For reasons unbeknownst to an old like me, children not only want to touch slime, but also apparently want to put it in their mouths, as kids are wont to do with most things that they play with (dirt, boogers, etc.). That’s not ideal, given that most slime is a combination of borax, food coloring, and white glue.
While parents worry about the safety of their kids’ goo-eating habit, pediatricians have weighed in about the risks of ingesting slime, and the consensus actually seems to be that it’s not the worst: A small child would need to eat a fairly large amount of borax-containing slime for it to cause issues. (More likely to cause illness: ingesting large amounts of straight up borax while making homemade slime, or touching borax without gloves on, which can cause red, peeling skin.)
To head all of that off, enter the demand for truly edible slime. Because who doesn’t want to eat sticky, squishy, brightly colored goop after poking and stretching it with your grubby fingers? While that demand has mostly been met by lists of recipes on parent-focused blogs and many videos devoted to its creation, Jell-O’s now officially getting in the slime game.
The gelatin giant is releasing a 100-percent edible slime mixture, available in strawberry (“Unicorn Slime”) and lime (“Monster Slime”). Just add water and you’ve got a slime that “stretches if you pull it slowly, but snaps if you pull it apart fast,” writes Jell-O in its product description. It's basically a mix of food starch, sugar, gelatin, plus additives like adipic acid and fumaric acid that help the mixture form a gel. Though the slime isn’t on sale yet, it looks like Amazon is currently taking pre-orders.
While Jell-O’s just now taking advantage of the Slime Boom, parents have been making edible Jell-O based slime for a while. The secret, according to their recipes, is basically just a little cornstarch, which, as you might be familiar with from making sauces, acts as a thickener, giving that wiggly, jiggly Jell-O a little more heft.
Maybe this is my fear of germs talking, but I feel as though literally the last thing you should ingest is food that’s been mashed around by a child’s dirty, undiscerning hands first. While the premise of edible slime as a party activity, as Jell-O suggests on its product listing, would ideally mean a separate slime for each child, kids do inevitably share. (As we all know, kindergarten emphasize sharing above all else.) That means sharing not just slime, but all the germs, carpet particles, crud, and whatever else can get embedded in that sticky pink mixture. (Yum! I’m really selling you on this, right?)
But, like my partner always tells me after I ask that he politely not lean on the walls of the subway station and bring that cursed poop bacteria into our home, we need a little exposure to germs.
Luckily, as adults, we can leave this shit to the kids.