Photo: Nanette_Grebe (iStock)

I’m going to type this out, and it’s going to look so straightforward as to be downright condescending, but please, hear me out: If your edible glitter doesn’t say “edible” right there on the packaging, you shouldn’t eat it.

Shocking, I know. But don’t take it from me. Take it from this sweet-ass video from the FDA.

Now, that may seem pretty freaking simple. Don’t eat glitter that isn’t edible, find out if its edible by reading and/or asking someone. It’s not rocket science. But before you start dusting your seasonal unicorn cake (maybe a red-nosed reindeer cake?) with any old bake-friendly glitter, keep in mind that “non-toxic” and “edible” are not the same thing.

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According to Science Alert, there are some cake glitters out there made from microplastics and not, you know, food. The FDA puts it another way: “Some decorative glitters and dusts promoted for use on foods may, in fact, contain materials that should not be eaten.” That’s where the label “non-toxic” comes in handy—it suggests that it’s safe to eat, without actually saying, “hey, this here packet of shiny crap is definitely edible.”

A good rule of thumb: Check for an ingredients list. If there is one, it’s food. If there isn’t, it’s not food. Don’t eat not-food. Oh, and if you have questions about edible gold leaf, we’ve got your back on that, too.