum, trying to discourage you from knowing what is in your food.

It’s sick.  And we consumers must vote with our dollars and get out of this system ASAP!

 

How Fast Food Providers Beat Inflation – Add Wood Pulp To Burgers

By Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge.com

Who knew wood could taste this good. QZ.com/Photo Reuters/Molly Riley

On Monday, Quartz published an article by Devin Cohen titled, There is a Secret Ingredient in Your Burgers: Wood Pulp. Given the headline and people’s already present suspicion regarding all of the shady and potentially dangerous ingredients hidden in food items, the article gained a lot of traction. In subsequent days, most journalists and bloggers have focused on the dangers of this additive (unclear) and whether or not it is pervasive throughout the food chain as opposed to just fast food (it appears to be).

The one angle that has not been explored as much is the overall trend. Let’s go ahead and assume that wood pulp is a safe thing to consume, it certainly seems to have no nutritional value whatsoever. So why are companies inserting it into food items? To mask inflation and earn more profits most likely. This was a major theme I focused on last year in a series of pieces on stealth inflation and food fraud, a couple of which can be read below:

New Study Shows 59% of “Tuna” Sold in the U.S. Isn’t Tuna

New Study Shows: Food Fraud Soared 60% Last Year

The Quartz article notes that:

There may be more fiber in your food than you realized. Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast food companies list in the ingredients of several of their foods, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or “powdered cellulose” as components of their menu items. Or, in plain English, wood pulp.

The emulsion-stabilizing, cling-improving, anti-caking substance operates under multiple aliases, ranging from powdered cellulose to cellulose powder to methylcellulose to cellulose gum. The entrance of this non-absorbable fiber into fast food ingredients has been stealthy, yet widespread: The compound can now be found in buns, cheeses, sauces, cakes, shakes, rolls, fries, onion rings, smoothies, meats—basically everything.

The cost effectiveness of this filler has pushed many chains to use progressively less chicken in their “chicken” and cream in their “ice cream.”

This is the part that really interests me. When did these companies first introduce this substance into their products and what is the growth trend? My guess is that as food costs have risen, the proportion of non-nutritonal fillers has increased substantially. That said, I’d like to see some data and I haven’t yet.

My big takeaway here is the same as last year’s when I first started writing about the trend. As the cost of food continues to rise, the cost of not paying attention to what you are eating rises exponentially. Companies will continue to try to mask inflation by shrinking package sizes, and when that is no longer possible, increasingly inserting empty fillers (or worse) into their products.

Read More Here