15 Things That Are Surprisingly Safe for Human Consumption

As humans, I think sometimes we eat a lot of things that we really shouldn’t. As the mother of toddlers, I absolutely know this is true – and as someone who has made more than one call to poison control, I also know for sure that there aren’t as many things that can kill us as you might think.

Here are 15 things you’d probably guess shouldn’t be ingested – but that are, as it turns out, totally safe for human consumption.

15. Not actual peanuts, but…

Some packing peanuts are actually made out of corn starch.

They of course aren’t produced in a food safe environment, and all of the nutritional components like sugars are removed so as not to attract bugs.

But yeah, most styrofoam peanuts are edible.

The ones that aren’t made of corn starch, though, are made of polystyrene, a petroleum-based plastic. So definitely do your research before you decide to sample some packing peanuts.

14. But potentially painful to eat.

Euell Gibbons: “Many parts of the pine tree are edible.”

Pine needle tea is a very good source of vitamin c

13. We’re just special that way.


That stuff plants evolved to make it so nothing could eat them, it kills most other creatures.

Meanwhile us humans are like ZOOM.

12. That sounds about right.

A whole box of Nivea cream apparently.

I ate an entire box of Nivea cream when I was a toddler and the only aftereffect was that my poop smelled nice for a while.

11. Maybe it’s not a great thing.

Nicotine is the same. Also opium. And capsaicin. And onion/garlic flavor.

These are all anti-pest chemicals that humans love because we are questionably-designed garbage disposals.

10. He had nice breath, anyway.

Had a severely alcoholic patient drink two large bottles of Mouth Wash (Listerine etc) every day for about 15 years.

You’d think nearly 10,000 bottles of Mouth Wash would kill a man, but no. At least, not very quickly.

9. SMALL amounts, people.

Petroleum Jelly – small amounts have been used as laxative and stool softener.

8. Don’t eat the bees!

You can eat everything inside of a natural beehive, including the bees. Just don’t get stung!

My roommate didn’t believe me when I got honeycomb from a local farmers market and ate it by the spoonful.

Usually I just crush it to get the honey out then spit out the comb, but I chewed up and swallowed a whole chunk just to prove to him that you could do it.

7. Do not try this at home.


Well, not the one you’d buy for BBQs, but medical charcoal has a similar composition and is not only safe, but awesome at cleaning up some unfortunate gastrointestinal interlopers.

6. Good to know?

When I had my gallbladder removed a few months ago, the doc told me, apropos of nothing, I could eat the stones they let me keep.

I mean, I guess they’re mostly cholesterol, so it makes sense.

5. In case of an apocalypse.

Animals with rabies.

Just avoid the saliva glands and that general area.

4. They probably know what they’re doing.

Some indigenous tribes eat clay in small amounts due to the minerals and texture.

I have two cousins adopted from a Haitian orphanage. The orphanage basically took lard and mixed it with small amounts of dirt to feed to the kids.

I imagine it was more “filler” than any notable benefits, but still, crazy to think about.

3. But it stains.

methylene blue

…Though it’ll make your pee turn blue

It stains really badly. You can get blue underwear, blue toilet bowl, blue car seats.

(Most people who take methylene blue have bladder control problems)

2. That’s just encouraging people.


It’s a general purpose oil for lubrication and rust protection and can be used for metal, wood, and leather.

It’s completely safe to drink, and it even smells like liqorice.

1. I’m sorry, what?


Yes. The stuff they use to seal wood.

It’s used in everything from finger nail polish to candy.

Its secreted by a bug.


Color me surprised (even with those toddlers)!

What’s something else that belongs on this list? If you’ve got a surprise up your sleeve, share it with us down in the comments.