Why are cheese rinds not edible?


We have a stubborn teenager in our house that likes to eat the plasticky / waxy orange rind of cheese, despite the packet warning that it is not edible. Can you help me understand why it is not edible? What is it made of, and what could happen to you if you persist in eating it (for years)?

In: Chemistry

Assuming you’re talking about ONLY the waxy kind (sometimes they contain cloth or leaves too), they are considered inedible but are not toxic or harmful – just largely indigestible. In other words, they’ll just pass through and come out the other end pretty much the same way they went in. Harmless unless your teenager eats a large amount in one sitting and it gums up the works.

If you’re talking about the natural cheese rinds that form on most cheese (which can sometimes seem waxy and thick), those are perfectly fine to eat.

Like the wax off a baby bel!?

You know, if they like the wax, maybe get them a package of beeswax to nibble on? I’m meaning packaged for consumption natural honeycomb, with or without honey? When I was a kid, my parents would get honeycomb and it was like a snack and an activity. Lol. Funny, I don’t think we ate very much of the wax, more chewed it like gum. Honeycomb might be a good substitute?

Cheese Rinds are wax and at times cheese cloth. It is non-toxic so is not likely to harm you too severely (though it can mess with your digestion) but it is not food. It is the container the food was aged in.