South Korea's Ministry of Health is concerned about a new trend on social media involving frying and eating toothpicks.
“This is not a product intended for consumption,” argues the Asian country in a publication shared on X. “We don’t know if it’s safe to take.”
여러분 저 녹말이쑤이쑤채분 튀겨먹고
블로그 써서 방송탐 ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
The duration is 10 minutes pic.twitter.com/2kBV4R9caI
– (unpaid) (@hee_2458) January 21, 2024
The strange fashion emerged from a series of videos broadcast on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. We see content creators dipping objects in oil. These expand and deform before being seasoned and served like fries. One of these creators compared their taste to that of rice cakes.
This practice appears to be motivated by pica, a psychiatric disorder characterized by the consumption of non-food materials.
Unlike their American counterparts, most toothpicks made in South Korea are made from cornstarch mixed with sorbitol, a sweet alcohol found in fruits. This mixture therefore makes them biodegradable and water-soluble.
Despite all their benefits, these products are not approved for human consumption, the authorities remind.
According to the New York Post.