Why Do People Eat Cornstarch?

Ever caught someone munching cornstarch straight from the box? Yeah, it’s a thing! Let’s dive into what cornstarch is, its uses, and why some folks are relishing it raw. It can’t be for the taste alone because it doesn’t taste like anything at all.

Cornstarch in a wooden bowl.

So, read on, and let’s get to the bottom of the question “can I eat cornstarch?” and whether or not it’s safe to eat by itself.

What is cornstarch?

Cornstarch is one of the ingredients that pops up a lot in recipes -from baking to cooking, this thickening agent is often used to achieve a certain consistency.

It’s also used as a food additive. Cornstarch comes from the endosperm of corn kernels and, from a nutritional perspective, is a source of carbohydrates.

Its fine, powdery texture turns into a paste when mixed with liquids, quickly thickening sauces.

Additionally, it’s a gluten-free alternative and is used in some pharmaceuticals and textiles.

If you’re looking for some delicious recipes with cornstarch check out these Colombian Buñuelos, Mexican Tortitas de Papa, or Dominican Berenjenas Fritas!

Cornstarch in a bowl

Can You Eat Cornstarch By Itself?

Yes, cornstarch can be eaten by itself, but in moderation and in small quantities. It’s a good idea to consult with a doctor or dietician before choosing to consume raw cornstarch. Any significant dietary changes should always be done in consultation with a doctor.

Why Do People Eat Cornstarch

Why are people eating cornstarch on its own?

Many people don’t typically consume uncooked cornstarch as it is processed and primarily a plain carbohydrate. Some might eat large amounts due to cravings associated with conditions like Pica.

It’s advisable for those with persistent cravings for non-nutritive substances to consult a doctor.

Close up Cornstarch in a wooden bowl

Top 10 uses of cornstarch

  1. As a thickening agent: Cornstarch, as mentioned, is a common thickening agent used in cooking and baking. The best way to work with it is to make a paste by adding liquid to it and then whisking it into soups and gravies. It’s also handy when trying to thicken a thin sauce.
  2. Cleaning products: Natural laundry detergents are sometimes formulated with the inclusion of cornstarch.
  3. Personal care products: Powdered products in the beauty world are often made with cornstarch as a key ingredient.
  4. Stabilizer and additive to foods: Processed foods like pre-made soups, sauces, and pasta are made with thickeners and stabilizers, cornstarch is a popular choice for this.
  5. Medicines: Pills and capsules can contain cornstarch to help keep their shelf-life.
  6. Baking: A lovely gluten-free alternative to wheat flour and often used in cakes, cookies, pies, and other items.
  7. Papermaking: Used as a binder in papermaking. Cornstarch is “painted” on to increase the strength of the paper.
  8. Bioplastics: An alternative to typical plastic.
  9. Glue and adhesives: Cornstarch is used occasionally in the manufacturing of adhesives and is often a natural alternative to chemical-based recipes.
  10. Textiles: Delivers the strength to fabrics and textiles when used in their production.
10 uses of cornstarch

Wrapping it up

It is likely that people eating a large amount of uncooked cornstarch are experiencing cravings that are linked to an underlying issue. In this case, they should consult a doctor who can help them get to the bottom of these cravings.

Generally speaking, cornstarch is an ingredient that is broadly used in cooking, baking, and in food production. It is a wonderful gluten-free thickening agent and is super handy to have in your kitchen cupboard. As with anything, eaten in moderation, it’s a fantastic ingredient to have on hand and is perfectly safe to eat.

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