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posted by mrpg on Monday June 11, @05:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the but-coal-is-ok dept.

And Just Like That, Goth-Friendly Charcoal Foods Were Canceled

It turns out those highly Instagrammable, pitch-black "goth" foods were far edgier than we could have ever imagined. According to a new report in Eater, the Department of Health says that activated charcoal is currently banned from all food- and drink-serving establishments in NYC. A spokesperson for DOH told Eater that the rule isn't new, but enforcement has increased.

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream, that NYC ice cream shop that caused a mini frenzy in 2016 over their popular jet-black ice cream, reportedly had to dump "$3,000 worth of product during a routine inspection," per owner Nick Morgenstern. The ice cream shop posted a cryptic Instagram in late May that hinted something was afoot. The ice cream, which they've been making since 2015, uses coconut ash—a form of activated charcoal. "I don't see any evidence that this is actually a question of public health safety," Morganstern told Eater. "I would challenge someone to identify the public health safety risk of that ingredient."


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  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Monday June 11, @06:06AM (25 children)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Monday June 11, @06:06AM (#691296)

    constipation, dehydration.
    And the list goes on.
    Sounds like fun! Like everything, if you eat too much of it, you get sick (even carrots)

    https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/activated-charcoal-uses-risks [webmd.com]
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/healthyeating/11721347/Is-charcoal-doing-us-more-harm-than-good.html [telegraph.co.uk]

    Then there are other benficial uses: https://www.quora.com/Why-we-put-salt-and-charcoal-while-earthing [quora.com]

    --
    (Score: tau, Irrational)
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by tftp on Monday June 11, @06:13AM (4 children)

      by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @06:13AM (#691298) Homepage
      It can also block the oral meds if they are prescribed or urgently needed on emergency basis.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by MostCynical on Monday June 11, @06:18AM (2 children)

        by MostCynical (2589) on Monday June 11, @06:18AM (#691301)

        In a January interview with Imbibe, Bittermens founder Avery Glasser joked that he was going to make an activated charcoal cocktail called “See Ya In Nine Months,” referring to its potential to produce an unplanned pregnancy.

        https://www.eater.com/2017/6/7/15750526/activated-charcoal-black-food-trend-nyc-ban [eater.com]

        --
        (Score: tau, Irrational)
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:24AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:24AM (#691316)

          "How dare you!"
          "No, how dare you! I can't believe you'd suggest doing such a disgusting thing!"

          Two men could be heard arguing in the park. Each of them were furious enough to scare away most onlookers, and so no one had stopped their heated argument quite yet. This continued for a few more minutes, but just when the argument was about to escalate into violence, a third man - who had been observing the situation all along - approached them and calmly said, "Now, now. Settle down, gentleman. I believe I have the perfect compromise that will satisfy everyone involved." Then, the man elucidated his idea; after that, it did not take long for the plan to be put into motion...

          Later, two men could be seen standing in the park near a large tree; both of them appeared to be in a state of ecstasy. One of the men had been directly involved in the previous argument, and the other man was the one who suggested the compromise. These two men were overlooking a magnificent scene with expressions full of delight. What caused them to be in such a state? Justice.

          It was true justice. A man - who had also been involved in the previous argument - could be seen hanging from the tree, lynched; his body was in tatters, suggesting that he had been tortured beforehand. Surrounding the tree were countless naked children; not a single one of them moved even so much as an inch. This was a scene that would undoubtedly bring joy to anyone's heart, and it was all thanks to the art of compromise.

          And what a fair, just, and wondrous compromise it was.

      • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Monday June 11, @03:13PM

        by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @03:13PM (#691428) Homepage Journal

        Activated charcoal does have a major medical usage: first response to poison ingestion. So if you consider your medication poison, grab some activated charcoal!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activated_charcoal_(medication) [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by driverless on Monday June 11, @06:15AM (11 children)

      by driverless (4770) on Monday June 11, @06:15AM (#691299)

      It actually is healthy in the right circumstances. For example if you're a raw water fan you can pack the length of your throat with activated charcoal and reproduce the effect of drinking tap water by running your raw water through it. Healthy plus healthy must mean extra healthy, right?

      • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Monday June 11, @08:02AM (10 children)

        by krishnoid (1156) on Monday June 11, @08:02AM (#691308)

        As a bonus, you don't get any of that pesky fluoride you find in tap water. Also, would it distill the water, effectively turning it into something that will suck the salt out of your body? Or are salts and other minerals too small (?) to be removed by activated charcoal?

        • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday June 11, @10:09AM (3 children)

          I was in the Emergency Room a while back for what turned out to be Hyponatremia that was caused by my Psychogenic Polydipsia.

          Hyponatremia is a potentially deadly deficiency of sodium ion in one's blood. It can be cause by drinking too much water in a very short time. A fraternity pledge died of a heart attack when his fraternity brothers had the idea that they could initialize him by requiring him to drink vast quantities of milk.

          A radio station once held a contest to see who could drink the most water. The Sacramento, California police investigated to determine whether a crime occured when one of their contestants dropped dead.

          More commonly known as Water Toxicity, Psychogenic Polydipsia is a raging, unquenchable thirst that is poorly understood but is speculated to be caused by antipsychotic medications such as the perphenazine I take for my Schizoaffective Disorder. "Speculated" because such a thirst occurs more commonly among those who experience hallucinations or delusions but to the best of my knowledge the link hasn't been proven yet.

          Raging, unquenchable thirst is also a symptom of the worst kind of diabetes in which one's urine smells pleasantly fruity because one's kidneys are secreting blood sugar.

          That far-more common condition had the result that I required twenty years to get my Psychogenic Polydipsia diagnosed. Every time I'd ask a doctor to explain my uncommon thirst they would order a fasting blood sugar test. "But doctor! It can't be diabetes! My blood sugar is always normal. Were it to be diabetic polydipsia I would have been dead twenty years ago."

          My blood sugar always turned up normal, leading all but just one uncommonly diligent doctor to lose all interest in diagnosing me.

          --
          My United States Social Security Number Is 518-92-8663
          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Monday June 11, @12:02PM (2 children)

            by RS3 (6367) on Monday June 11, @12:02PM (#691359)

            Someone I know is somewhat hyponatremic. A pair of motivated nephrologists prescribed Ure-Na. Perhaps you've heard of it, tried it?

            How did you find an "uncommonly diligent" doctor?

            • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday June 11, @01:22PM (1 child)

              A member of what used to be kuro5hin.org. Her nick was mariahkillschickens.

              At the time she was an Emergency Room resident in Buffalo New York. She treated a Schizophrenic patient who kept demanding to be permitted to urinate.

              He clearly wasn't diabetic so she investigated further.

              Had he been diabetic that would have shown up in both his blood and urine.

              --
              My United States Social Security Number Is 518-92-8663
              • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RS3 on Monday June 11, @02:08PM

                by RS3 (6367) on Monday June 11, @02:08PM (#691387)

                Part of me hates to say (type) it, but you're making the strong case for AI replacing doctors. IBM Watson, are you listening? Of course you are.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by driverless on Monday June 11, @10:47AM (5 children)

          by driverless (4770) on Monday June 11, @10:47AM (#691341)

          Also, would it distill the water, effectively turning it into something that will suck the salt out of your body?

          I don't know if it'll do that, but if you could separate out the electrolytes you could make a good business selling them to gardeners. It's what plants crave.

          • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Monday June 11, @02:28PM (4 children)

            by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @02:28PM (#691397) Journal

            It's what plants crave.

            That's actually a myth. I watched a documentary where they said that the electrolytes were salt and stuff and the plants died, but if you put water, like from the toilet, on the plants, they grow again.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:31PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:31PM (#691400)

              Go away, 'baitin!

            • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Monday June 11, @10:26PM (2 children)

              by krishnoid (1156) on Monday June 11, @10:26PM (#691644)

              Seriously, water? Like, from the toilet? I'd think the electrolytes would have what plants crave.

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by Mykl on Tuesday June 12, @01:54AM (1 child)

                by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday June 12, @01:54AM (#691741)

                Much as I would love for this to remain an 'in' joke for some of us, the opportunity to recommend the movie [imdb.com] is too great.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:32AM (#691307)

      I've had it as a "diy" remedy from crushed aquarium filter bricks after eating something with veggies that had been sprayed by a nasty herbicide. It worked.
      This is just like chewing gum and laxative properties or any acidic food and ulcer risks. All the risks are tied to a big consumption.

    • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Monday June 11, @08:53AM (1 child)

      by choose another one (515) on Monday June 11, @08:53AM (#691320)

      If you want black poo, just drink plenty of Guinness, preferably in Ireland. No charcoal required, and it's good for you (tried and tested for generations).

      I remember an Irish colleague from years ago, who wouldn't drink Guinness in England because it's not the proper stuff, saying "I hate this **** English beer, makes your shit brown".

      [ And what's with the "goth" food? Goths do just fine fed on Guinness, for the pretentious ones Bloody Mary will do, and there's always Snakebite and Black. ]

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Monday June 11, @10:51AM

        by driverless (4770) on Monday June 11, @10:51AM (#691342)

        I remember an Irish colleague from years ago, who wouldn't drink Guinness in England because it's not the proper stuff, saying "I hate this **** English beer, makes your shit brown".

        You can get beer, at least in Yorkshire, that makes your poo black. That's why we have Black Pooding.

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday June 11, @10:00AM

      A modest current is applied beneath buried pipes and some distance away, with that current flowing through the ground. It's polarity is such that it prevents galvanic corrosion.

      So just reverse that current.

      Have A Nice Day! :)

      --
      My United States Social Security Number Is 518-92-8663
    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday June 11, @10:12AM (2 children)

      Digested blood is black.

      It makes sense to ban the sale of charcoal in restaurants because eating it would lead a cancer victim to think he was just fine and so didn't need to see a doctor.

      --
      My United States Social Security Number Is 518-92-8663
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @12:42PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @12:42PM (#691370)

      Charcoal is the closest thing in real-life to Harry Potter's bezoar [wikia.com]. The same qualities that make charred oak casks [vinepair.com] effective at "smoothing" the taste of whiskey and activated charcoal fish tank filters help to keep the imprisoned fish healthy. It's physical structure acts as a chemical trap, effectively removing many organic chemicals from solution and preventing them from reacting. If you've been poisoned, it's a very good thing to eat.

      On the other hand, if you consume it on a regular basis, it can also absorb significant quantities of beneficial chemicals / nutrients.

      As for this regulatory action, surely it's mostly based in political tension between the group(s) that identify with the black color and the group(s) driving the enforcement, and actual health or safety issues are merely props for the cause.

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by realDonaldTrump on Monday June 11, @06:55AM (8 children)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @06:55AM (#691304) Homepage Journal

    They make it in a pill, they call it the fart pill. I took it on Cinco de Mayo because I ate A LOT of Hispanic. And Hispanic makes you fart. Makes you go "TRUMP!" As everybody knows. Let me tell you, it was NOT GREAT. Going to try the probiotic!!!

    --
    #FreeDonaldTrump [twitter.com]
    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Runaway1956 on Monday June 11, @08:15AM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @08:15AM (#691313) Journal

      You ate a lot of Hispanic? So, THAT'S WHY you're not going after the illegals. You're eating them. Is it still cannibalism when and orange guy eats browns?

      --
      Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by RS3 on Monday June 11, @12:06PM

        by RS3 (6367) on Monday June 11, @12:06PM (#691360)

        Is it still cannibalism when an orange guy eats browns?

        Difficult to answer, it's a gray area...

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by tangomargarine on Monday June 11, @03:49PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Monday June 11, @03:49PM (#691440)

        Is it still cannibalism when and orange guy eats browns?

        Cut him some slack; he was just so hungry and then he accidentally the whole thing.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by driverless on Monday June 11, @10:55AM (4 children)

      by driverless (4770) on Monday June 11, @10:55AM (#691343)

      I ate A LOT of Hispanic.

      I had a friend who ate a lot of Asian. Even married one of them eventually.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @12:37PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @12:37PM (#691368)

        Speaking of Asians, why do Japanese girls squeak when they are getting railed in their pornos? They sound like a dog's chew toy.

