The Bad News Gummy Bears

Can too many sugar-free gummy bears actually give us diarrhea?

Hey, dickholes, how’s it going?

Today’s post is a very special one because it involves deliberately giving ourselves a form of gastrointestinal distress.

There’s a lot of farts in this one, so I have a feeling some of you are going to stop right here and that is okay. Self care is important, so if you’re scared, feel free to run away. Run far. Don’t look back.

Now, if you’re still around, you are a force to be reckoned with.

On to butt city.

As the greatest food writer in all of history, I’ve made a lot of really cool friends along the way. One good friend is Mike Sula, pictured here.

I mean, just look at him.

He’s stunning.

Let’s look at him again.

Mike is also the greatest food writer in all of history. He’s won an actual James Beard Award, unlike me (the difference between us is that I’ve won all of them).

We’ve known each other for years now, and we see each other now and then. I currently work with him on pieces for Kitchen Toke, which is a gorgeous magazine about culinary cannabis.

Mike and I text each other about writing and food-related things, and in the past few months, he’s repeatedly brought up the subject of these gummy bears that he keeps around the house. There’s nothing particularly special about them aside from one fact.

They’re sugar-free.

This particular sugar-free gummy bear’s main ingredient is maltitol syrup. Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that’s used to replace the sweetness of sugar in lots of food products. Sugar alcohols aren’t fully sugar or alcohol but kind of a hybrid of both.

In certain quantities, maltitol has some really wonderful side effects. For some people, it’s just a plain ol’ tummyache or gas. But in other people, it’s instant diarrhea.

Since Mike has won a James Beard Award, you know you can trust his discerning palate to teach you about food. Here is another picture of Mike.

Because he enjoys these sugar-free gummy bears, I decided to buy a five pound bag off of Amazon. I blew $25 of your subscription money for this.

Since I am a very investigative non-journalist writer, I decided it would be a great idea if I ate a bunch of sugar-free gummy bears to see if I would get diarrhea like some of you normies out there, or if I am a secret gastrointestinal champion that will save us all.

I realize these stuffed animals are very small, but Jesus.

This is an alarming amount of gummy bears.

They’re cute, though.

I mean, they’re a candy that’s made in the shape of a very dangerous mammal. What’s not to love? In most circumstances, a bear would just eat your face, so in this case, you can turn the tables and eat the bears.

Mike usually keeps very specific tabs on how many he eats. One of our text exchanges went like this:

Mike: I had 12 on an empty stomach

Me: You even count how many you’re eating in a session?!

Mike: Going above 8 is asking for trouble

Me: Which brand?

Mike: Albanese

Me: TIME FOR ME TO EAT A BUNCH

Mike: Make sure you do it right before you go to work

As you can see, Mike is such a good James Beard M.F.K. Distinguished Writing Award Winner friend that he feeds these danger bombs to his friends.

After we received the package, Davida ate a bunch. Ignoring Mike’s suggestion, I only had a few because I had to go to work.

She took a handful (more like two baby-sized fists worth) of bears and poured gin all over them to let them sit and get fat.

During my shift, I polled my coworkers about this sugar-free diarrhea bear phenomenon.

One of my coworkers, who shall remain anonymous, but whose name rhymes with Shmangela, said, “If my sister has one of those she’ll shit her pants!”

I asked another coworker, whose identity I won’t reveal, “Ben, have you ever had sugar-free gummy bears?”

He looked at me and said, matter-of-factly, “Oh yeah. Insta-runs.”

This was getting serious.

Here’s Nugget looking at one of the gummy bears. Don’t worry. We didn’t give one to him, but I wouldn’t put it past him to give himself severe diarrhea after eating something forbidden.

Around 10 pm when I was clocking out, I got a text from my partner in the experiment, who shall be also be unnamed for privacy reasons.

Davida: I’ve been farting like crazy all night

She would like me to note that she did it daintily.

Naturally, once I got home I crushed 12.

This was us the next morning.

I was as inflated as a beach ball. I would grunt around in bed, letting out the same-sounding five second fart, every five minutes. It was like Groundhog Day, except with my ass. The bedroom smelled like the exact opposite of a fresh basket of laundry, and it sounded like we’d let an entire flock of very tired ducks beneath the covers.

Davida disappeared for a few minutes and came back, clutching her stomach. She said, “My butt feels spicy. I’m dropping out of this one.”

But we weren’t done quite yet.

The gin-bathing bears mocked us from the safety of the refrigerator.

Ever have a gummy bear that tasted like gasoline? Me neither, until this moment. Just one of these bears could fuel a space flight to Mars. The exterior was as gelatinous as this photo would have you believe, but inside lurked a chewy normal-gummy bear core. It was like a small gummy bear, trapped inside a giant mushy gummy bear. This diarrhea journey now reached the depths of the metaphysical.

I ruminated on the soaking liquid. “It might actually be diarrhea gin.”

“That’s actually my favorite Breaking Benjamin song,” said Davida.

The reference flew way over my head.

(Psst. Say “diarrhea gin” and then the name of the song. I had to think about this way too long before I understood the joke.)

“Let’s light one of these on fire!” I said, in a drunken display of madness.

We went outside, on our wooden porch that could easily go up in flames. I brought out my crème brûlée torch for this special occasion.

It lit on fire and for a moment, a tiny moment, I thought we truly achieved something. But what, I will never truly know.

I came home from work, the night after Davida proclaimed that she would no longer be part of the experiment.

There she was, babin’ out on the couch, happily chewing away on a handful of gummy bears. I shouted, “What are you doing? I thought you weren’t going to eat any more of them!”

“They’re awesome,” she murmured, through a mouthful.


I’m still farting like crazy.

Hey, if you guys remotely enjoyed this one (I’m still clutching my stomach), share it on social media. Here’s a button to make it easier.

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God, my office stinks. Thanks for nothing, Mike.

It did occur to me just now that I really never did achieve diarrhea, and I plowed down a lot of those things. But I’m one step closer to achieving my superpower:

Farting on command.