I’d Rather Eat Bark

September 26th, 2016

Chances are you already have.


Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

Most people know that being green is important at home and work. Not only does it provide energy savings, but also benefits the environment, making energy sources more sustainable. Early in school, most are taught about how plants work with our atmosphere, cleaning and providing the air we breathe. This should be reason enough to be green, but there are also numerous benefits to keeping trees around that many don’t even realize. Bark is just one part of the tree that has a multitude of uses that our lives would not be the same without.

First, an annual autumn favorite is anything Pumpkin Spice. So, what makes it so good? Pumpkin alone can be bland, so other spices are usually added, hence the name Pumpkin Spice. Nutmeg, ginger, and cloves are all added in small amounts, but mostly cinnamon is added. While ginger and cloves come from other plants, both nutmeg and cinnamon come from trees. The nutmeg spice is derived from the seeds of a few trees found in Indonesia. A significant ingredient in anything pumpkin flavored, cinnamon comes from dozens of trees found mostly in Indonesia and China, specifically from the inner bark of trees. So, if you have ever tried cinnamon, you have eaten bark. Without cinnamon, pumpkin spiced treats would not be the same, and one can only imagine a world without cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast crunch, Big Red chewing gum, or even many liquors.

Second, a household staple, believed to be a life saver for many people, and originally came from bark is aspirin. Stemming back to ancient Egypt and even mentioned in works of Hippocrates, people with pain or inflammation would find a willow tree, scrape the bark off, and brew a tea. The willow bark contained a chemical called Salicin (which is metabolized into salicylic acid), which temporarily reduced fever and aches. In our modern society, the active ingredient has been isolated and synthetically manufactured under the name aspirin. The name “Aspirin” was originally a brand name coined by the Bayer Company, but has since become a generic term for the pain reliever. [i][ii]

The non-edible uses for tree bark could be compiled into a long list, many uses we may not even realize, like adhesives, cork, and natural latex. When sourcing any of these products, we at SafeSourcing do the research to find out as much as we can about a product, because sourcing a product is more than just finding someone who sells it. It involves digging in and doing the research. We all know that being green is important for a multitude of reasons, and the uses of tree bark is included.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help think or green, help researching your products, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow

[ii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_aspirin

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