The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Poppy seeds contain opiates

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AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Poppy seeds contain opiates

Just a heads up on the opiate content of poppy seeds for those of us whose baked goods might be eaten by someone in the military and other services which do random urine tests.


http://snopes.com/medical/drugs/poppyseed.asp


Just a few years ago, a Navy coworker of my husband's faced immediate dismissal after 19 years and 10 months of military service (2 months before retirement) because he had eaten 2 poppy seed covered bagels in the morning and the ensuring urine test that day revealed ingested opiates. Fortunately, he was able to produce the sales slip of the two bagels and all resolved well for him.


 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

make that **ensuing urine tests**

Crider's picture
Crider

Odd though is sounds, poppy seeds we use in baking come from opium poppies (Papaver Somniferum)! Even though they're illegal to grow in the US, one can buy seeds online and probably at your local nursery. I suppose that domestic opium production isn't seen as much of a problem here, otherwise the DEA would be raiding backyard flower gardens and arresting grandmas for growing them.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

into a small house in Pacific Grove, CA - the newly installed telephone rang and a very irate voice informed me that my goat was eating her marijuana plant, hehe... Hope her poppy plants were ok ;)


But back to the poppy seeds, the newer trend of teenagers seems to be poppy pod tea - with several resulting deaths already. Quite scary.


 

Crider's picture
Crider

Sometimes I wonder if some people will do anything to get high. I hope things don't get out of hand.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

My husband and I were buying life insurance and they sent a nurse to our home to do a health screening.  This included taking samples of urine and blood.  Luckily I thought to ask if they were screening for opiates and they were!


It was during the Jewish holiday of Purim and we had been indulging heavily in poppy seed hamentaschen (special cookies eaten on this holiday).  We explained that to the nurse and shared some of our hamentaschen with her. 


Must have been enough of an explanation--we got the insurance.  But do be aware that ingesting poppy seeds can be an issue when you least expect it. 

FlyinAggie's picture
FlyinAggie

I know that truck drivers are also subject to frequent random drug tests so they can never indulge in anything with poppy seeds.  They never know when they will be told to pull over and get tested.


 

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

My brother is a truck driver and I make sure he never gets any of my rye bread sprinkled with poppy seeds, for that reason.  He only gets the rye sprinkled with caraway seeds.


 


Bob

Realdelish's picture
Realdelish

I have to keep my poppy seed covered buns away from my trucker husband as well...I really laughed when I read that that was on the "must avoid" list.  You could get a lot higher from the poppies growing in our front garden then from a few seeds on bread!  At least he doesn't seem to mind.

JamieK's picture
JamieK

I used to work in the security dept of a company that randomly drug tested every month.  These are called false positives.  Reputable labs analyzing the urine samples will automatically administer an additional test to the urine when they see the presence of opiates.  This extra test confirms that it is just poppy seeds.  The same is also true for the use of Tylenol which can result in a false positive test for cannibis.  With all that said, I'm sure the system is even more developed and precise now since that was in the mid-80's.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

vindicated many a poppy seed bagel :)  


 

JamieK's picture
JamieK

Let's hope so AnnaInMD!  They're much too good to have such a stigma attached to them, :)

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

:)

wmtimm627's picture
wmtimm627

I joined the US Navy in 1974 and retired in 1998. During that time, there were many instances where our little "geedunk" stores served bagels from local vendors, including "everything" bagels and poppy seeded bagels. It never seemed to be an issue and we were tested randomly on a regular basis (is that an oxymoron?). Perhaps the labs the Navy was using back then weren't as sensitive to something like that or they knew what they were looking at, but it seems all this flap about poppy seeds is just that.


One of my favorite recipes in Beth Hensperger's Bread Bible is the Bread Machine Honey Whole Wheat with the seed variation; it includes a tsp of poppy seeds. One of my favorites when I'm feeling lazy about making bread.


Billybob

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

and the gentleman in question was a Master Chief and a good friend. Apparently, the occasional poppy seed ingestion is only viable for 48 hours and, unfortunately, Master Chief had two bagels that morning.  (was in 1994 in Norfolk). 

wmtimm627's picture
wmtimm627

And looking to retire at 20? Sounds kinda fishy to me.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

was 29 years and 10 months.


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Anna,


Was that Norfolk, UK or Norfolk, Virginia?


