Saturday, October 31, 2015

FD&C Blue No. 1? Mmm, my favorite

Something evil lurks in your gastrointestinal tract.

When it comes to body parts, it’s easy to overlook our friend the colon – unless you’ve eaten Burger King’s Halloween burger, then you’ll start to worry about it. Seriously. Why hasn’t it written for so long, or even called?
The Halloween burger’s bun is black. The results are not.
Burger King already sells black burgers in its restaurants in Japan. The buns, colored by squid ink, are black, the cheese is black, the sauce is black and the result is as appetizing as pictures from a 1960s cookbook. You know, like the classic Pie Plate Salad. A can of mixed vegetables set in lemon gelatin and covered in tartar sauce. Yum.
The black burgers are popular in Japan (so, I can only assume, is Pie Plate Salad). So popular Burger King brought the burgers to America and marketed the item as a Halloween item. The outcome is scary.
Would you eat something that looked like it just lost a boxing match?
The burgers turn people’s poop bright green. I can see college students waking up with a headache wondering why they got drunk and ate a box of crayons.
The problem is the bun. Unlike the squid ink used in Japanese buns, in America – a relatively squid-free country – the bun is turned black by A.1. Steak Sauce, D&C Red No. 40, molasses powder and FD&C Blue No. 1.
Mmm. FD&C Blue No. 1.
According to an article on, New York City physician Dr. Robert Glatter said the human body can’t break down these dyes, which brings us back to our colon. Those dyes have to go somewhere, and when they do they make us take notice because strangely colored poop could mean anything from gallbladder disease, to celiac disease to cancer. So, thanks Burger King.
But Burger King wasn’t the first commercial food provider to scare us down under.
Sure, I trust this guy.
When it comes to Halloween food, General Mills was once king. With the likes of Count Chocula, Boo Berry, Yummy Mummy, Fruit Brute and Franken Berry cereals, children across the country could watch Scooby-Doo on Saturday mornings with their favorite bowl of terror in their lap.
The most frightening was Franken Berry. The box that featured a grinning Frankenstein-like affront to nature held pink, ghost-shaped cereal and marshmallows, which turned the milk pink. That’s not all.
Packed with FD&C No. 2 and No. 3, Franken Berry turned kid’s poop bright pink, according to (and probably mothers from the 1970s who are still screaming).
Doctors had a highly scientific term for this condition – “Franken Berry Stool.” I think it’s Latin.
A 1972 study on Franken Berry published in the journal “Pediatrics,” was prompted by parents who rushed their 12-year-old boy to the hospital because, well, here’s a description from the study. Remember, a doctor wrote these words: “The stool had no abnormal odor but looked like strawberry ice cream.”
Flaming Hot Cheetos can turn stool red. A few pints of Guinness Extra Stout will make it black. Blue Velvet Cake makes you wonder if you’ve eaten a Smurf. And beets –
Never mind. Nobody eats beets.
This may turn my poop black. I'm OK with that.

Jason’s novel, “A Funeral Story,” is available at

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