In the latest installment of anti-nutrition news, say hello to the latest evidence that Jamie Oliver is never going to fix the American diet. They’re called Lazy Cakes, a new treat billed by their manufacturer as “The Official Relaxation Brownie.” And yes, they’re lurking in a convenience store near you.
How do they help one relax, you might ask? They’re stockpiled with melatonin, a naturally occurring chemical that can lead to drowsiness and nausea; when taken in high doses, the substance is known to interrupt the central nervous system and cause difficulty breathing. And so naturally, they’re a hit with kids and stoners.
Observers say the treat pairs well with Marley’s Mellow Mood, a newly available “relaxation drink” geared toward a tightly wound brand of underachiever.
One cashier at a convenience store on the near West Side has seen the $2.50 brownies fly off her shelves since they became available locally in February. “The package says you’re only supposed to eat half the brownie,” she says. “People come in here, grab a Bob Marley drink and a brownie, and have all of that.”
Though Lazy Cakes’ packaging says “Not for Children,” everything else would seem to invite them: Pictured on the front is a cartoon couch potato who looks like he just finished an Xbox and Nyquil bender. In Tennessee, a toddler chomped a Lazy Cake and wound up in the hospital.
“While each brownie is clearly labeled to indicate that we recommend that Lazy Cakes be enjoyed by adults only, we encourage parents to check the label before providing this or any product to their children,” says Tim Barham, whose company started churning out Lazy Cakes late last year and has no plans to let up or, y’know, do much of anything else.
Meanwhile, one local proponent of various herbal remedies casts a dubious eye toward Lazy Cakes. We’ll call him Wiley.
“What you’ve got is kids taking this stuff that don’t know how to handle their shit yet,” says Wiley, perhaps in response to our question.
Barham denies he’s pushing pot brownies, but the effect they produce is often likened to that of K2 or “spice,” the herbal incense popular in area smoke shops until the FDA cracked down earlier this year.
So far, Uncle Sam is cool with Lazy Cakes. And Barham reports that the market response in Ohio has been “phenomenal,” which pretty much ensures we will not be able to count on America’s youth for anything anytime soon. — Stephanie Wharton