Robot or Not? #255 March 6, 2023


Listener Chris clues us into an important ice safety campaign.

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John, listener Christopher would like to know, he sent us a picture of ice, bagged ice from the store, and on it in the corner is a little logo from some ice association that says, “Ice is food!” John, is ice food? Thank you, Chris says, for bringing clarity to the universe. Thank you, listener Christopher. Is ice food?

My first point of contention is whether or not this little thing on the package says ice is food. I believe it says ice is foodl. Because there’s no space between the dot and the stem on that exclamation point. Maybe it’s like a bag wrinkled and I can’t see it? Is that what’s going on?

No, I think it’s printed badly on thin plastic and so the ink is kind of oozed.

Yeah, well, so maybe they’re trying to say ice is foodl. They’re either getting around some sort of FDA thing where they can’t say it’s food. So no, technically it says ice is foodi or foodl. And they can define foodi or foodl or whatever they want, but no, ice is not food. Ice is kind of definitionally not food when you talk about the things you need. You need food and water. Ice is water. It’s just water in a different form.

So I think the reason this is trying to say that ice is food on the package is because ice for human consumption has to meet the same requirements as food, meaning it can’t be filled with contaminants. It needs to be safe for you to consume without anything bad happening to you. So in that sense, they’re trying to say, just keep in mind, it’s not just a matter of finding a bunch of water and making it cold. We have to make sure that if you eat this, nothing bad will happen to you. And so we have to make sure there are no germs in it, and there are no little pieces of insects. Or those will probably be fine, but there’s a lot of certain amount of insect pieces.

I’ve actually done some research here. It is It is the International Packaged Ice Association. “All ice should be this good.” And their point here is that it is treated like food, as you said, that it’s appropriate for human consumption. Apparently some ice is not done. So like they never touch, no human hands touch the ice at any point. It’s safe to consume.

There’s a little sticker so that you don’t have like contaminated ice. They have a picture of one of those hotel ice makers with the metal scoop. And they’re like, “Watch out, that could be unsafe ice.” So this is apparently a whole thing about ice machines and safe ice and all that. It’s at That seems to be what they mean about ice as food, is ice as food and therefore should be treated so that it doesn’t make you sick.

I mean, they could have just said, “Ice is potable water, but hard.”

Yeah, exactly. But I wouldn’t—

‘Cause that’s what they’re trying to say.

I wouldn’t consider ice actual food in that it provides no sustenance of any kind, right?

I mean, it keeps you alive. It’s important to have water, but it is the companion. Lots of food has water in it as well, of course. But yeah, there’s a reason why we say food and water and not just food.

Right, exactly right. And it’s like, I feel like this goes to our candy discussion as well that we had at some point, which is like, you know, just, it’s not food. It’s something you can eat, but it doesn’t provide any sustenance of any kind. And so I don’t think it counts in that.

Well, candy provides energy.

I suppose it does for a while, briefly, very briefly.

And razor blades.

Mm-hmm, yep. And I don’t know, other horrible things that aren’t actually in candy.