Eating Plastic


January 5, 2015

You wouldn’t eat plastic, would you? It’s poisonous! Well, some plastics are okay, and some plastics are not safe for human consumption. Regardless, the safe ones (we think) are definitely in food products you encounter all the time.

  • Eating PlasticIn early 2014, Subway was at the center of a scandal when it was discovered that its bread was made with a dough additive called azodicarbonamide, a chemical compound also found in yoga mats and synthetic leather goods. Subway vowed to stop using ADA, but the plastic-like substance (technically edible in small quantities) has been identified in more than 500 common foods. Among them: Ball Park hot dogs, Jimmy Dean sausage, Smuckers jam, Tyson chicken, Pillsbury premade dough, Little Debbie snack cakes, and Mother’s cookies.
  • Many over-the-counter brands of cough syrup are made with a hint of liquid plastic. Why? It slows the release of the active ingredients in the medicine, preventing users from getting too woozy.
  • Big beer breweries use ingredients called finings in the brewing process that make the final product clear and sediment-free. In addition to seaweed and gelatin, some beers contain polyclar—powdered PVPP plastic.
  • EdAble Art was a Leeds, England, company that sold edible cupcake glitter sugar craft suppliers and cake shops. Or at least that’s what company founder Margaret Martin said. One of her clients discovered that the edible glitter wasn’t edible at all—it was primarily made out of finely shredded plastic. Martin was ordered to pay 13,000 pounds in fines and court costs.