The “toxin gambit,” resurrected

Well, I’m here. That’s right. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m at CSICon. As is the case when I’m at conferences, be they skeptical conferences or professional conferences, it’s hard to predict the blogging time available. It could be a lot; it could be a little. Or it could be none. (Well, obviously it’s not none, or you wouldn’t be reading this.) In any case, there was lots of stuff going on, plus there was the second game of the World Series, which made me miss the live recording of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. Oh, well. Steve understood. So I wasn’t up for any heavy lifting or taking on a complex study. Maybe later. In the meantime, fortunately for me, everybody’s favorite quackery promoter (at least for blogging purposes) Mike Adams provided me with a topic that, while I’ve discussed it before, deserves being revisited from time to time. Besides, it’s Friday, and I often like to take the blog in a lighter direction on Fridays, and there is little lighter intellectually than a Mike Adams screed.

Certain antivaccine canards never die, no matter how many stakes you stick through their heart or how many silver bullets you shoot them with or how many headshots you’ve pumped into them (depending on whether your favorite metaphor is a vampire, werewolf, or zombie, of course). One such canard is what I like to call the “toxins gambit.” Over the years, we’ve seen it used by such antivaccine “luminaries” as Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Jay Gordon, and others. Basically, it consists of listing all sorts of scary-sounding ingredients that are found in vaccines and then trying to argue that vaccines are horrific cesspits of toxins because they contain trace amounts of formaldehyde, for example. It’s a truly stupid, brain dead gambit, but no matter how many times it’s slapped down, there will always be some ignorant antivaccinationist who will resurrect it. (It’s like a lot of antivaccine misinformation that way, actually, but even more so.) Oddly enough, I had thought that this particular bit of silliness had finally faded away because I hadn’t seen it in a while. Leave it to someone like Mike Adams, the Health Danger, to bring it up again in an article entitled What’s really in vaccines? Proof of MSG, formaldehyde, aluminum and mercury.

MSG? O. My. God. The horrors! (And a new one on me.)

Get a load of Mike’s nonsense:

Have you ever wondered what’s really in vaccines? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s vaccine additives page, all the following ingredients are routinely used as vaccine additives:

• Aluminum – A light metal that causes dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. You should never inject yourself with aluminum.

Except that there’s no good evidence that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The evidence regarding whether large amounts of aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s disease is at worst inconclusive. Here’s a hint: The amount of aluminum in vaccines is not anywhere near what we would call a large amount.

• Antibiotics – Chemicals that promote superbugs, which are deadly antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that are killing tens of thousands of Americans every year.

This is even sillier than the aluminum gambit. It’s as though Adams thinks his audience is too ignorant or stupid to understand that trace amounts of antibiotics left over from the manufacturing process are enough to select bacteria for resistance. I mean, really? Really, Mike? This is the very definition of a non sequitur. It does not follow from the fact that antibiotics, when improperly used (and sometimes even when properly used) can select for resistant bacteria that trace amounts of antibiotics in vaccines are in any way dangerous. The amount in vaccines is so small that it’s not even anywhere near a therapeutic dose.

• Formaldehyde – A “pickling” chemical used to preserve cadavers. It’s highly toxic to the nervous system, causing blindness, brain damage and seizures. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services openly admits that formaldehyde causes cancer. You can see this yourself on the National Toxicology Program website, featuring its 12th Report on Carcinogens.

There, the formaldehyde Fact Sheet completely neglects to mention formaldehyde in vaccines. This is the “dirty little secret” of government and the vaccine industry. It does state, however, that “…formaldehyde causes myeloid leukemia, and rare cancers including sinonasal and nasopharyngeal cancer.”

Here we go again with the formaldehyde gambit (a variant of the toxin gambit). What Adams neglects to mention is that these reports on formaldehyde and cancer suggest that formaldehyde can cause cancer at high concentrations. We’re talking about industrial workers and embalmers exposed to high concentrations of formaldehyde. We’re talking animal studies in which animals are exposed to high levels of formaldehyde. We’re not talking about small amounts in vaccines. As the CHOP Vaccine Education Center discusses, the most formaldehyde that an infant might be exposed to through vaccines at one time is around 0.2 mg, less than one fifth the normal amount of formaldehyde circulating in an infant’s bloodstream. That’s a “worse case scenario.” Usually it’s less than that. Once again, Adams knows that his audience, most non-physicians, and a depressing number of physicians are unaware of that fact; so it sounds scary: “Oh, my god! Don’t you know formaldehyde is in embalming fluid????”

