I am looking for a word/phrase to say about having dirt in edibles which got into edibles at the time of their preparation (home made or manufactured in a factory).

I have two questions:

  1. Which of these words - dirt/dust/mud, is suitable here?

    There are dirt/dust/mud particles in these edibles.

  2. These tiny dust particles rub against the teeth or come in between the teeth when we bite or chew such edibles. (What's is the word/phrase for this?)

I bite into such edibles and feel the dirt in between my teeth. What word/phrase can I say to describe such edibles so as to fill in the blank in this sentence.

These edibles are ____.

Edit: Is the word 'muddy' correct?, because these dirt particles are tiny.

  • It doesn’t sound very natural to say any of the options in 1. You wouldn’t normally call them particles. They’re definitely not dust. And we don’t usually call our food ‘edibles’ either. You might say, “There’s sand in my food” or “There are grits of [sand, dirt, whatever] in my food”. And then once it becomes lodged in your teeth, you’ve got sand in your teeth. As for what you’d call the food, there are endless options: crunchy, gritty, sandy, muddy, disgusting, sloppily prepared… Feb 21, 2018 at 17:43
  • Be careful using the word "edibles", because marijuana edibles are commonly referred to as just "edibles". I would not refer to normal food as "edibles".
    – Laurel
    Feb 21, 2018 at 18:28

2 Answers 2


I think you simply mean

There is dirt in my food.

When talking about dirt, we usually do not refer to individual particles of it, and edible stuff is commonly called food.

As for the result of that in the texture of the food, I would suggest gritty:

This food is gritty.

This Houston Press article describes it as follows (emphasis mine):

As covered on Eating Our Words this morning, some people are very opposed to eating any food that feels gritty in the mouth. This category would encompass grits, polenta, farina (a.k.a. Cream of Wheat or Malt-O-Meal) or anything that has mistakenly gotten some grit or dirt into it (poorly washed spinach, for example).

  • poorly washed spinach! - perfect example for being gritty. I wish I had thought of it earlier to make my question more clear
    – threeA's
    Feb 22, 2018 at 0:21
  • What about small stones in rice or lentils? are they stones/pebbles?
    – threeA's
    Feb 22, 2018 at 1:13
  • If stones are small enough, they are called sand. A pebble would be (for me) at least a centimetre wide, not easy to miss in the rice...
    – oerkelens
    Feb 22, 2018 at 8:30

". . . phrase to say about having dirt in edibles which got into edibles at the time of their preparation . . ."

Contaminated. You can say contaminated for most kinds of tinned food you buy.

Homemade food isn't really "contaminated" in casual speech though

  1. Dirt.

  2. Grit.

    I'm afraid there aren't commonly used words for food contaminants with such specificity in English (barring possible Victorian paleologisms.)

Maybe you should look for a loanword from a language associated with higher culinary sophistication (like French?)

  • I was thinking of contaminated before I saw your answer. The main reason that you don't hear about contaminated home prepared food is that it's usually clean but, if it did become contaminated, then contaminated or dirty would describe it perfectly. One form of contamination that does, sometimes, happen in the home is contamination with bleach or soap from an inadequatly wiped work surface.
    – BoldBen
    Feb 21, 2018 at 18:28

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