What Is Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth – Practical Guide?

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Diatomaceous earth is a unique substance with many different applications. A common misconception about diatomaceous earth, or DE, is that it’s sourced from a form of clay or dirt.

The true origins of diatomaceous earth are somewhat more interesting. DE is composed of the fossilized remains of ancient aquatic plants called diatoms.

Millions of years old, these diatoms are found in the mineral deposits formed by ancient lakes, streams, rivers, and sea beds. When mined from the ground and crushed, diatomaceous earth becomes a fine white chalky powder that consists of over 85% silica. The molecular configuration of diatomaceous earth is what provides it with such a diverse range of benefits.

When viewed under a microscope, diatomaceous earth consists of tiny silica particles that possess sharp, rough edges. These edges, while not sharp enough to harm the digestive system of the human body, are what provide diatomaceous earth with its ability to clean the digestive tract, destroy insects, and detoxify the body.

If you’re planning on using diatomaceous earth in any capacity, whether it be as a supplement, for a detox or as a pest control agent, you should be aware of the different grades into which DE is classified.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

The most commonly used form of diatomaceous earth is food grade diatomaceous earth. Food grade diatomaceous earth is mined from mineral deposits, ground to a fine powder and packaged with no further treatment or chemical processes, creating a completely natural and non-toxic product.

The FDA, while not having expressly classified diatomaceous earth as safe for dietary supplementation, has classified DE as GRAS, or generally regarded as safe.

Many people choose to supplement their diets with diatomaceous earth to detoxify their body. As it passes through the digestive tract, the fine, coarse particles of diatomaceous earth scrape away the built up toxins and heavy metals that can contaminate the digestive tract.

User-reported health benefits of detoxifying the body with DE in this manner include higher energy levels, better digestive health, heightened immune system function and more regular bowel movements.

The absorbent and abrasive properties of diatomaceous earth also make it a great facial scrub, deodorizer, facial mask and even a useful grain and cereal preservative. Replacing these products with diatomaceous earth can be a great way to rid chemicals and powerful synthetic ingredients from your home, promoting long term health.

Pest Control Grade Diatomaceous Earth

The unique physical properties of diatomaceous earth also make it a highly effective pest control agent and insecticide. When dispersed around the home or garden as a pest control agent the fine powder that composes diatomaceous earth binds to the exoskeleton of insects.

Once stuck to an insect, diatomaceous earth will scrape away the protective outer layer and absorb the lipid oils and water inside, quickly and fatally dehydrating the pest.

A major advantage offered by diatomaceous earth over traditional insecticides is that it’s completely non-toxic and poison-free. Most insecticides use potent chemical poison compounds that linger around the home and garden, presenting a health risk to pets, small children and family members. Diatomaceous earth is also far more effective than traditional extermination methods and significantly cheaper.

Surprisingly, food-grade diatomaceous earth has almost exactly the same composition as pest control grade diatomaceous earth, but must be packaged and labeled separately due to limitations put in place by the EPA.

It’s important to note, however, that while food grade diatomaceous earth can be used as a pest control agent the inverse is not true. Pest control diatomaceous earth should never be used in lieu of food grade diatomaceous earth as many companies mix poison or toxins in with pest control grade diatomaceous earth to increase its efficacy.

Pool Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Pool grade diatomaceous earth is the least commonly used form of the three primary grades of diatomaceous earth, but also the most dangerous. The absorbent properties of the silica in raw diatomaceous earth make it a highly effective pool filter, but before use it must be treated for impurities.

Pool grade diatomaceous earth is raw diatomaceous earth that has been heated to temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees celsius. This process destroys all of the impurities and causes the silica to crystallize, creating a highly efficient pool filter. Pool grade diatomaceous earth is extremely toxic to ingest or inhale, however so extreme caution must be used when handling it.

Other Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a highly versatile substance that can be used in a multitude of applications. DE can be used as a garden fertilizer, as a dog or cat food supplement, flea treatment, bath bomb, facial scrub and much more.

If you’re interested in the expanded applications of this unique organic substance, feel free to browse through our knowledge base for inspiration and information.

Diatomaceous Earth Information Guide:

We have a wide variety of food grade diatomaceous earth resources for you look through to make your life a little easier and chemical-free. Please check out the other valuable resources and versatile application uses for silica-rich diatomaceous earth below:

Please reach out regarding any information above. In the future, more share-worthy useful enhancements, experiences and effects of diatomaceous earth will be added as the benefits continue to pile up. Always welcome for more insight and awareness, click the button to see the most recommended beautifully blended product that combines both high quality food grade diatomaceous earth powder and pure organic silica together in one formula.

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