Can You Eat Paper to Survive?

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Last Updated on January 27, 2023 by admin_hunter

When you are hungry enough, you may be willing to eat just about anything. That may get you wondering: can you eat paper to survive?

Paper comes from recycled wood pulp and other recycled paper materials. Cellulose and lignin are the two most essential components of wood. However, during the paper-making process, most of the lignin is removed.

Cellulose is a fibrous material that holds cellulose together, and lignin is an organic glue that binds it together. Cellulose and lignin are deemed safe in modest amounts, although some concerns have been raised about their safety.

Lignin is a natural glue that gives wood its brown color but reduces the strength of paper. Lignin, if not removed, will cause the paper to discolor and weaken more quickly.

High-pressure washing and high-temperature cooking, and the aid of numerous chemical reactions are used to get rid of lignin.

It’s been whitened in several stages to produce white paper pulp. The pulp is then sent through machines to be flattened, dried, and sliced.

The pulp can also be colored and used to produce colored paper.

The most significant reason that hundreds of chemicals are used in paper production is that most machines aren’t equipped with technology for removing bleaching agents.

Usage of vast chemicals in making paper might render paper poisonous to consume.

However, we are all quite familiar with the paper, and to be honest, most of us already know what it tastes like—whether by accident or on purpose. You’ve probably still questioned whether a paper is edible at some time.

Nutritional Value of Paper

Paper, in tiny doses, is typically safe, but it’s preferable to avoid it, if possible, because of the ink on it. Paper has got little dietary value and cannot be digested by humans.

Aside from a few more fibers, there’s little reason to risk ingesting hazardous chemicals that a paper may contain. Cellulose is the most common element in the paper.

According to Milbank’s column, people lack the enzymes required to break down this compound, which means it will pass through their GI tract in much the same form it came in.

On the other hand, inelastic fibers such as cellulose can help people with constipation.

Paper has no nutritional value.

Can You Eat Paper with Ink?

How do you feel about eating paper without ink on it?

It’s hazardous to consume paper that contains ink since it is toxic. Small amounts are safe; however, the ink might irritate your mouth, skin, and eyes.

Unless it comes so close to your eyes, most ink may not produce much discomfort unless you use a tremendous amount.

An ink that is high in ink content and comes with a higher risk than marker ink includes printer cartridges and ink stamps.

If you must choose between eating paper with no writings and paper with ink, ordinary un-inked paper is the superior alternative.

What Happens if You Eat Paper?

What will happen if you consume paper while on your lunch break? You’ll get strange looks from people who perhaps are looking.

What else is there to know?

If you inadvertently consume paper, it will go into your body without causing any harm. However, there is the potential for an upset stomach or even intestinal obstruction in higher amounts.

Cellulose, however, is the fundamental component in wood, it is used as a food additive for at least a couple of years. Many of the foods that we eat today include wood materials.

Cellulose gum, for example, is a popular additive that several people are familiar with.

Cellulose is a filler and a thickener that will increase your fullness and aid in the maintenance of your weight-loss strategy.

Foods containing up to 4% cellulose are legal. However, many lawsuits have been filed against food producers for selling products that contain far more than the maximum allowed of 4% cellulose.

For example, a 100% labeled Parmesan cheese contains up to 10% cellulose by testing.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limits the amount of CBD put into a variety of foods.

However, as you might guess, a low-cost filler additive like wood cellulose is misused and overused in the food business.

Food adulteration is purposefully reducing food quality by adding or substituting food components with alternatives that are not advertised.

Is it true that paper is poisonous?

There exists a widespread belief that consuming paper has no adverse health effects.

Pesticides are sometimes added to the paper itself, which means that if consumed, it may be poisonous. Bleaching agents are frequently used in paper products, resulting in dioxins being present.

Paper contains dioxins, which are suspected of causing reproductive harm and cancer in people.

Although they are advertised as being “recyclable,” wet wipe brand paper towels contain at least two hazardous formaldehyde, chemicals, and chlorine, as well as other health concerns such as heavy metals, dioxins, and pesticides.

Is It Worth Eating Paper? Is There a Survival Advantage to Chewing It?

Can you eat paper to stay alive in a ridiculous scenario?

The fiber in the paper may assist move waste through your intestines, according to one study. It also has no nutritional value and can be used to make you feel fuller aside from that.

In other words, you may combine tiny amounts of paper with something healthy for survival because cellulose is used as a filler in meals.

It wouldn’t do anything in terms of hunger or defecation.

If you’ve gotten this far and you’re wondering why on earth you would want to eat paper, all I can say is that it won’t taste nearly as good as actual food.

You won’t want to cook it; instead, you’ll need to consume it in tiny quantities. So, a paper is seen as a lesser evil than nothing,


At some time or another, you’ve almost certainly eaten paper in one way or another.

I hope you can see from the above section that it’s best not to eat non-food pieces such as paper products on purpose. The material is still an essential component of our daily existence, from papers to serviettes and even toilet tissue.

Hopefully, this news is reassuring even if you ate only a tiny amount of paper since it was not designed to be consumed.

Fortunately, according to us, there are a plethora of fiber-rich foods that are not only good for you but also taste excellent.