I could go on and on, but I do think it’s interesting to observe the techniques of a crank like Adams. For instance, he goes on and on about the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal in vaccines, neglecting to mention that thimerosal was removed from most childhood vaccines in 2001 and vaccines that still contain thimerosal are all available in a thimerosal-free version. He also neglects to mention that multiple studies have been done since the late 1990s when there was the most concern about thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism and failed to find any correlation with autism or other neurological diseases. The link between thimerosal and autism is a failed hypothesis.

Of course, science is not what Adams is about. Fear mongering is. That’s why he follows up with this passage:

Now, consider this: The most common side effect of a vaccine injection is a headache. The CDC admits that over 30 percent of those receiving vaccines experience headaches or migraines. Gee, think about it: What could possibly be in vaccines that would cause headaches, migraines and brain damage?

Ummm, how about the mercury, the formaldehyde, the aluminum and the MSG!

Even if you believe in the theory of vaccines as a helpful way to train the immune system to recognize pathogens, why would anyone — especially a doctor — think it’s okay to inject human beings with mercury, MSG, formaldehyde and aluminum?

The CDC fact sheet referenced by Adams does mention that about 1 in 3 people complain of headaches within a two weeks receiving a vaccine. One wonders what percentage of people who don’t get a vaccine complain of a headache sometime in any given two week period. Headaches are extremely common. I probably average a at least a headache or two every month. Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation. These are simply symptoms that have been reported, and the CDC even points that out, writing, “It is not clear whether these mild or serious problems were caused by the vaccine or occurred after vaccination by chance.” My guess is that the more common ones are probably not (or mostly not) related to vaccination. Again, we’re talking really, really common complaints that even healthy people experience, such as headaches, stuffy nose (which I have right now as I type this; I suspect allergies), abdominal pain (which I actually have a mild case of as I write this, having eaten a burger a few hours ago that really stuffed me), and diarrhea, which is also very common.

Adams then asks:

If vaccines are supposed to be good for you, why do they contain so many additives that are BAD for you? You wouldn’t want to eat mercury in your tuna fish. You wouldn’t want MSG in your sandwich, and you certainly wouldn’t want formaldehyde in your soda. So why would you allow yourself to be injected with these deadly substances?

And just as importantly, why wouldn’t the vaccine industry offer CLEAN vaccines? Without any brain-damaging additives?

Think about it: When you buy health food, you want that health food to have NO mercury, NO MSG, NO aluminum and certainly no formaldehyde. No sane person would knowingly eat those neurotoxic poisons. And yet, astonishingly, those same people literally line up to be INJECTED with those exact same brain-damaging poisons, with the justification that, somehow, “This injection is good for me!”

Absurdly, the vaccine industry says these toxic ingredients are intentionally added to vaccines to make them work better! Yes, that’s the reason: Mercury makes vaccines work better, they insist. Click here to see a video news report actually claiming mercury makes vaccines work better, granting children “improved behavior and mental performance.”

This is the news report that Adams is talking about, and, yes, some idiot reporter does completely misinterpret a couple of studies looking at thimerosal-containing vaccines. I rather suspect that at least one study to which the reporter is referring is Thompson et al, which basically looked at multiple 42 neuropsychological outcomes in children vaccinated with thimerosal-containing vaccines. The study found that a few outcomes were improved and a few were worse in an almost exactly even number. This was almost exactly what would be expected by random chance alone if there were no effect, and the authors therefore quite properly concluded that they found no association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and adverse neuropsychological outcomes. In an intellectually dishonest fashion, antivaccinationists pointed to the handful of measures with poorer outcomes and ignored the ones with better outcomes. Of course. This reporter seems to be having difficulty going the other direction. I’m not sure what the other study to which she refers is, but I’d bet that it’s the same issue she’s confusing.

So basically, Adams’ argument boils down to finding a single reporter who doesn’t know what she’s doing when analyzing medical research and basing his claim that the media is trying to tell you that mercury is good for you on that. Of course, the real reason that these substances are in vaccines is because, given current manufacturing technology, they need to be in vaccines. Formaldehyde is used to inactivate viruses. Antibiotics are used to inhibit bacterial growth and, depending on the vaccine, to select for bacteria containing the plasmid that produces the protein antigens used in the vaccine. Thimerosal used to be used as a preservative for multiple dose vials. Contrary to what Adams says (namely that thimerosal is still used because of greed and the desire not to produce single-dose vials), in Third World countries there are often difficulties keeping vaccines refrigerated, and multidose vials are cheaper per dose, where cost is an issue.

