Yes, you can truly and safely eat glitter. Well, that is edible glitter of course.
The fun and exciting joy of garnishing your food and beverages with edible glitter isn’t quite that new but it has peaked the public’s interest more so in the past few years. And now, a bunch of eateries and cafes are including the sparkling trend in their establishments.
Now, we know a lot of you are probably wondering is this new trend healthy? Well, eater.com has all the answers for you to make your own assesment. Here are some of the most important things to know about edible glitter:
Should I be wary of glitter on food?
Eating small amounts of non-toxic glitter on food will not kill you, so there’s no need to panic if you accidentally consume something meant to be decorative. People with some gastrointestinal disorders that have trouble with digesting small, hard food stuffs like seeds may want to be particularly careful in these cases.
“Non-toxic glitter may not kill you, but don’t eat it,” says Dr. Zhaoping Li, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at UCLA. “At least not regularly or large quantities.”
So you can feel free to cover your coffee, cakes, steak, fish, and other food products with edible glitter — if you can find it. It’s far more difficult to find a bottle of edible glitter in a store than the non-toxic version. If you’re eating at a professional bakery, you can ask what type of glitter is used, but employees may not know offhand: When asked, staff at one New York City bakery took 9 minutes to confirm (the answer was a gelatin based, edible glitter).
But Li still cautions against going overboard with the edible sparkly food. “Our body can only take care of it if we only consume things like glitter foods once a while,” she says, “in small amounts.”
Is this the same glitter I used in arts and crafts?
No. Or at least it shouldn’t be. There are two forms of glitter you’ll find topping cakes and drinks: edible and non-toxic, and that classification depends on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. agency that regulates, among other things, what products are considered safe for human consumption.
Edible products are cleared for human consumption in the U.S. and are mandated to include an ingredient list. Non-toxic products won’t kill you, but they’re not considered food, and not subject to the same rigorous testing as products designed for consumption. Play-Doh, for example, is non-toxic, but no one would recommend that you eat it as a snack.
“Consumers should carefully check the label of decorative products they consider for use on foods,” says FDA spokesperson Dr. Marianna Naum. “Most edible glitters and dusts also state ‘edible’ on the label. If the label simply says ‘non-toxic’ or ‘for decorative purposes only’ and does not include an ingredients list, the product should not be used directly on foods.”
To read eater.com article’s explanation of why people are eating edible glitter and what the glitter consists of click here. Rest assure there are establishment across the globe taken part in this new exciting garnish.
Before Tide Pods inexplicably captured America’s imagination, edible glitter enjoyed a few moments of Instagram fame in 2017 — peaking with a latte topped with a liberal sprinkle of glitter that caught diners’ eyes in November. Since then, other restaurants have added the ingredient to their own menus, resulting in colorful dishes like countless glitter lattes, glittery strawberry jelly, “sparkly” iced tarts, glitter smoothies, and even glittery gravy, which one London pub served alongside its Christmas pie.
We here at KWIR Media have yet to try edible glitter for ourselves so we can’t vouch for any specific brand nor do we recommend any of our readers to consume any product that they have not themselves researched to be safe for their individual health. Always remember, “what might be good for one, might not be good for others.”