College Myths Debunked: Corn Dogs with a Side of Laxatives

"Oh god. I gotta go, guys. Like, really go. #2."

That’s where College Candy comes in. We’re not going to debate whether or not the Theory of Relativity actually exists (a disappointment, I know, but I’m a communications major and stopped taking science classes after Baby Bio fresh year). However, we are here to thoroughly investigate the most widespread college knowledge (no, not rhyming)—the myth.

If you go to college, chances are you’ve eaten at a dining hall. You’ve experienced gourmet menu items such as “liquid mashed potatoes,” “Sahara-dry chicken” and “green jell-o with mysteriously hard parts around the edges.” And as delightful as your dining experience was, chances are you felt the results of that extra serving of corn a short time later as you were flooring it for the communal bathroom. And if you were just lucky enough to have a meal-plan (like I was my freshman year), you got to experience the joy of this routine three times a day. Every day. For a year.

I remember wondering what the hell was wrong with me; I’d never spent so much money on toilet paper and air freshener before in my life. Did college trigger an internal mechanism that doomed me to poop all the time for the rest of my life? “No,” my roommate said, “The dining halls put baby laxatives in the food, duh.”

“OMG, why would they do that to us?!” I demanded of her.

“Because that way people get hungrier faster after they eat and go back for more; it helps the school make more money.”

Or they do it so if a student gets food poisoning, the toxic waste (pun completely intended) will get out of their system faster. Or so that the students don’t get fat and give the school a bad reputation (because weight is obvi a huge indication of the quality of a school’s prestige and all.) Or because the empathetic food service people know how test stress and homesickness can constipate the youngin’s and they just wanna help things along. All of these reasons are the usual suspects for the explanation of this rumor…and they are all totally whack.

First of all, despite what you may think after tasting dorm food, there are health and safety standards (pretty rigorous ones, considering the widespread university distaste for lawsuits), so the idea of adding an un-prescribed medication to the masses is kinda ridiculous. Any medication, even OTC, has some kind of side effects. Imagine if a student had an allergic reaction, or died, as a result of these non-existent laxatives; yea, it would be the university’s turn to sh** themselves.

Also, even if the dining hall food did give someone food poisoning (I’m sure it’s happened), a laxative wouldn’t prevent the toxins from being absorbed by your body on the way out, no matter how fast it’s moving. There is absolutely no feasible reason for any university, anywhere, to allow its dining halls to slip a lil Ex-lax into the meat on Taco Tuesday. Consider this myth officially debunked.

What are some of the urban legends you hear around your campus? Share them in the comments section below. Our scientific team of experts (me, Google, and sometimes my best friend) is always looking for new myths to dispel!

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