To Adams, though, this is the real purpose of vaccines:

That’s the real purpose of vaccines: Not to “protect children” with any sort of immunity, but to inject the masses with a toxic cocktail of chemicals that cause brain damage and infertility: Mercury, MSG, formaldehyde and aluminum. The whole point of this is to dumb the population down so that nobody has the presence of mind to wake up and start thinking for themselves.

This is precisely why the smartest, most “awake” people still remaining in society today are the very same ones who say NO to vaccines. Only their brains are still intact and operating with some level of awareness.

This is one of the dumbest antivaccine talking points there is. It would be hilarious if so many people didn’t believe it (or half believe it). Notice the vastly inflated view that Adams has of himself that he uses to pander to his audience. Only he and those who refuse vaccines are smart. Only they still have functioning brains, because they haven’t vaccinated. They are superior to all those sheeple who vaccinate. Adams even abuses a classic George Carlin clip to make his point. One can’t help but remember that George Carlin’s description of people who can’t think critically applies to the antivaccinationists far more than it does to those who vaccinate.

Finally, what I can’t figure out is this. If the “world masters” that Adams describes want a docile workforce, one would wonder why they’d choose to load vaccines with all sorts of “toxic chemicals” to do it. Wouldn’t it be easier just to put the mind control chemicals in the drinking water? Or in other products. Oh, wait. It’s Mike Adams. They’re doing that too. In any case, I still can’t figure out why the corporate masters would want everyone to be infertile. Wouldn’t it make more sense to encourage reproduction, the better to produce more willing consumers? I know. I know. It’s Mike Adams. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s Mike Adams.

Still, I stand in awe at the contempt that Adams has for his audience. he lays down huge quantities of misinformation, pseudoscience, and lies that are so transparent and self-contradictory that it doesn’t take huge amounts of critical thinking skills to see right through them. His audience doesn’t see right through Adams’ stew of misinformation, logical fallacies, and utter nonsense. And Adams knows they don’t.

Comments

  1. #1 Alain
    October 30, 2012

    catching up:

    I bet few of you have a POTS telephone (beige Trimline), on hand to use in case of electric failure.

    The only thing I can rely on in case of catastrophic failure is my legs (as in walking).

    Sadly I just visited my local supermarket and had to avoid eye contact with a whole aisle full of ‘supplements’. They stock more of those than painkillers, bandages, shampoo or first aid kits. It makes me sad.

    I find it impossible to focus in most aisle of pharmacy (and other stores which has items smaller than 4×2 inches) so if I’m pressed for time, I seek an employee and fire away my questions at him. Otherwise, I take my time for most items or ask a few questions if needed.

    Politicalguineapig – Marmite is salty, concentrated, processed brewer’s yeast. I have spread it very thinly on toast, and it has a flavor (or “flavour”) that is easier to experience than describe.

    Would you have a recipes to make Marmite? I have yeast a plenty at the bottom of my fermenters (two) which would likely be useful 😀

    On a more serious note, Marmite is a byproduct of the brewing industry, made by adding salt to the yeast deposit left at the bottom of a brewing vessel and then boiling it with added secret ingedients, and is rich in B vitamins.

    Thanks! gonna try it 🙂

    I’ve commented frequently ABOUT Age of Autism. Does that count?

    Yes in my book because I often miss some comments of interest despites having them in my feedreader (in windows 8, in a virtual machine that I boot 4 hours per day while the rest of the time is spent on Linux like right now).

    Alain

  2. #2 lilady
    October 30, 2012

    @ Alain: I’m utterly clueless about your “Feedreader and Linux”.

    You know you are commenting at me…I’m so totally not able to understand computerese. 🙂

    I was feeling quite lucky a few hours ago because I hadn’t as yet lost phone or electricity. I was listening to the freight train-like noises of Sandy’s power when suddenly I heard a very loud bang…sounded like a “direct hit” in my back yard.

    I checked out the deck and all the furniture that was tied down hadn’t moved. In the dark I saw a very large object off to the side of the deck. Flashlight in hand I venture out . There…is my neighbor’s huge (12 X12 foot) tool shed upside down on my property. It obviously went airborne over my 4 foot chain link fence.

    It has “traveled” about 40 feet and is in front of my deck now, threatening my deck, all the deck furniture and the back of my house.

    So much for disaster preparedness.

