Lazy Cakes! They’re brownies, sold in dirty petrol station snack aisles everywhere, that promise cellophane-wrapped chocolate relaxation. And by “relaxation”, they mean fewer than two of these will make you pass out. I’ll take three!
The Lazy behind the Cakes is good ol’ melatonin. You remember melatonin, don’t you? It’s the stuff you used to take before long flights and after longer caffeine benders. This particular treat has 8mg of the (FDA unapproved, FDA unregulated) additive, which is just 2mg shy of being able to make an adult human person abruptly fall asleep.
So how have they escaped FDA scrutiny? By slapping a “Not for food use” label on the wrapper and claiming instead to be a dietary supplement. Which is entirely possible if you’re on a strict sleeping-and-chocolate diet. But it still may ultimately be a tough sell, given the drug’s effects:
Of melatonin, Dr. Seres warned, “If you take it while you’re driving a car, you will find yourself in a ditch.”
Which, all due respect to Dr Seres, is really a little bit of an unfair characterisation. You’ll be in a ditch, sure. But you’ll be there with some delicious numnum in your belly. [NYT, Boston Herald]