I found the 1922 preliminary report on the process along with the 1926 study done on the composition, digestibility and feeding value of the hydrolyzed sawdust.

From the 1926 article: “The method of treatment consists in cooking the sawdust under 120 pounds pressure with dilute sulphuric acid, which converts
a portion of the cellulose and allied substances into sugar. The liquor resulting from the digestion together with the washings from the undigested sawdust residue is neutralized with lime and evaporated to a thick syrup, which is mixed with the dried residue. The product is then ready for feeding. It is a dark brown somewhat powdery meal with a slightly sweet woody odor and a woody flavor.”

Before anyone tries to draw comparisons with “Fresh Horizons” bread from the 70’s, that high fiber bread contained wood pulp and NOT sawdust. And it was banned in Canada.


Making cows eat sawdust, and like it. is the feat of the Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin. A process has developed that converts the fiber of the woody pulp into food for cattle by treatment with heat and chemicals. Its immediate application is seen in utilizing the sawdust that was formerly a useless by-product of lumber camps. Tests indicate that cows and other livestock thrive on the sawdust diet.

Huge iron retorts, used for the conversion process, are charged with raw material from ports at the end. When the reaction is completed, these ports are opened and the steaming cattle food shoveled out. Although the use of sawdust for food is novel, it is far from fantastic; chemists have pointed out that in theory, at least, it is feasible to convert it into succulent dishes for human beings.

  1. Hirudinea says: July 26, 20124:21 pm

    I’ve been searching the net and strangely enough this does seem to be a real thing, check out this like as an example.


  2. Toronto says: July 26, 20127:00 pm

    “and a woody flavor” – jeeze, I want *that* job. “I’m a Government Cow Feed Taste Inspector!”

    Of course, in the early 70s someone tried to sell white bread with sawdust in it, until it got banned in the US. It remained legal in Canada, of course, due to beavers getting the vote in 1968. The “Castor canadensis” bloc also explains why every food outlet from MacDonald’s to Canoe are required to sell at least one “maple” flavoured dish.

  3. georgiahoosier says: July 27, 20126:07 am

    Well thank goodness we’ll be able to eat sawdust while we’re busy burning corn

  4. Hirudinea says: July 27, 20126:18 pm

    @ Toronto – There are worse jobs, arm pit smeller, real job, real bad job.

  5. Hirudinea says: July 28, 20126:13 pm

    I looked up “Fresh Horizons” Bread and while it may be gone it seems that sawdust in food is not, check out this article…


    I certainly hope I am NOT what I eat!

  6. Charlie says: July 29, 20121:15 pm

    Hirudinea: And of course I trust everything I read from that bastion of reason and rationality, Natural News: http://www.naturalnews….

  7. Toronto says: July 29, 20124:24 pm

    Wow – that “Natural News” is quite eye opening. I had no idea there were that many loonies.

    Or that the government was stealing my rainwater, for that matter.

  8. Hirudinea says: July 29, 20128:28 pm

    I don’t endorse the site, I just linked to the article to show how many foods contain “sawdust:. And the government IS stealing our rainwater, the aliens told me about it during my abduction.

  9. Charlie says: July 29, 20128:44 pm

    Duh, haven’t you ever seen that documentary V?

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