Don’t Be Gel-ous. This Might Be Silica, But It’s Real!

So many of you all, like myself, may have indulged in the purchase of a pair of shoes from time to time.

When you bought these shoes, you may have noticed that, in the box in which they were contained, came a dainty little packet or two labeled SILICA GEL and DESICCANT (in all caps, just like I wrote).

Each packet was a smidge smaller than a sugar packet, and it feels like there were delightful fancy pebbles inside.


Perhaps you wondered what are these strange packets, and how did I get so lucky? Oh well, there’s never a bad time for a snack…

WAIT! EXCEPT! WAIT! JUST HOLD ON! EXCEPT! EXCEPT THAT!

Also on these packets, it says in big bold letters the following: DO NOT EAT and THROW AWAY.

But they come in a shoe box occupied by shoes. Is someone really holding on to these chemical sachets forever, let alone consuming their contents?!

There’s definitely a back story.

Did someone want to preserve their silica gel packets for time eternal in a buried time capsule, and not just in order to keep it humidity-free?

Did someone else want to sprinkle their contents over a freshly prepared tiramisu?

So, of course, warning labels were created as a desperate just-in-case measure. The saddest part is DO NOT EAT is written in quotes, i.e., “DO NOT EAT” as if it should be read with an arched eyebrow and a bad attitude.

Consumer Inner Monologue

Silica gel, where is this relationship going? Won’t be you be mine? No, you say THROW [ME] AWAY. But how about if I just had a quick nip of you? I mean, you say DO NOT EAT [ME] but the quotes tip me off that this is some kind of a hipster threat that shouldn’t be taken seriously.


But no, after further research, you are poisonous and scary and sometimes used in cat litter.

Good day, sir!

P.S. Further spewing of knowledge in a kid-friendly format, and one man’s personal account of eating silica gel, all courtesy of the globe’s most tangled tubes.

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