Burger King’s Black Halloween Burger Turns Your Poop Green
Burger King recently rolled out a new Halloween Whopper, including a black bun during October. But enjoying the dark sandwich packs a spooky surprise: Eating it can turn your poop and pee-pee green.
Via Live Science:
“Sometimes stool color is very important, and sometimes we can get worried inappropriately about the color of stool,” Dr. Ian Lustbader, a clinical associate professor of medicine and a gastroenterologist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, told Live Science.
So what’s making Burger King customers’ post-meal stools so colorful? Most likely, it’s the food coloring in the bun, Lustbader said. Food coloring is not always completely absorbed by the intestines during digestion, and the dye that isn’t absorbed can seep into food material that’s sitting in the gut, turning it different colors, he said. [5 Things Your Poop Says About Your Health]
However, the Halloween Whopper’s black bun isn’t turning diners’ stools black. But there’s a perfectly logical explanation for the green color, too, Lustbader said.
To get its normal, pale hamburger bun Halloween ready, Burger King adds a bunch of artificial colors — namely, blue, red, yellow and “caramel” color, according to the company’s website.
Will it harm you?
This color combination makes the bun look black — until it gets to your intestines, that is. Once the food is inside your belly, your gut absorbs most food colorings in the bun, Lustbader said. But if enough of the blue food coloring remains floating around in your intestine, it can mix with the yellow-green bile that is also in your intestine (bile is a fluid, produced in the liver, that aids in digestion of fats).
The yellowish bile and blue food coloring will most likely combine to make a green liquid, which then turns the food material in your gut an unnatural shade of emerald, Lustbader said. It’s also possible that both the blue and yellow food colorings used to color the bun are poorly absorbed by the intestine, and that these two ingredients combine to turn poop green.
While green poop is certainly weird-looking, it’s not something you need to fret about — artificial colorings aren’t necessarily bad for your digestive health, Lustbader said. However, he also said that he recommends moderation in consuming foods loaded with these artificial ingredients.
Would you eat the green burger?!?