  3. #3 flip
    October 30, 2012

    @Narad

    I agree with you, and initially my reaction to the comment on spiritualism was probably similar to yours or Shay’s. But then I remembered the regional thing and thought maybe there was some miscommunication.

    @Alain

    I tend not to talk to the pharmacist if I can help it – if only because I’m always tempted to ask them why they have a naturopath on site.

  4. #4 Alain
    October 30, 2012

     @ lilady,

    Linux is just like windows, an operating system but one that I mostly built myself…with lot of rough edges because I tends to forget thing out.

    I first installed Linux back in 1997 during the ice storm in Quebec and learning how to use it ever since but it’s still a learning experience.

    regarding feedreaders, that’s just a software who alert me for anything that Orac post and other blogs are posting (like AoA) but I don’t have any for Linux.

    Finally, about Sandy, we’re getting strong wind here and the electricity feed is flaky, however, I wonder why it’s still 24 degree C in my apartment despite having the patio door fully open and the fan is blowing air at full speed while outside, it’s 12.4C.

    Alain

  5. #5 Alain
    October 30, 2012

    @ Flip,

    Forgot to add, I don’t tend to ask question about naturopath (we don’t have any here) but still, if I had a naturopath in my pharmacy, I would definitely ask about it.

    Alain

  6. #6 herr doktor bimler
    October 30, 2012

    On a more serious note, Marmite is a byproduct of the brewing industry, […] It’s very salty, umamish

    You marmite eaters are knowing exposing yourself to GLUTAMATE — a known excitotoxin — increasing the activity of the glutamate pathways in your brains, to the extent of poisoning nerve cells and leaving you with the culinary form of PTSD.
    This could explain why people end up thinking they like marmite. They’re just re-living the trauma.

  7. #7 lilady
    October 30, 2012

    @ Alain: My daughter, when she lived with me, used to build her own computers. Her bedroom was a mass of wires and strange boxy gizmos and spare parts. (I always *wondered* if she was switched-at-birth…but she does resemble her dad).

  8. #8 Alain
    October 30, 2012

    @ lilady,

    I do build my own computers since my adolescence when I learned a thing or two about electronics (from Dr. Mims’ books).

    @ HDB,

    I have to wonder how much glutamate is able to pass the blood-brain barrier but a pubmed query answered that to me: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15098938 , I won’t blog about it (I have to many fish to catch) but I’ll read it after I viewed the greater good documentary (53 minutes in at the moment).

    Alain

  9. #9 flip
    October 30, 2012

    @Alain

    I am too shy in real life to ask. Plus, despite how they stock the place, I do like the staff there and in general find the pharmacist to be quite SBM-minded. It’s part of a large chain of stores, so yelling at the pharmacist who has no control over stock is probably not going to do much. Especially when they hold onto my asthma medication 😉

  10. #10 herr doktor bimler
    October 30, 2012

    I work on the principle that any high-glutamate food makes a good pizza topping… sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, parmesan & mozzarella, anchovies, salami, artichokes… I draw the line at marmite, however.

    The Frau Doktorin is not so sure about avocado either.

    I didn’t realise the strength of the ‘anti-excitotoxin’ crowd until now. There is no shortage of glutamate-free diets. The general theory seems to be that eating tomatoes and capsicums are OK as long as they are organically-grown and you cook them lightly in <extra-virgin olive oil. None of these orthorexic diets mention soy-bean products like tofu, which are presumably OK because they are covered by the Non-Western Medicine clause.

  11. #11 Alain
    October 30, 2012

    @ Flip,

    didn’t meant to yell at them but more likely, have a casual conversation about why there’s a naturopath in their store.

    Alain

  12. #12 Narad
    October 30, 2012

    ^ That should have been VDH-L, which I mention only because the strange posturing from the “Canary Party” continues. This item is notable only in that its lone comment is from a “smart grid” paranoiac.

  13. #13 Narad
    October 30, 2012

    (OK, and that Blaxill is plainly indifferent to the TOXINZZ in hair “product.”)

  14. #14 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 30, 2012

    I tried Marmite this year at the breakfast buffet in the Holiday Inn in Bristol – a lovely city whose name brings a smile to my face. It was the last breakfast of the trip; the Marmite was in little packets next to the jelly and Nutella. I figured, “nothing ventured …” and tried it without butter (doubtless marking me as a foreigner for all to see, as though they hadn’t realized that already). As Krebiozen says, it was not unlike putting soy sauce on your toast – a concept I hadn’t tried before.

