Beware of New Food Product

Just when you thought the food industry couldn’t be any more creative, they come up with their worst idea yet…

AP Photo/The Boston Herald, Chitose Suzuki

Melatonin-Laced Brownies

Companies lacing hormones into our food supply is not a new thing (think: growth hormone-injected chickens and cows).  Where will we draw the line?  Clearly not at melatonin-laced brownies.  Last I checked, we produced melatonin naturally in our bodies prior to bed-time.  Now, we want to feel relaxed and lazy mid-day–and eat our brownie, too?

FDA: No Way, Jose!

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cracked down on Lazy Cakes, sold under the name “Lazy Larry,” stating that melatonin is not a safe food additive and that “…the brownies are adulterated.” .  The FDA also stated that it will confiscate Lazy Cakes if they remain on the shelves.  Aside from melatonin, the product has other active ingredients known for their sedative effects, including passion flower, rose hip extract, and valerian root extract.

Are “Relaxing” Hormones and Herbs Dangerous?

Hormones and herbs have medicine-like qualities that are not appropriate for the general population without explicit reason-for-use.  Additionally, the dosing is not described on the packages for consumers.  A specific dosing of Melatonin has been indicated to help with sleep disturbances and some research shows that chronic use of this hormone may interfere with the body’s ability to produce it on its own.  The FDA has considered most herbs “GRAS” (generally recognized as safe), but most effects are not supported by experimental data and toxic limits are still unknown.  That generally makes me want to jump and buy… NOT.

The Relaxation Food Movement

Sadly, there is such a thing.  Anti-energy drinks, calming after-dinner beverages, and relax-snacks have been floating mindlessly through the marketplace since late 2009.  RelaxZen, I Chill, ViB (vacation in a bottle), Drank, Gatorade Tiger Focus and Tranquila have all debuted recently to relax the flustered consumer.  Really?

According to the Lazy Cakes HBB CEO Terry Harris,  “…It’s 2011: People are checking their smart phones 24/7, flying to multiple cities in a day and getting fired for reaching their breaking point…It’s time for everyone to relax. With Lazy Cakes, we’re allowing them to relax with a great-tasting evening snack.”  Looks like Terry Harris had too many Lazy Cake hits.

Be Skeptical.  Very.

Thousands of products get released every year; most consumers are under the impression that if it’s on the shelf, then it’s safe to eat.  That’s not a savvy way to shop.  Bottom line: products touting grotesque claims are lining the shelves of our grocery stores.  If you don’t have time to read or research, best not to trial and error with this pricey c-r-a-p.

Precautions for…

Pregnant and lactating women, children and any person with a chronic and/or autoimmune have to peruse over labels even more closely, as most of these “relaxing” products are not suitable for those populations.


Tomato, Basil, Avocado Caprese (no tofu)
• Caesar Salad

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