EDITORS' DISCLAIMER: Cracked does not endorse eating the below foodstuffs for the express purpose of getting high, as the side effects are usually horrible enough to make you forget you were high in the first place. Thus the information in this article should only be used for scintillating chitchat at cocktail parties and around the office.
#7. Rye Bread
Rye grain is occasionally infected with the ergot fungus. Ergot contains several psychoactive chemicals such as ergotamine, a compound used in the synthesis of LSD. So if some day your half-eaten sandwich suddenly sprouts a mouth and prophesizes doom for the human race, you'll know why.
Ergot outbreaks are rare so eating a Reuben will most likely not turn you into Hunter S. Thompson at the Kentucky Derby. In the off chance that you're a crazed miller who really, really wants to get high on tainted grain, be forewarned that an ergot infection is roughly one part psychosis, two parts gangrenous sores.
But most modern farmers clean their rye in a potassium chloride solution to guard against, something medieval farmers never did. Thus, the inbred masses of yore lived unaware that their daily bread contained "holy fire," ye olde term for ergotism. And since entire villages often got their bread from the same miller, an outbreak could lead to an entire town full of hallucinating people, completely unaware that they and everyone around them was on the equivalent of bad acid (And if you think this sounds hilarious, stick around for the fun fact about the time it happened to a Puritan town in Massachusetts). Between the "holy fire" and your ancestors' tendency to binge drink in the absence of potable water, it's a miracle we got out of the Dark Ages.
Modern historians blame ergotism for a slew of old-timey panics and superstitions, ranging from werewolves to the Salem Witch Trials. British author John Grigsby even speculates that the legend of Beowulf came from stoned Vikings who "inhaled the holy fire."
Nutmeg, that piquant brown spice you sprinkle on egg nog, is chock full o' the organic compound myristicin. Eating four to eight teaspoons of ground nutmeg causes mild hallucinations, warmth in the limbs ...
... dizziness, nausea, cottonmouth, paranoia, difficulty urinating and, the coup de grace, a hangover that feels like God taking a dump on your soul.
Some users compare the nutmeg "high" to a hellish case of the flu. To make things worse, nutmeg consumption is easily the most inconvenient way to get high--its effects kick in five to six hours after ingestion. That's like having to drink a six-pack at lunch in anticipation of happy hour.
For those of you who who want to push your luck with nutmeg, don't worry. The FDA reportedly has no plans to raid your spice rack. Probably because they're assuming nobody is dumb enough to give it a go. Once you've crossed a certain threshold of stupidity where do you stop? You're going to have to start cracking down on spinning around in circles really fast and smelling your own burrito farts.
#5. Sarpa Salpa
Also known as salema porgy or the sea bream, this fish is indigenous to the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. Although the fish's flesh is safe to eat, psychoactive chemicals can accumulate in its head. Those who are brave or ethnic enough to consume this fish's head run the risk of ichthyoallyeinotoxism, a scientific term for "You just ate a fish head--welcome to 48 hours of mind-blowing hallucinations!"
Before you go down to your local fishmonger and start decapitating every fish in sight, know a couple of things. First, the fish's head is rarely psychotropic--the sarma salpa's hallucinogenic powers come from a compound called indole, which is present in the plankton and algae it eats. If there isn't enough indole, then you'll just be that sober, fish-head-eating person you see at every kegger.
Furthermore, tripping on the Sarpa Salpa is a magical mystery tour through the seventh circle of hell. Crippling terror, unearthly howls, and visions of demonic animals are reputedly common. In 1994, one salpa-tripping man realized something was terribly awry when giant arthropods surrounded his car.
Not an actual photo of incident
In 2006, medical journal Clinical Toxicology reported that ancient Romans knowingly hallucinated off of Sarpa Salpa heads. Presumably these bad fish trips inspired all that strange as hell Roman mythology, or at least the mass orgies.
#4. Stilton Cheese
In 2005, a British Cheese Board study revealed that ingesting 20 grams of Stilton cheese could lead to wacky, nonsensical visions. The 75 percent of the male and 85 percent of the female participants reported seeing odd images such as vegetarian crocodiles and sentient toys not unlike Akira.
Sadly, the UK Cheese Board's study was a sleep study, so the participant's wild visions were just dreams. Stilton's not much fun unless you're "that guy" who's passes out at parties. In addition, a serving of Stilton is high in saturated fat (25 percent RDA) and eating it can give you hobo breath.
On the plus side, Stilton is high in the relaxant tryptophan, which facilitates a nightmare-free sleep. So basically eating a Stilton before bed is like tossing a coin that is one side Nyquil, the other a terrifying swirl of pale lizards and the Bride of Chucky. If you're feeling adventurous, eat a pound of it before bed every night and see what you get. Other than really fat, obviously.
Ingesting large amounts of unripe mulberries can cause moderate hallucinations. We at Cracked would totally call dibs on patenting an unripe mulberry jam called "Cosmic Confiture," but, well, you know this is going to end badly. This is Cracked, and it's our job to teach you about all the scary shit in God's creation.
Your foremost reaction to unripe mulberries would be the urge to yak your guts out. Therefore, we can't recommend mulberries to anyone except that rare stoner demographic who take their bong hits with ipecac shots.
Hey, did we forget that mulberries are also a potent laxative? Given all the shitting, vomiting and flightiness unripe mulberries induce, it's a wonder super models aren't addicted to them yet.
#2. Poppy Seed Bagels
Yes, these are the seeds of the opium poppy, the very same flower that has fueled much of the world's drug trade through history. Thus poppy seeds contain minute amounts of the opium alkaloids morphine and codeine, which give your bagel a nutty zing and can cause you to fail a drug test (as demonstrated in a famous MythBusters episode).
And if you eat enough of them, you could get high (theoretically).
Do you know how many damn bagels you'd have to cram down your gullet? We at Cracked don't have an exact figure, so let's put it this way: unless you're Kobayashi, you would die of bagel poisoning way before getting a decent buzz.
Despite the remote danger of poppy bagel addiction, poppy seeds are banned in Saudi Arabia. Some types are also banned in Singapore. At some point they must have caught a junkie in his apartment with several hundred pounds of bagels, a butter knife and a million dime bags to catch the seed scrapings.
America's favorite legal stimulant is so prevalent that everyone forgets it's a drug. Our collective amnesia likely stems from the fact that a Starbucks tall coffee (12 oz.) contains 260 mg of caffeine, and caffeine intoxication kicks in at 250 mg. It's true, working citizens--we all go to work stoned! Medically stoned!
Lest you think that you're a rebel for going to the office hopped up on java, know that you're still not as tough as the guy who steals copy paper. Severe, deleterious caffeine intoxication sets in at 500 mg, so you're going to have to slam a black venti with a Red Bull chaser to get properly wasted.
Once you've risen to coffee-high nirvana, you'll soon plummet to coffee-high hell. Symptoms of excessive caffeine usage include hallucinations, diarrhea, convulsions, vomiting and "confusion" (once that 12th latte has you convulsing, vomiting and shitting all over your local Starbucks, you're probably not going to be the only one who'll be suffering from confusion in the room).
Voltaire drank approximately 50 to 70 cups of coffee a day for inspiration. This level of caffeine intake is not recommended unless you happen to be a French Enlightenment philosopher.
If you enjoyed that, check out our rundown of The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World. And if the above article has you thinking you'll stick to conventional drugs, be sure to first check out our PSA about Who's Really Keeping Kids Off Drugs. Or find out about the fresh new game the folks behind Guitar Hero are about to drop on the unprepared masses.