Forget Tide Pods: Parents warned about ‘shell on’ teen eating challenge

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TEMPE, Az. (WTVO) – In a new craze circulating on social media, teens are challenging each other to eat food with the packaging on in what’s being called the “shell on” challenge.

Teens are eating banana peels, candy wrappers, apple cores, plastic packaging, cardboard boxes and more.

According to the Arizona Republic, Tempe sophomore Liam Hamm participated in the challenge by biting through a plastic bag to consume carrots, which his friends captured in a Snapchat video.

Hamm told the outlet that there is a national Snapchat story that shows people all over the country taking part in the challenge.

He said one of the funniest he’s seen is a video in which a teen bites into a lemon and accidentally shoots lemon juice in his eye.

“It just looks funny, because it’s not really a shell but people are calling things shells. I guess that is what’s funny about it,” he said.

While not as dangerous as eating laundry detergent in the viral “Tide Pod challenge,” doctors advise against eating anything that isn’t food.

Chicago-area physician Max Plitt told The New York Post, “Organic material like fruit peels are typically not dangerous. Zest is often used in recipes (lemon zest) which is the shavings of the rind. Eating plastic, on the other hand, can be dangerous. BPA has been suggested to influence hormones. Chemicals in PVC like vinyl chloride have been linked to cancers.”

Although the challenge appears mostly on Snapchat, several people criticized the teens on Twitter.

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