Why Do People Eat Cornstarch? (Practical, Culture & Medical)


Conrstarch on a brown bowl with corn kettles on the background.

In recent years videos about eating cor starch have become very popularized and viral; however, the act has been going on far longer. At first, it may be odd to see a person, often female eating cornstarch straight out of a box with a spoon. In this article, I will dive deep into the meaning and reasons behind that. So, why do women eat cornstarch?

People eat cornstarch to thicken their food or as a wheat flour alternative for gluten intolerance. Medical condition Pica makes people carve plain cornstarch, which is why some eat it straight out of the box. Cornstarch is also rarely consumed as a snack, often in rural areas.

As you can see, cornstarch is used for cooking, usually mixed with cold water to thicken soup, stew, or sauce. In addition, people with gluten intolerance use cornstarch as a wheat flour alternative, which is something we see daily in other areas and intolerances, such as oat milk or lactose intolerance.

However, there is a more unusual way to eat cornstarch: opening a box, getting a spoon, and starting eating. Naturally, this comes as a surprise for people who haven’t seen such behavior before, but there’s a perfectly logical explanation.

Pica, in general, is an eating disorder where you crave things that aren’t food. The most common craving is cornstarch, but there are other non-nutritional substances like dirt or even hair. Nails and other metal items are consumed too by people with severe pica. It’s clear that this isn’t healthy and can even be dangerous.

So, what is Pica, and where does it derive from? Pica is often seen in people with anemia or a mineral deficiency, especially iron and zinc. Because of anemia or a mineral deficiency, Pica will make people crave cornstarch and other non-nutritional substances. Pregnant women are one of the most common groups with cornstarch carvings. There are more reasons to crave cornstarch too.

Although rare, some people consume cornstarch just as a snack. The crunchy texture, dryness, and squeaky sound are pleasant for some people. Eating cornstarch today isn’t as popular anymore as it once was in the 60s or 70s, but it still happens. Often, cornstarch snacking is connected to culture, and this habit was and is more popular in rural areas and neighborhoods.

What Does Eating Cornstarch Do to Your Body?

Now that you know why people, often females, might eat cornstarch, it’s important to understand its effects on your body. Cornstarch is heavy in calories with a low amount of nurturing nutrients, so are there any benefits, or should it be avoided?

According to Healthline, eating high amounts of cornstarch may increase blood sugar levels, result in weight gain, and it’s even associated with adverse effects on heart health. Since cornstarch is high in calories but lacks important nutrients and vitamins, it isn’t healthy to eat alone.

Don’t get me wrong; I use cornstarch often to thicken my foods, such as soups, sauces, and even stews, when I’m preparing one. However, I would never eat plain cornstarch, at least consistently, and high amounts because it is far from healthy.

What Does Cornstarch Taste Like?

Cornstarch on a spoon before tasting it.
Moments before tasting cornstarch

Before I started writing this article, I hadn’t even tasted plain cornstarch as it is. However, I needed to know what it tastes like so I could give an authentic explanation of what cornstarch tastes like.

Cornstarch has a bland, neutral flavor. The texture of cornstarch is very crunchy, and it sticks to your lips, mouth, and tongue. When cornstarch mixes with saliva, it quickly dissolves to a less sticky texture.

Personally, I wasn’t fond of the plain taste when tasting it with a spoon. The taste was, well, non-existent as it was very neutral. The texture was funny, crunchy, and sticky. I’m sure that certain recipes are used or a specific way to eat it to make it more enjoyable.

I can also understand why some people might have cravings for cornstarch as the texture is unusual, and there are weirder cravings in the world. Just remember that you shouldn’t consume much cornstarch as it is!

Related: How To Keep Restaurant Tortilla Chips Fresh?

Is Cornstarch Powder Safe for Feminine Hygiene?

Did you know that cornstarch is also used as a hygiene product by women? Yes, cornstarch is like talcum powder, mainly used to keep babies’ bottoms dry and odor free. However, it’s also used by adults. That being said, is cornstarch safe to use for the same purpose as a hygiene product.

