Can You Eat Paper

Every one of us must have eaten paper at least once in our lifetime. We may not have remembered when we ate them, but we certainly do know how they taste. But can you eat paper? Is it harmful to your body? We will answer these questions in this article. 


Is Paper Safe To Eat?

Paper is certainly edible, but it doesn’t mean that you should eat paper when you get a chance. They carry literally 0 nutritional value. Paper is made up of cellulose which can be found in plants. Cellulose is edible, but human beings can’t digest it. 

In the best scenario, the paper will get out of your body. But in most cases, they will cause mild to severe abdominal discomfort. It is better to avoid eating paper. 

can you eat paper

You should definitely avoid eating paper that is dyed or has ink on it. They might carry toxic substances that can be fatal to us. However, there is no problem with eating a small amount of paper once in a while. But eating paper is associated with a disease called pica. This rare disease induces the desire to eat non-nutritional foods such as paper and chalk sticks. This should be treated with proper medical attention. Let us discuss can you eat paper.

Can You Eat Paper With Ink On It?

It is not advisable to eat raw paper itself because it may contain some of the byproducts of bleaching. Each paper will be bleached to make it last for a long time. These byproducts are known to cause cancer if ingested. 

But you should definitely not eat a paper that is dyed or has ink on it. It shouldn’t be a problem if you have accidentally eaten a small amount of paper with ink. But if you have ingested a large amount of paper with ink, you should seek medical aid. 

You will experience itching in your eye, mouth, and other parts of your skin if you have ingested too much paper with ink. However, it will take some time to kick in. These inks are known for causing cancer in human beings. So, one should detest from eating paper with ink on it. Here is all about can you eat paper with ink on it.

What Will Happen If You Eat Paper?

As we have discussed before, paper is made up of cellulose, an organic compound commonly found in trees and plants. This compound can’t be digested by the human stomach, which may result in stomach upset and other abdominal and digestive problems. In some cases, it might even cause intestinal blockages. 

But cellulose is not as bad as you might think it is. It has been used as an additive in human foods for more than a century, and human foods can contain 4% of cellulose in it. But paper is entirely made up of cellulose, so it shouldn’t be eaten. 

Is Paper Toxic?

can you eat paper

Technically speaking, paper is not toxic, but the process involved in making it can make it toxic. Papers will be bleached in the industry before they get out for commercial use, and the byproducts of bleaching will stay with the paper and cause fatal illnesses such as cancer. However, some papers like rice paper have no such harmful chemicals in them and are perfectly edible without any side effects. 

The next thing is that you should not try to eat paper with dye or ink. These dyes have a chemical compound called dioxins which are extremely toxic to human beings. You will be exposed to a higher level of cancer-causing chemicals, and the chance of getting cancer will be extremely high. So, you shouldn’t eat paper with ink or dye on it. Here is all about can you eat paper.


1. Is it normal to eat paper?

No, the desire to eat paper is abnormal behavior. Xylophagia is a form of pica, a disorder associated with inducing the desire to eat items that have no nutritional value. It is better to seek medical attention because it can prove to be fatal if it becomes serious. 

2. Is it okay to eat paper?

Generally speaking, there is no harm in ingesting small amounts of paper. However, it is extremely dangerous to eat paper that has ink or color on it, and it is better to avoid eating any kind of paper. 

3. What will happen if I eat a tiny bit of paper?

Nothing will happen if you eat a small number of tiny bits of paper which has no ink on it. Eating a large amount of paper can cause intestinal blocks because our stomach can’t digest it. If you happen to eat even a tiny bit of paper with ink or color on it, seek medical attention immediately as they are toxic to humans. 

Kelly Anne

Kelly Anne

Hey there, I am Kelly Anne. Thank you for being here. Hope you like the website and it was helpful. I am a working mother of 2. I love to cook and feed people. My hobbies include cooking (obviously), reading, and rock climbing.

With so many machines and accessories in the market to help you cook it become quite overwhelming to choose from. I own a lot of these kitchen equipments and tried out the others. I want the best for my kitchen and I am helping you find the best for yours.

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