Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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edible silica gel

relax everyone. it's edible.
(+7, -7)
  [vote for,

if there's one thing we know about silica gel, it's
"DO NOT EAT." yes. yes. we understand.

if we could just make an edible substitute desiccant we could all let our guard down a little, relax the labelling law, have a nice afternoon, and get a free snack with every hard disk upgrade!

gnormal, Feb 15 2001

Freeze-Dry Taxidermy http://www.taxiderm...e_dry_taxidermy.htm
Possible fate of egnor's cat? [rmutt, Feb 15 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Mercury poisoning and mad hatters http://www.straight...bag/mmadhatter.html
Probably worse than silica gel. Not sure about syphilis. [pottedstu, Feb 15 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Silica gel supplements http://www.nutritio...ers.asp?manufact=NW
It's good for you --- really! Trust us! [wiml, Feb 15 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

You could eat your own face... http://www.dailymai...213&in_page_id=1770
...if you were Zou Renti. [theleopard, Jul 04 2007]

Gel pill http://news.bbc.co..../health/6252720.stm
Dietary aid, swells up. [zen_tom, Jul 04 2007]


       ain't the point of a dessicant is that it sucks moisture like a... uh, never mind. I mean, that's what it does, though, right? It tries to make everything in proximity to it as dry as possible... I mean, eating silica itself prolly wouldn't hurt you; it's just sand... But when it's got a punch like that, you'd end up a shriveled withered creature from the inside out, yeurgh.
Cnidarae, Feb 15 2001

       Silica gel is actually pretty much non-toxic, though you should probably drink a bunch of water with it. Note that they say "DO NOT EAT" rather than using Mr. Yuk or some other "poison" identifier, there's no statement about whether or not to induce vomiting, etc..   

       One of our cats loves it, for some bizarre reason, and will chew open any silica gel packets we leave out and consume the contents. We discourage this as much as possible (and try not to leave silica gel lying around), but she doesn't seem to suffer any ill effects.
egnor, Feb 15 2001

       dude, this stuff sucks to eat. its not fatal... but it sucks a lot. especially when mixed with tequila and beef fajitas. take my word on this--your body rejects everything that is not bolted down inside of it, and continues to do so for a good 12 hours. not a good thing.
snowfreak, Mar 27 2001

       Snowfreak, your perspective may be very useful to the companies that make and package silica gel. They could change their warning labels from "DO NOT EAT" to "Do Not Eat, And Here's Why."   

       I see a large consulting fee in your future ...
1percent, Apr 04 2001

       Dry bread?
angel, Apr 25 2001

       In the "herbs and supplements and likewise wacky stuff" section of my local supermarket the other day I noticed that someone is now selling ... silica gel dietary supplements. I kid you not. I only wonder what they use in the pill bottles as a desiccant.
wiml, May 01 2001

       This is a great idea--but then you'd have people breaking into camera boxes for a snack at the store. How about we feed it to the poor first to see what the side effects are? No, the CIA already tried that with crack, sorry. How about we just keep the ordinary "kill you deader than Pontius Pilate" silica gel, and, when you get fifty or a hundred, you can redeem them at the store for a prize?
deacon, May 12 2001

       Silica gel does not meet any reasonable definition of "poison". It will, however, cause some rather "interesting" digestive effects depending upon the amount of water or other liquid consumed with it. I do find the notion of silica gel "nutritional supplements" somewhat odd, but not nearly as bad as the use of mercury as (IIRC) an aphrodisiac.
supercat, Jul 10 2001

       Wandering offtopic; while mercury may have been used as an aphrodisiac, it was definitely used as a cure for sexually transmitted disease - "a night with Venus, a month with Mercury". I suppose it was better than going mad slowly & having your nose fall off.
hello_c, Nov 08 2001

       Cute gnormal.
Redbrickterrace, Nov 08 2001

       [hello_c]: Chronic mercury poisoning produces symptoms including hallucination, psychosis and uncontrollable shaking of the limbs, so I'm not sure it's much better than "going mad slowly". This is incidentally the origin of the phrase "Mad as a hatter", because mercurious nitrate was used in the manufacture of felt.
pottedstu, Nov 08 2001

