Unless you take your own life or find yourself succumbing to a serious illness, none of us know how we’re going to die for the most part. Maybe you’ll die of old age. Maybe you’ll get murdered. Maybe you’ll die in a hang-gliding accident. There are a lot of possibilities out there, and my point is that we’ll never really know which way we’ll leave the earth until we, well, die.
The reason why I’m talking about death is because of a weird case that happened in my home state of Massachusetts in 2019, and it’s getting brought up again because the doctors just published their findings about the peculiar death last week.
In 2019, a 54 year old construction worker died unexpectedly inside of a McDonalds. Now I know it’s easy to assume that eating too much McDonalds was to blame for his death, but it’s a little stranger than that. Turns out his death was food-related, but it wasn’t due to Big Macs or McFlurrys. After a year of research, the doctors concluded that the man died because he ate too much black licorice
It sounds too ridiculous to be true, but it is. Turns out black licorice contains something called glycyrrhizic acid, which can cause your body’s potassium levels to drop and blood pressure to spike if consumed in large amounts. After doing some background research, they learned that this guy was eating 1 or 2 bags of black licorice for a few weeks leading up to the incident, and this licorice diet was likely what caused his death via cardiac arrest.
First things first, I want to get it out there that I’ve always hated black licorice, and that was before I found out it can kill you. There’s just something about the mint taste it emits that makes me want to spit it out like I have a mouthful of chewing tobacco, which is sort of what it tastes like. If I’m gonna consume some licorice as a snack, give me the classic red twizzlers and a can of Coke instead and let’s call it a day. If having that opinion makes me white trash, so be it
But regardless of my views on black licorice, I think it goes without saying that this is a tough way to go out. When you consider the list of ways you can die, dying because you ate too much candy is about as far from the top as you can get. Candy being bad for you is just a bunch of bullshit that dentists are supposed to tell kids, but now this guy’s death is giving those anti-candy claims some credibility. Live look at Big Dentist HQ when they hear about this story
I think a big reason why stories like this freak me out is because it makes me think about what other foods might be able to kill you. If some random ingredient in black licorice was enough to kill this guy, there’s probably a bunch of other foods that have potentially fatal ingredients. For example, I’m eating some Doritos right now. If I eat too many of these right now, who’s to say I don’t drop dead? It seems just as likely as dying from licorice, so I can’t take any chances. 7-8 more handfuls of these, and I’m putting this bag away for my own health
In a world where it’s already easy to be paranoid, news like this just adds to the reasons and increases my hypochondria tenfold. When we’ve reached the point where you can’t even trust licorice, that should be a red flag that things aren’t going well. Regardless, when it’s my turn to go, I just hope I get hit by a bus or something, because having a heart attack from eating too much candy is seems like a terrible thing to have listed in your obituary