Cornstarch is a safe alternative to talcum powder to be used as a hygiene product. Cornstarch is made from corn kernels, a 100% natural product with highly absorbent properties. Cornstarch-like talcum power helps keep skin cool, dry, and odorless.

That being said, if you’re out of talcum power but have cornstarch lying around in your cabinet, feel free to give it a hurl for the same outcome!

Although, I’d highly recommend getting a new product instead of an alternative. I recommend Maja Perfumed Talcum Powder because it’s very affordable and aromatic, so you get the cooling, dry, and odor-free effect at a low price.

What Does Cornstarch Do to Hair?

If you have lasted through the article this far, you have learned that cornstarch has many different uses, from thickening food to eating it as a snack to a hygiene product. You might have heard that cornstarch is also used as a hair product, but to what end?

When cornstarch is used in hair, it gives it volume and thickness without giving weight to stands. Another benefit is to suck up moisture, grease, and odor from your scalp, giving it a fresh feel, look, and smell.

Those are some fantastic benefits, but one thing remains unanswered; how do you use cornstarch in your hair? Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Determine if your scalp & hair feels greasy or if it needs some extra volume. If so, take out 1tbsp worth of cornstarch.
  • Step 2: Sprinkle cornstarch evenly all over your hair and scalp. Start small, and if you need more, you can add more in step 3.
  • Step 3: Use your palm and fingers to spread the cornstarch into your scalp and hair. Don’t add too much so the white color won’t leave your hair.
  • Step 4: Examine the results and add more to the specific areas you need it

The process is very straightforward, and the results are great. Cornstarch is extremely cheap with no expiration date, so this is a trick worth trying. Might I recommend Rumford Non-Gmo Cornstarch!

Does Eating Cornstarch Make You Thick?

When researching information around the web, I ran into some comments that asked whether eating cornstarch makes you thick. And what is meant by thick is a woman’s nice full tights, round hips, attractive behind, yet a slim waist and upper body.

Eating cornstarch doesen’t make you thick. Cornstarch is high in calories with low amounts of healthy minerals and nutrients, creating only unhealthy weight gain. Weight gain results from taking in more carries than you burn, and doing so with cornstarch it’s an unhealthy way.

Eating plain calories without any beneficial nutrients won’t do you any good because that’s not what our bodies are built for. To become thick, you should eat a balanced nutrition-rich meal plan and implement exercise in your life, preferably strength training. When you do things this way and eat more than you burn, you will become thick the healthy way.

Here You’ll Find My Favorite Kitchen Equipment.

Thanks for reading this article! I hope that it brought you real value that you can benefit from in your personal life! Here is my top kitchen equipment that I seriously couldn’t live without, and I think they could ease your life as well as they do mine.

  • Knife set: As a chef, I can’t stand dull, poor-quality knives without any design. My absolute favorite kitchen knife set is the Gangshan 3-Piece Knife Set. It comes with a handcrafted 8″ chef’s knife and a 3.5″ paring knife. What I love even more than these flawless knives is the walnut knife block which is incredible and unique.
  • Skillet: In addition to knives and my unwillingness to bargain with its quality is the cookware. My favorite skillet is Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This particular skillet is 9″ in size, it is heavy, it gets very hot, which is what is required to get a good sear, and it is just beautiful, as are all Le Creuset products. Le Creuset doesn’t need an introduction as a brand, as it is one of the world’s rated brands.
  • Food processor: I remember when I hadn’t a food processor at home. It wasn’t easy! But now, when I use my Ninja BN601 Food Processor, I can make anything super fast, which saves me many hours per week. This food processor has 1000 watts of power and four options, including chopping, slicing, dough, and purees. I also like the middle-sized 9cup (2.1l) bowl as it is big enough yet not too big to look unfitting in my kitchen.
  • Tweezers: Dalstrong Professional Cooking Tweezers are like tongs but much more elegant, thin, and easy to use. They are great for virtually anything, but flipping, turning, and grabbing with them is easy and makes cooking much more fun! These Dalstrgon tongs are titanium coated and very durable. Also, I like the black color instead of the everyday steel.

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Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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