From the Editor: NyQuil chicken — no thanks


I am often fascinated at things people worldwide will do based on something they saw online. The latest attention to the problem was an FDA warning that NyQuil chicken is not something people should consume. I’m sure I do not have to state the obvious, but I will. Who in the world would event want to try such a recipe?

Apparently, the NyQuil chicken concept came from a cooking challenge in a video that actually went viral more than a year ago. However, with the FDA just now coming out with the warning, the subject has again become much more popular.

Like many online challenges, the NyQuil chicken started as a joke that some decided to actually try.

While I have no inclination to try NyQuil chicken — I do not like NyQuil ever — I was curious why the FDA was warning against it.

Turns out, the warning said, “boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. Even if you don’t eat the chicken, inhaling the medication’s vapors while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body. It could also hurt your lungs.”

I think that’s clear enough to make me not want to even attempt to cook NyQuil.

However, this is not the first-time warnings have had to come out because of some nonsensical viral challenge on TikTok or another social media platform.

In June, the FDA had to warn people against keeping avocados fresh by placing them in water. Apparently, the video was popular several years ago, but as government often does, it has to catch up with warnings.

I have to admit while I have never stored an avocado in water, it is interesting to note that the FDA warns that doing so can encourage bacteria growth and lead to foodborne illness.

Then, you have one of the most popular/ridiculous challenges deriving from social media — the Tide Pod challenge. Starting as a joke in 2017, the challenge made its way to YouTube, pushing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to get involved and put out warnings against eating them.

Admittedly, this is one of the most head-shaking instances of social media nonsense for me. I cannot figure out how in the world anyone saw this and thought it was a good idea.

There is a question thrown out on occasion — “What would we do without the internet?”

In some of these cases, I guess we would not be eating Tide Pods.

But wait, there is more.

In France, there have been warnings put out telling people to stop getting out of their cars and dancing in traffic.

In all of these instances, the governments in various jurisdictions and countries are usually behind because a posting or challenge like these can go viral in within hours or a couple of days.

Once the governing body does try to put the warnings out — they are late and it is not always clear if they are even reaching the demographic who are willing to take on such challenges.

When it comes to teenagers, challenges are always a growing trend and many of them are dangerous. From holding their breath to dangerous levels, inhaling whipped-cream propellant and more — the internet may provide valuable education at times — it also can be a source for teaching something very dangerous.

What is the answer? I really do not know. I would say make sure to educate and watch over your children, but the problem is adults are sometimes doing what seems cool online.

Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media.


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