South Korea’s Deep-Fried Toothpick Food Trend Raises Health Concerns
Toothpick Mukbang Trend
Interview with Toothpick Manufacturer
“I Can’t Believe They’re Eating It”
Recently, “fried toothpicks” have become a hot topic online.
The trend involves washing and drying green starch toothpicks, and then dropping them into hot oil. The toothpicks puff up and can be eaten like snacks.
Children are also showing interest as numerous mukbang videos have been uploaded to YouTube shorts and Instagram Reels.
However, the actual toothpick manufacturers are utterly baffled.
On the 29th, the YouTube channel ‘SBS News’ featured an interview with Mr. A, a representative of a starch toothpick manufacturer. In response to the recent “starch toothpick mukbang” trend, he stated, “These are products produced without any consideration for consumption. I can’t believe they’re eating it.”
Mr. A emphasized, “Even if it ends up in food waste and animals consume it, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay for a person to eat a little by mistake.”
He continued, “Just because the ingredients are harmless to the human body doesn’t mean it can be eaten,” and expressed his displeasure at the increase in consumption for this reason. “We have not been tested for food safety because it is a sanitary product, not food.”
The Food and Drug Safety Administration also warned of the toothpick mukbang trend. They recently urged, “Since it has not been verified safe as food, please use it for its intended purpose as a hygiene product.”
Netizens who saw the interview responded, “The toothpick company president is a real businessperson. He’s not just chasing money, he’s putting people first,” “Who started this trend? They look so stupid,” “Even with the FDA and the company pleading, there will be idiots who eat it, get sick, and then demand compensation from the company,” “If it’s harmless to the human body, there will be people who eat moisture absorbers too.”