      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Monday June 11, @01:14PM (2 children)

        by Bot (3902) on Monday June 11, @01:14PM (#691374)

        You mean 8 as in while having 6?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:36PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:36PM (#691404)

          Guru meditation & lp0 on fire

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @01:54PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @01:54PM (#691385)

    Does a local health department have the right to tell you what you can eat, when the national authority in charge, the FDA, has not prohibited it. Should it?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by crafoo on Monday June 11, @02:11PM

      by crafoo (6639) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @02:11PM (#691388)

      The People - the state - the federal government for all matters interstate
      That's the chain of command.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by meustrus on Monday June 11, @02:14PM

      by meustrus (4961) <{meustrus} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday June 11, @02:14PM (#691390)

      If you insist that only national authorities can take certain actions, then those actions will only be taken at massive scale with no testing at smaller scales first. Or not at all. I'm guessing you're pulling for the latter, Mr. Regulatory Capture.

      --
      If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:23PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:23PM (#691393)

      They're not telling anybody what they can and can't eat. They're telling people what they can and can't serve to customers. Those are very different things.

      But, then again, small government people tend to be complete dipshits that will put random things in their mouths because freedom. It's somewhat ironic that it's the same people that are too ignorant to know how to protect themselves are also the same people that fight hardest against any effort to limit the unsafe things in the environment to something reasonable.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by requerdanos on Monday June 11, @02:41PM

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @02:41PM (#691409) Journal

        small government people tend to...fight hardest against any effort to limit the unsafe things

        It's a fine line. Should unsafe things be available? Absolutely, positively yes. Should restaurants serve them with fries and a salad? No. That's evil.

        Is charcoal unsafe? Debatable. It's safe and non-toxic in meal quantities, dangerous in excess (like water). I've seen much more unsafe things served in buffet lines that didn't violate any specific punitive rules.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by urza9814 on Monday June 11, @02:30PM (1 child)

      by urza9814 (3954) on Monday June 11, @02:30PM (#691399) Journal

      Does a local health department have the right to tell you what you can eat, when the national authority in charge, the FDA, has not prohibited it. Should it?

      That's the US system of government working exactly as it is intended to work. I fail to see the problem here...

      • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday June 11, @05:21PM

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @05:21PM (#691489) Journal

        Exactly. I'm always a bit shocked at how many people are willing to cede their rights to a huge unresponsive bureaucracy, but they get concerned when local government takes action, where they are much more likely to have a voice and direct access to local government representatives to have an influence on policy.

        And if you don't like what NYC does (which is nothing new in this sort of policy), you can actually choose to move elsewhere to a community with a government that is more congenial to your standards and wishes. If the FDA sets policy, though, you have nowhere to go unless you want to quit the US entirely.

        The authors of the Constitution would be appalled that the FDA even exists, given their massive constraints on federal power that they built in. Well, actually, I assume many of them would accept with the realities of modern society that we might need federal policy on some things the FDA does... BUT they would have required a Constitutional amendment to grant that power.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by requerdanos on Monday June 11, @02:37PM

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @02:37PM (#691405) Journal

      Okay. On the subject of yummy gritty charcoal, we assume that

      the national authority in charge, the FDA*, has not prohibited it

      Now. A few questions come up. Fair questions.

      Does a local health department have the right to tell you what you can eat

      No. Nor are they. You can eat what you want. But they have the right to regulate what restaurants can serve and under what conditions. That's their purpose, in fact.

      Should it?

      Should they have the right to regulate what restaurants can serve and under what conditions? Arguably, yes: That's their purpose, in fact.

      -----
      * It's best not to trust the FDA blindly, given efforts such as their evidence-free emotional attacks on mitragina speciosa ("kratom"), anyway.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:02PM (#691450)

    And for that, they can squat on my activated charcoal finger.

  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday June 11, @04:13PM (1 child)

    by Freeman (732) on Monday June 11, @04:13PM (#691457) Journal

    There's a number of useful things that you can do with Activated Charcoal. I just wouldn't have listed Ice Cream ingredient as a good one. It also goes down the gullet like a mud pie. No, not the delicious chocolate pie. The one made of dirt. It's great for soaking up bad things in your stomach and / or intestines.

    --
    "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:00PM (#691548)

      New Yorkers (and others) are crazy.

      Never heard of such a thing until this article. Eating charcoal is a disorder called Pica.

      To me, black coloured ice cream is licorice flavoured. My parents hated it, because the inevitable drips permanently stained our clothes.

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