This week, we’ve been covering the rise of cotton as an all-purpose filler in the food industry, and it looks like the trend is just starting to take off.
But why are we still buying cotton as a filler in our food?
According to a report from The Economist, cotton was once used in the manufacture of all sorts of products, including flour, pasta, bread and milk.
But today, cotton is being used in food production because of its ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions and because it’s cheaper.
But are cotton alternatives truly worth the cost?
According the report, many of the cheap alternatives don’t offer the same quality or functionality as cotton.
While the price of cotton has fallen by more than a third in the last five years, the average price per kilogram of the ingredient remains relatively unchanged, with the average cost of a litre of cotton now averaging around $6.50.
This means the average cotton cost per kilo has gone down by around 50 per cent over the last two decades, from around $7.50 in 2010 to around $3.50 today.
However, the environmental costs of using cotton are a real concern, according to the report.
“Cotton production is a huge environmental cost,” says James White, chief executive of Cotton Innovation, a Melbourne-based industry association.
“It takes a huge amount of land, water, labour, waste and environmental pollution to produce cotton.”
The Environmental Impact of Cotton Factfile: Cotton production Factsheet: Cotton and the Environment Factsheet: Cotton: the environmental cost of cotton Factsheet for a range of cotton ingredients Factsheet for a Cotton-based Food Product Factsheet on Cotton Ingredients Factsheet on Cotton Processing Factsheet to see how cotton can be grown and processed Factsheet of Cotton-Fining Machines Factsheet about cotton for a variety of applicationsFactsheet for Cotton-Cotton-Lamp Factsheet showing the different types of cotton-based cooking equipmentThe Environmental Cost of Cotton