Best wishes, Daisy_A

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Norfolk, VA.   Even though I would just love to come visit "THE" Norfolk. During this cold and nasty weather, with little chance to be outdoors, hubby and I got hooked on the British series "Monarch of the Glen" via Netflix and even though this is depicting Scotland, I know England is just as beautiful. My light reading included Rosamunde Pilcher and her description of the Cornwall area was so inspiring.


Best wishes to you for a healthy and happy 2011!

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Anna,


I'm sure you would be very welcome in Norfolk, UK. Glad to hear that you have enjoyed depictions of Scotland and Cornwall. Norfolk is less hilly but still beautiful with small beaches of golden sands and bird-filled salt flats, with the lovely city of Norwich as its county town. 


Took a quick look at some pictures of Norfolk, Virginia online. Looked lovely too!


Kind regards, Daisy_A

EvaB's picture
EvaB

in the early 70's maybe late 60's but think it was in the early part of the 70's a fellow I worked for was arrested by the RCMP for growing poppies, he had rented a house that had been a rental unit for years, and several elderly people from Poland, Hungary and other European countries had lived there over the years, all growing poppies for their baking, and then the Hippie era hit and was in full swing, and he the unfortunate rented the house and the poppies which by this time were totally wild, came up and he was arrested. Talk about totally ignorant, and rather stupid, the police totally ignored the lovely maryjane plant growing in splendor (it somehow got out of control there too) and took him in on the poppies, I happened to go by his house to clarify somehting, and told him he needed to get rid of the plants by the gate, and he asked why as they were so "pretty" I told him that he could probably beat the poppy arrest but the pot plants were something else.


The same year my brother was raided for pot, he had a lovley 7 foot plant groing in  a plant pot in his living room, and the police were so well schooled in drug plants they wer taking my sil's canned beet greens as canned pot.


When we moved to Dawson Creek in the early 80's a neighbour was an elderly Checkoslavakian lady who had a row up both sides of her sidewalk of beautiful poppy plants, and no one even thought to arrest her.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Love the Czec lady's walkway !

EvaB's picture
EvaB

It was gorgeous, deep red poppies with purple centers, and thick! I asked her where she had gotten the seed, and she said she had brought it with her, in her suitcase when she came, but all I had to do was go down to the store and buy a bottle of poppyseed and plant them as she had lost the seeds once and that was what she had done. At the time they had stopped selling the poppies in seed catalogues.


Which was rather silly, since normal poppies while they do contain the opiate etc, it takes so many to make even a small amount of codiene base, the opium poppies have more sap, and if you've ever seen an opium poppy field its acres and acres to make the rather small amount of base they truly get from a farm. Its just the fact that the poppies are easy to grow and the money they get from them welcome that the stuff is still being farmed.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

They are offering wonderful poppies ;)

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

Daisy said: Norfolk is less hilly.


She was talking about Scotland but Norfolk is less hilly than almost anywhere :-) 


That's why it's famous for its skies ...

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

as well, matter of fact, the only mountain is in the neighboring city of Virginia Beach and man-made with the succinct title of "Mount Trashmore"  :)

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

OK. Enough already!

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Very scary, especially a young person who had never heard of this before and could not defend herself. Wonder how they finally got to the fact that it was from a bagel.


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I think that positve test result and the implications will be enough to spur one to reason through that issue, (other than the fact they used opiates).


To be honest though, I think these are "one in a million" occurences.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm guilty.  


I made loaf and was putting in a good amount of seeds and stuff into my weekly rye.  Feeling creative and emptying out the cupboard of little bags of this and that and threw in about 100g of poppy seed.  Didn't think much about it.  That is until a few days later my little dog wanted to do nothing but lay in my lap with her head down.  What a cuddly little thing!  lethargic too!  Now I might not notice anything too unusual except where I was sitting, she never crawls into my lap...  next to me lay her nail clippers.  But she's a Jack Russel Terrier and there's nothing normal about a mellow sleepy one!  (Although she's good in the house.)  If I want her to hide, all I do is have to mention cutting her nails, mine or anyones! 


To make a long story short, she no longer got any nibbles from this loaf and with a little extra meaty food and a few days, she was back to her old energetic self.  Just thought I'd let you in on poppy seed and dogs.  

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

I spend $30 a month to take my dog every 2 weeks to get his nails clipped at the Vet. He absolutely refuses for us to come near him with the clippers and he is good as gold for the girls at the vet clinic. Go figure !   

moma's picture
moma

Try and googl Mythbusters and poppy seeds. I remember the episode but unfortunately not the conclusion :)