It turns out eating newsprint is fine – in moderation, that is

By Tierney McAfee
Updated May 11, 2016 04:55 PM
Credit: Seth Wenig/AP

brightcove.createExperiences(); A Washington Post columnist is making good on his promise to literally “eat his words” if Donald Trump won the GOP nomination for president.

On Thursday, writer Dana Milbank will feast on all 18 inches of his October column that inaccurately predicted Trump’s downfall. But Milbank’s bold feat begs the question: Is it really safe to eat a newspaper?

It turns out eating newsprint is fine – in moderation, that is.

An investigation launched by, a news website covering health and life-sciences, has revealed that while there are no nutritional benefits to be gained from eating newspaper, it’s “not particularly dangerous either.”

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Massachusetts General Hospital gastroenterologist Dr. Kyle Staller told that paper, which is composed mainly of cellulose, an organic compound found in plants, is harmless but hard to digest. Milbank’s column “will come through his GI tract in much the same form it came in,” the doctor explained. And thanks to the cellulose, which can help people struggling with constipation, the columnist “may find that he’s running to the toilet more than he expected.”

As for the ink, which according to the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers is most likely comprised of soybean oil, pigments and waxes, it’s not an “according-to-OSHA hazardous chemical.”

So now that we’re fairly certain Milbank will survive this newspaper feast, one question remains: How will it be prepared?

Recipe suggestions have been pouring in from readers and Milbank’s Washington Post colleagues and include “op-ed spring rolls,” “newspaper chilaquiles in tomatillo-jalapeño sauce” and even a twist on Trump steaks: “18 column inches Washington Post shredded in 3-inch strips, -inch wide.”

Milbank said that once readers vote for their “favorite newspaper cuisine,” chef Victor Albisu of Washington D.C.’s Del Campo restaurant will “select and prepare a wide variety of newsprint-based dishes.” Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema will taste and judge the dishes, and Milbank will eat them. The whole affair will be streamed live on the Post‘s Facebook page. Be sure to check back here as well for further coverage from PEOPLE.

No matter how it’s prepared, Milbank promises his newsprint-based meal is “going to be huge!”

“We are going to build a big, beautiful meal – and Mexico is going to pay for it.”