    I find that bleu cheese is best spread thinly as well.

  15. #15 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 30, 2012

    Naturally, I was an American and not a foreigner but the room being full of foreigners, it was a perfectly understandable confusion.

  16. #16 Krebiozen
    October 30, 2012

    M.O’B,

    I figured, “nothing ventured …” and tried it without butter […] it was not unlike putting soy sauce on your toast – a concept I hadn’t tried before.

    The butter makes it easier to spread thinly, thus diluting the taste of the Marmite – less is more, especially if you have not yet acquired the taste.

    Any Antipodeans about? If so, is Vegemite much the same as Marmite? Do New Zealanders eat Vegemite or is it just Australians?

    Soy sauce in a soft-boiled egg works well I find, by the way.

  17. #17 flip
    October 30, 2012

    @Alain

    I know – but I think I would lose my temper quickly. Why is the same person who supplies me preventative asthma medication also stocking half the store with supplements, and another quarter with makeup? Any response would most likely lead me to get annoyed. And I’m bad at hiding it.

    @Kreb

    I’m Australian. I have tried vegemite but not marmite. I’m not a huge fan of it, but will eat it on extremely rare occasions and only a tiny amount. I think I probably hated it for a good long time so it’s definitely an acquired taste.

    I’d agree with MOB in that it’s similar to soy sauce – only probably stronger in flavour. Locally it tends to be PB & Vegemite on toast…

    I have heard they’re not the same in terms of taste, the latter being stronger than the former. Although personally I get the feeling it’s more of a Cadbury/Hershey’s argument, or a Pepsi/Cola one for those not familiar with the local chocolate brand.

    I’m not sure about NZ’ers eating vegemite – I think it’s likely to be more of an Aussie thing, but that’s pretty much based on nothing but my impression.

  18. #18 flip
    October 30, 2012

    Darn, never add an afterthought in the middle of other paragraphs. This sentence:

    I have heard they’re not the same in terms of taste, the latter being stronger than the former.

    is in reference to vegemite/marmite.

  19. #19 Narad
    October 30, 2012

    I’ve actually quite enjoyed Vegemite when it’s been on offer, but then again, as a child I would get up late and sneak Accent meat tenderizer (which is MSG) straight from the shaker and follow it with Miracle Whip rolled in a leaf of iceburg lettuce.

  20. #20 herr doktor bimler
    October 30, 2012

    If I were concerned about the lasting mental changes caused by high-glutamate foodstuffs, Narad’s anecdote would do little to reassure me.

  21. #21 Edith Prickly
    a city where Victorianism lasted far longer than it did in England
    October 31, 2012

    Krebiozen:

    There’s also Bovril, a beef-based concoction somewhat similar to Marmite, with an interesting vitalist etymology. The ‘Bo’ portion derives from ‘bovine’, obviously, and ‘Vril’ was the fictional life force invented by Victorian Englishman Edward Bulwer-Lytton and taken for truth by various assorted loons.

    This is fascinating. Bovril is sold in Canada as a liquid form of bouillion – I had no idea it had such an interesting history.
    And now I also know what Victorian “beef tea” was made from. The things I learn at RI…

  22. #22 Liz Ditz
    In the pantry, looking for the vegemite
    October 31, 2012

    Narad wrote:

    I’ve actually quite enjoyed Vegemite when it’s been on offer, but then again, as a child I would get up late and sneak Accent meat tenderizer (which is MSG) straight from the shaker and follow it with Miracle Whip rolled in a leaf of iceburg lettuce.

    Are we related? The Miracle Whip+lettuce was a delicacy amongst my cousins on both side. Dad used to put Accent on his oatmeal, but he was a guy who made us French onion soup and cold steak for breakfast.

  23. #23 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012
  24. #24 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    And now I also know what Victorian “beef tea” was made from.

    Don’t forget the cocktail possibilities.

  25. #25 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012

    All I have to say to Narad is Bullshot!

  26. #26 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    (Apparently, Amis himself referred to the Bovril item as a “Polish Bison.”)

  27. #27 Denice Walter
    October 31, 2012

    Gentlemen:

    Your suggestions are truly disgusting.
    Don’t you think that a decent drink requires some thing more astringent-y?
    Next thing I know, you’ll probably be telling me to me mix alcohol with (( shuddder)) dairy products.

