What you want to learn about glitter

It’s old. Very, very old.

I assumed that glitter was invented a while in the Victorian era, probably for the only objective of gaudying-up sentimental greeting cards. However glitter is way older than I ever guessed.

Some time around forty,000 B.C., ancient humans began dusting sparkly crushed minerals over their cave paintings. As early because the sixth century A.D., Mayans were adding glitter made of mica to their temple partitions, in keeping with National Geographic. And in 2010, the BBC reported that reflective material was discovered mixed in with what is believed to be the residue of fifty,000-12 months-old Neanderthal cosmetics.

It’s not made of metal.

Aluminum, maybe tin: That’s what I assumed glitter was made of. Nope. Fashionable glitter was invented in 1934 in New Jersey, of all places, when American machinist Henry Ruschmann figured out a approach to grind plastic into glitter. Finally the raw material advanced into polyester film layered with coloring and reflective material “fed by way of a rotary knife reducing system … form of a combination of a paper shredder and a wood chipper,” in accordance with glitter manufacturer Joe Coburn. Earlier than that, glitter was made of glass. Not something you’d need to eat.

It’s everywhere.

Tons of glitter are produced yearly (literally, tons). There are 20,000 types of glitter available from pioneer glitter-makers Meadowbrook Innovations alone, starting from the run-of-the-mill craft glitter you remember from kindergarten to “particular effects” glitter for industrial applications. It can be as nice as dust or as chunky as confetti. As glitter manufacturer Coburn remarked on Reddit in 2014, an order of “2 tons a month is a really small dimension

You possibly can see a glitter-making machine in motion here — it’s disturbingly efficient at reducing thin sheets of polyester film into gleaming little grains. Glitter isn’t biodegradable and most people don’t recycle it. So it’s not going anywhere.

You can eat it.

Hold on! You can’t eat just any glitter. It has to be edible glitter, a hip new condiment that gained fame on Instagram in 2017. Because the first twinkling images showed up, it’s made an appearance on everything from donuts to bagels to pizza.

Within the interest of great academic analysis, I consider it’s essential that I investigate and eat edible glitter. What is it made of? When was it invented? Most vital of all, what would occur if somebody baked it right into a cake and ate it?

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