Can you really kill yourself with food? An investigation.
Often times on shows like The Biggest Loser, people are told that they are “killing themselves with food.” I always scoff when I hear that. I mean, honestly, if you really want to kill yourself are you going to use a gun or bacon? Me, personally, I’d go with the latter, since I am depressed but don’t really want to kill myself so my attempt to cut my wrists with bacon would just be an obvious cry for help.
But, being the intrepid reporter that I am not, I decided to take a closer look at the idea of death-by-food. Can I actually kill myself with food? Let’s find out. I chose the three most lethal kinds of food out there, if Redbook and Glamour are to be believed. And they are, though I’d caution against implementing all of their recommendations. Unless you want to be licking a perineum every time you have sex, I’d take their advice carefully. TRUST ME.
The first lethal foodstuff on the list? GLUTEN. I have no idea what gluten is, but no one wants it in their bagels anymore so it has to be bad for you. I got on Google and did a search, and came up with an article on The Huffington Post titled: “Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You.” I therefore abandoned my research, as clearly it is gluten ignorance that is the most lethal.
Second – PROCESSED, NON-ORGANIC FOOD. Holy hell – if anything will kill me dead, this has got to do it. That’s why we have things like organic water and organic tofu made out of black soybeans and enriched with antioxidants. Because…….fuck the man. That’s why. So I went to 7-11 – the royal palace of food excrement – and bought the one food I could think of that would be the opposite of organic. GUMMY BEARS. Food that looks like an animal? Check. And not even a real animal, but an imaginary version of a real animal? Double check. Colors not found in nature? Yes. Made of a rubbery gelatin? Fuck yeah. Let’s do this. I bought 10 bags of Gummy Bears and retired to my den with Season 5 of Breaking Bad. Results? The cramps started during episode 3. The gas during episode 5. The weeping was more or less continuous starting with the onset of the stomach cramps. But despite my pleas, death did not come. That’s right, hippies – I’m a little pale and sweaty, but I’m still here. Processed death FAIL.
Three – SALT. I see a lot of ads for “lower sodium” products, so I decided to go high sodium for this attempt. It was tricky to work into all of my meals, but snorting it was shockingly painful so into the food hole it had to go. For three days, I put salt on everything. And to add a new dimension to the experiment, I salted the saltlick in my hamster’s cage. Because if I’m going down, I’m taking that bucktoothed motherfucker with me — Jonestown style. Results? Well – still alive, for one. So there’s that. But two, I have gone up two pants sizes, which is uncomfotable and does not help my depression. Three, I have not peed in two days. So the next time a stranger asks me if I’m pregnant, I can say yes, with a 6 pound 2 ounce bladder. Four, my hamster seems to have only grown stronger and more robust. And now I fear I have set up an expectation regarding his salt lick that I will be expected to maintain under threat of extreme gnawing from the world’s mightiest hamster. None of this is helping my depression.
Conclusion: You cannot commit suicide with food. By the end of my three-part investiation, I was gluten-ignorant, clammy, and bloated, with a hamster that has been working on building his pain-tolerance for reasons I am not yet aware of. I am still alive, but scared and uncomfortable. I don’t recommend it.
Meredith Bland is a freelance writer and mother of twins from Seattle. She blogs at Pile of Babies: Take a Knee, I Have Nonsense to Spew (http://www.pileofbabies.com).