       Thanks for the laugh, Snowfreak, if you're out there.
snarfyguy, Nov 10 2001

       a friend of mine once ate one of those silica gel balls and he was ok so I really don't know just wouldn't advise doing it and if something happens you can't sue them.
monkeyboy3, Mar 14 2002

       [hello_c]: //"a night with Venus, a month with Mercury".//   

       Are you sure that isn't referring to mercury's properties as an abortifacient (it's worse for the developing embryo/fetus than the mother, though in the right does it's usually only fatal to the former)
supercat, Mar 15 2002

       "Silica gel tablets - for that time of the month when you're retaining just a tad too much water."   

       Actually, it only absorbs 40% of it's weight in water. You'd have to eat a pound of the stuff just to remove 1 cup of water. The average person's body contains about 250 - 350 cups of water. You'd have to eat 800 lbs of it to turn yourself into a prune.
davea0511, Jul 29 2002

       Silica gel is useless. What is it good for?
smokeyjohnson, Aug 20 2002

       BTW, I've occasionally seen things marked "do not eat" or "not for human consumption" which were would have been quite edible but were not 'food grade' material. For example, I've seen things like IIRC sunflower seeds packaged as birdfeed. If a product is to be used for purposes other than as human food, there is no reason to spend the time and money required to meet the purity requirements applicable to foodstuffs.
supercat, Aug 21 2002

       somkeyjohnson: Some products may be damaged by even small amounts of condensation. If you place an item in a sealed plastic bag in a moderately humid area (e.g. Chicago, in the summer, with moderate air conditioning) and then chill the bag down to -40C (as it might experience during shipment to Alaska or even northern Minnesota), humidity within the bag will condense inside the product, potentially ruining it. Placing a small amount of silica gell in with the product will ensure that any humidity that's going to condense will do so in the gel first [i.e. exclusively, unless or until the gel gets saturated].   

       BTW, many products are explicitly specified as being able to survive -40C storage conditions provided humidity remains low enough. While most will never experience anything near such temperature extremes, putting in a silica gel packet is a small price to pay for avoiding failures when they do.
supercat, Aug 21 2002

       trolls! my, oh my. we need the diversion.
po, Feb 10 2003

       at this point, thimble, someone usually says - don't feed the trolls.
po, Feb 10 2003

       There was a packet of stuff in some pemmican that I bought that says it removes oxygen. I dont know if this is still a dessicant or not, but when you burn it, it sparkles rather nicely.
notme, Feb 12 2003

       Hey, do those silica gel buckets (about a pound in contents) work to de-humidify wardrobes?   

       My supermarket stocks them and I was wondering if they're any use at all.
FloridaManatee, Feb 12 2003

       Yea they work, though they work better in a tightly sealed cleset, They can't remove all the humidy in the world. Buta pound for a closet is probably about right. The problem is that the water accumulates on top of the silica gell and then when you knock it over it the dark you got a big mess. And you have to remember to pour the water out of the little bucket once in a while or they don't work very well.
tedhaubrich, Jun 24 2004

       Awww, they don't hurt cats? I've been trying to find SOME way to poison my neighbor's cat! Oh well, on to method number 7!
greenlover, Apr 25 2006

       [smokeyjohnson]//Silica gel is useless. What is it good for?// airsoft pellets?
evilpenguin, Jul 04 2007

       I forget where, but there was a recent story about a new type of diet pill made of a substance not entirely unlike sillica gel - one that absorbed water. On swallowing the pill, it would sit in your stomach and absorb water, growing ever larger, making you feel full. The now jelly-like substance would then follow normal procedure, and evacuate as per normal stomach contents.
zen_tom, Jul 04 2007

       I ate some silica gel in yr 2! it woz very embarrassing. I found a packet and thought it had sugar in it, though i woz in yr2 i woz a year younger than every 1 else and couldn't read, so i asked my friend if it woz sugar. Apparently he couldn't read either!   

       All hail the flying spaghetti monster!
#AFilthyIbis#, Jul 18 2007

       did you go to school in Battersea by any chance?
po, Jul 18 2007


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