Special to INS - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved sawdust as a food supplement. FDA administrator Constance Twiddle announced that the following varieties are suitable for human consumption: white pine, white birch, and white ash. Specifically excluded from the list are black walnut, black oak, and black locust. "The latter three varieties are too difficult to integrate into breakfast cereals and bread products," said Twiddle, "although yellow pine and red oak might be approved pending further testing."
Beyond the obvious uses in cereals (for example, shredded wheat) and whole-grain breads, sawdust will most likely be blended into other foods as well, including chopped beef, sausages, canned soups, and a variety of prepared foods. McDonald's has already branded one new entrée in its fast-food lineup, the McWoody. Chicken McTwiggins is also being considered.
FDA approval came on the heels of the latest survey on obesity in the United States conducted by Surgeon General's office, which found that 34% of adult Americans are obese. Spokesperson Prudence Gurth said that the addition of sawdust to the American diet "will reduce caloric uptake, while its scouring properties will reduce the need for tooth brushing." Gurth's statement had an immediate effect on toothcare-related stocks, with Colgate falling 28% by close on Tuesday.
In contrast, lumber giant Georgia-Pacific stock rose 22%. CEO Tim Berland saw this as a great opportunity to expand the company's presence in Africa: "All those starving people could use a little sawdust in their diet. I'm working out a deal with the De Beers diamond folks to pay their miners in part with sawdust. It's just the right thing to do and part of the West's effort to ease the plight of Africans who still remain the so-called white man's burden, as English poet Rudyard Kipling once wrote."