You know those packs we find in cartons or packs of stuff we buy? Like the one in the picture? Though many people aren’t used to seeing them cos we are mostly a second-hand product consuming nation.
There are little packets of silica gel and there are found in all sorts of products because silica gel is a desiccant, meaning it absorbs and holds water vapour. In leather products, where it is most commonly seen, the lack of moisture can limit the growth of mold. In electronics it prevents condensation, which might damage the electronics. You will find little silica gel packets in anything that would be affected by excess moisture or condensation, even food products.
Despite the “Do Not Eat” warning on the side, Silica gel is harmless. Nothing bad happens when one eats it. Silica, or silicon dioxide (SiO2), is the same material found in quartz. The gel contains numerous tiny pores that can absorb and hold moisture. Silica gel is essentially porous sand. You can’t die from eating sand can you?
So there you have it, feel free to eat them!