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Can the activated charcoal trend please just be over already?

Food24 editor, Tessa Purdon says bring back the colour!

by: Tessa Purdon | 10 Oct 2017

(image: iStock) 

I'm all for jumping on the bandwagon of the latest food craze but the activated charcoal trend does nothing for me. Seriously - why would anyone want to bite into a rich buttery BLACK croissant or lick icing off one's finger that could easily be mistaken for glue?! We wrote about the dark food trend back in 2016 but now it's gone full tilt. 

Welcome to the dark side: The jet black baking trend is here

It all started with the 'health benefits' - i.e. its major detoxifying powers, use as a digestive aid, hangover cure (apparently) and a host of other supposed miracles. And just like our green friend, matcha, the food world has gone bananas by incorporating AC in practically everything. Can we just stop?

What is activated charcoal?
Essentially activated charcoal (also known as activated carbon) is a form of processed carbon. When heat is applied, the surface area of the carbon becomes much more porous. The charcoal attracts molecules to this porous surface, binding them up and helping our bodies to get rid of them in what's called adsorption. Don't confuse this with 'absorption', where we actually take in what we're consuming. 

It's mostly sold in capsule or powder form (the preferred format for foodies) but here's what the health washers don't really promote -  activated charcoal binds to whatever is in your digestive tract and gets rid of it, which includes any medication you're taking... like the contraceptive pill (yikes!).

So while you can tell that I'm not really sold on AC being as healthy as its deemed, I also believe that we eat with our eyes and black food just makes me think 'burnt' while sapping all the joy that the vibrant natural hues of food generally radiate. 

I say....bring back the unicorns and rainbow cakes! 

How do you make yours a Magical Monday? Us? Unicorns, ofcourse!??????

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