  28. #28 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012

    There was a time when most of the spiritous liquors available in New Zealand were, literally, dairy products… one of the byproducts of the casein industry was ethanol. Some bright spark realised that it could be flavoured and sold to students.
    http://nzic.org.nz/ChemProcesses/dairy/3H.pdf

  29. #29 Alain
    October 31, 2012

    @Denice,

    umm…..there is lactose in my beer 🙂

    Alain

  30. #30 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    Next thing I know, you’ll probably be telling me to me mix alcohol with (( shuddder)) dairy products.

    If you insist.

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    October 31, 2012

    @ Alain:
    I know. I don’t drink beer. I’ll just observe, thanks.

    @ Narad:
    Your link doesn’t work. I unfortunately know a great deal about the subject because one of my 1980s ( female) drinking partners used to drink all sorts of horrible concoctions made with either milk or cream.

  32. #32 Krebiozen
    October 31, 2012

    Next thing I know, you’ll probably be telling me to me mix alcohol with (( shuddder)) dairy products.

    Bad enough for a 3-D shudder? That brought back memories of a friend who got hideously drunk on Baileys Irish Cream and afterwards went green at the mere sight or smell of the stuff. She said that vomiting what appeared to be clotted cream was somehow the worst part.

  33. #33 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    Your link doesn’t work.

    Dagnabit. I try again. This is unspeakable even by my standards, and a year ago I was thinking of making a straight fenugreek infusion to get people to quit whining about wormwood. (The version with epazote was going to be held back until the expansion into the Mexican market. Chelada would have been doomed.)

  34. #34 Narad
    November 1, 2012

    There apparently has been earlier experimentation in this realm. After all, it makes a bit of sense: something has to be alcohol-soluble in this stuff, right?

    “It was crawling up the side of the bottle to get out.”

    I must return some day to the quest for a truly black prepared mustard. Perhaps the squid ink. Perhaps.

  35. #35 Narad
    November 1, 2012

    Yes, this intrepid fellow tried to carry on, as it were, in the tradition but failed to grasp that just as cheese is not generally made in four days, neither shall be cheese vodka: “Wings of Ikarus.” The fact that the bacon one was prepared in parallel frankly prefigured the outcome, if you ask me.

  36. #36 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 1, 2012

    @Denice Walter: I take it you haven’t tried Cape Velvet?

  37. #37 herr doktor bimler
    November 1, 2012

    Narad’s suggestions appall me, and I speak as someone who used to home-brew wormwood beer.

  38. #38 Krebiozen
    November 1, 2012

    Maybe there’s something in Cambridge air that inspires weird food experimentation. It was there that some friends of mine held a blue dinner party – all the food was light in color and dyed blue with food coloring. I was away that weekend and missed it, but my friends told me that however tasty and well prepared a dish is, something deep and instinctual makes it unappetizing when it is bright blue. They also told me that an unexpected side effect was blue poo the next day.

  39. #39 Edith Prickly
    November 1, 2012

    Krebiozen, DW – I had a university friend who drank Bailey’s mixed with milk, which I found quite appalling. Bailey’s is strictly for spiking coffee or hot chocolate chez Prickly.

    That said, I am intrigued by bullshots – I think I have also heard of versions that contain sherry and/or tomato juice as well? I might drink something like that hot when I have a cold, but chilled – don’t think so.

    I have no comment on the cheese vodka experiments other than “ewwwww.”

  40. #40 Denice Walter
    November 1, 2012

    OMFG..
    Bailey’s is horrible as are the various liquers that people mix with (( shudder)) cream and creme de cacao, creme de menthe etc. I’m glad i don’t know what Cape Velvet is. I see that Kreb went to an esteemed institution of higher learning where people did really stupid things… same here.. I could tell you a story about an art gallery at a university that would curl ( or straighten- as the case may be) your hair.
    And ladies don’t drink bacon.

  41. #41 THS
    November 1, 2012

    Food & drink digression? So far as food coloring goes, a practical application I know of was to dye milk black. This was a shared refrigerator for several people on independent budgets. It worked as intended.

  42. #42 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 2, 2012

    @Denice Walter: Cape Velvet is a cream liqueur that originated in Cape Town. It’s made of condensed milk, cream, and brandy. Another South African specialty is Amarula, a cream liqueur made using amarula fruit.

  43. #43 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    November 2, 2012

    @Denice

    I’m wary of any Baileys unless I know when the bottle was opened. I had a friend of mine making drinks at a party and, well…

    …let’s just say that the phrase, “Bailey’s Irish CHEESE” was closer to the truth.

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