Why would someone eat gold?
It may sound like an asinine question, but don't tell that to the high-net-worth individuals who have shelled out thousands of dollars for the opportunity to do so.
.999 Fine Dining
Of course, if you swallow a few one-ounce gold bars, you will almost certainly get sick. Just ask this guy.
Instead, you most often see "edible gold" in the form of ultra-thin gold leaf, gold flakes, or pills filled with gold dust. The latter is mainly used by people who buy the idea that consuming gold will encourage optimum mental and physical health. This claim is considered dubious by modern science, but the supposed health benefits of eating gold go back to antiquity, especially among alchemists.
Conspicuous Consumption (Literally)
Some restaurants will offer gold leaf as part of a desert dish for super high rollers. While these specialty dishes can run $10,000 or more (and invariably contain a negligible amount of gold), the appeal seems to be the opulence of the experience. Wealthy couples may order a gold-flaked sundae to celebrate an anniversary or commemorate some other milestone.
At its core, eating gold is a form of conspicuous consumption. It's a status symbol—so much so that you're literally destroying the gold rather than wearing it. A recent piece in The New Yorker highlights some examples of gold-covered food, including chicken wings at The Ainsworth that you can order with 24-karat gold coating.
This trend has taken off with the rise of social media. If you're going to conspicuously consume gold, shouldn't the whole world (or at least all of your followers on Instagram) know about it?
Just be sure to let us know how it tastes.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.