Content warning: This article briefly mentions disordered eating.
Another day, another person doing something unusual on TikTok.
One TikTok creator just took to the short video platform to show off the surprising snack she's been gnawing on, and it seems many of her followers are just a little freaked out by it. What is she eating exactly?
Well, in her defense, it does have "peanut" in the title. But at the same time, it isn't really a product made by Planters or sold in most grocery stores.
TikToker films herself eating packing peanuts.
Who wants peanuts? Packing peanuts, that is!
Creator @angelinanicolle just posted a video where she is seen with a box of packing peanuts, those tiny foam nuggets often used to pack fragile objects during shipping.
“A lot of you are going to think that I’m a little bit insane, but I’ve been eating these packing peanuts for the last 10 minutes. I’m not even kidding," she said as she began her video.
@angelinanicolle explained that although she doesn't actually know what they're made of, the packing peanuts she was digesting were biodegradable, compostable, and could dissolve in water. "They're like a little snack," she exclaimed.
@angelinanicolle even devoured two on camera to prove that she wasn't bluffing. However, her followers didn't seem too enthused by this. In fact, many tried to warn her of how unsanitary packing peanuts can be.
Others just cracked jokes at her.
And some folks believed she could have something called Pica.
What is Pica?
Pica is a disordered eating habit characterized by the persistent consumption of non-food items, per Cleveland Clinic. This can include things like dirt, ice, paint, hair, or paper. The disorder gets its name from the bird species the Eurasian magpie (the formal Latin name for that species is Pica pica), which has a reputation for eating unusual objects.
Pica can be harmless just as much as it can be dangerous depending on whether or not toxic or dangerous items are consumed.
While we can't say for sure, it does seem possible that @angelinanicolle's snack choice could be classified as pica. That said, her life doesn't appear to be in danger, but eating packing peanuts isn't the healthiest thing to do.
These days, Styrofoam packing peanuts are getting phased out by more eco-friendly peanuts that are made from materials like wheat and corn starch.
According to the supply company Milhench, the biodegradable peanuts are safe to ingest. However, it definitely isn't the doctor's orders to consume them. Despite being made of wheat and starch, these peanuts are usually manufactured in non-food-safe conditions and ultimately lose their nutritional value while being made.
So if you're trying to eat a healthy snack, packing peanuts do not seem to be the way to go. We promise you that there are much safer and tastier snack options to try.