Adding sawdust as a source of food fiber

Several decades ago, I recall reading about a company that had started adding sawdust to its white bread, so as to provide the fiber needed to help digestion processes. But there was subsequent articles proclaiming public uproar over having to pay money for sawdust in bread, since it had no nutritional value; and so the product was removed from the market. Yet even today people have lots of difficulty in obtaining enough fiber to help their digestion process work correctly.

Looking back on that, I'd think it would require some inspection and processing attention to provide "food grade" sawdust (or similar ground-up woody plant fiber) as a source of fiber in our food supply. And before that, some research in depth into the long term effects of having some sawdust in some of our food: does it really function as well as natural food fiber and does it have any harmful side effects in long term use. I suspect that in the early human diet that shaped our digestion systems, we got lots of woody plant fiber eaten along with our food sources, such as stems of berries and incidental wood fragments gathered with grains.

Of course, it is also said that white bread already has little nutritional value. So adding sawdust to it would not change that much. Bleaching sawdust to make it white for white bread use might be a problem, but maybe done like the bleaching of white flour is done. The already more nutritious whole wheat and multigrain breads would probably not need bleached sawdust.

Of course, I personally have a gluten intolerance condition; but I recall in my college days of having to live on white bread at times due to low finances. Sawdust in that bread would have at least kept it from getting stuck in the digestive tract. I know better now, of course, than to depend on white bread for nutrition.

Sawdust might not be the only source of digestion-system function enhancing plant fiber. Stalks of grain-bearing crops might be appropriate too, for example.

I currently mainly depend on eating canned black beans for my food fiber. But as we all know, beans has a socially unwelcome side effect. Living like a hermit, it does not matter much for me; but that might be an issue for the general population. I doubt that adding sawdust to some types of processed foods would cause that side effect, however, and if it indeed provides the proper working of the digestion system that is proclaimed about needed fiber content of meals, it sounds worth looking into again.

Putting properly treated sawdust or similar indigestible ground-up plant fiber into breads, pastries, cereals, processed meats, mashed potatoes, even some soups, might be really helpful. And not expensive.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home