According to Shuman, cellulose, which is made from wood pulp, is a big culprit in the cheese industry.
That same company provided cheese to mega-stores like Target.
So, before you shake all that parmesan cheese over your pasta, think about wood pulp.
“Essential Everyday 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, from Jewel-Osco, was 8.8 percent cellulose, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Great Value 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese registered 7.8 percent, according to test results”, reported Lydia Mulvany of Bloomberg.
“The tipping point was grated cheese, where less than 40 percent of the product was actually a cheese product”, Schuman said.
In a test of other well-known cheese products sold in supermarkets, some have been shown to contain levels of cellulose in their mixtures.
These Parmesan producers are committing culinary fraud by pretending their product is pure cheese, and they’re skirting the law by not hewing to FDA standards, and benefiting from using a cheap substitute. There have been reports of olive oil not being the real thing, fish, and even lobster fraud.
Whole Foods and some of the other cheese sellers in question responded saying they question the testing methods and told Bloomberg they’re looking into the findings.
Bloomberg actually ran some tests on packaged Parmesan cheese and the results were alarming.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart spokesman John Forrest Ales said that they are questioning the reliability of examining a single sample of their cheese product. That company later went bankrupt. Just in case you’re concerned, cellulose isn’t absorbed by digestion and the FDA has deemed it safe for human consumption.
The FDA allows up to 4% filler products like cellulose in cheese.
That year, The Wall Street Journal published an article about the widespread use of cellulose in food, and the Street posted a lengthy list of 15 major food companies that sold processed foods containing cellulose.