The latest "Tide Pod Challenge" is just as ridiculous as it sounds.

By Lauren Mazzo

Who doesn't love a good meme? Things like Disney Princesses who understand the struggle of being a fit girl and viral Olympics memes that were more entertaining than the Games themselves offer a welcome LOL on stressful days. But one of the latest memes-about eating Tide laundry detergent pods (yes, you read that right)-has us feeling kinda like this...

Especially because, like every bad idea that has ever existed on the internet, people are going against all common sense and ACTUALLY DOING IT. Some reports say the whole Tide pod thing started with a satirical essay published by The Onion. But legit news stories report that children really are trying to eat these things. The internet has since had a field day, considering these magical detergent bombs actually do, in a weird way, look good enough to eat. This created a meme frenzy dedicated to the alluring orange and purple pouches, which eventually led to the Tide Pod Challenge, a social media challenge in which people are posting videos of themselves eating the pods. (In some cases, they're even cooking them in a frying pan first, about which I am equally impressed and horrified.)

Someone on Tumblr has even come up with an "edible" Tide pod recipe:

Needless to say, ingesting laundry detergent is the worst idea ever and could send you to the emergency room (and at the very least, make for a miserable next 24 hours). Instead, if you're hungry or really want to ~live on the edge~ please eat anything, LITERALLY anything, but Tide Pods. For starters, these 10 things are most certainly better than slurping down the soap that cleans your clothes.

1. Gushers

Craving something with a gushy, artificially flavored and colored inside that's really bad for you? Go eat some Gushers. All that sugar is no good for your health but, hey, at least it won't make you vomit uncontrollably.

2. Chia seeds

If you want to eat something that could send you to the hospital, eat some chia seeds. One 39-year-old man had to go to the ER because he ate a tablespoon of dry chia seeds and then drank a glass of water-causing them to swell in his throat and create a dangerous blockage. For the record, he ended up being totally fine, and chias are still a safer (and healthy-fat-filled!) bet compared to Tide pods. Just don't do what that guy did.

3. Dirt

Yep, straight-up dirt. Probably still safer than a Tide pod. And, hey, it's technically all-natural! (But you probably can't consider it "clean" eating.)

4. One of those insane Starbucks Frappucinos

Again, if you want to dye your tongue some crazy colors, just drink one of those made-up Starbucks fraps. Mucho sugar, sure, but not totally toxic. AND NOT MADE TO CLEAN YOUR CLOTHES.

5. An entire pack of gum

Yeah, you'll probably be bloated AF, but if some dude could secure a top spot in the U.S. government while chomping and swallowing an entire pack of bubblegum every single day, then it's definitely safer than a freaking Tide pod.

6. Condiment packets

If you're really digging the wrapped-in-plastic vibe of those Tide pods, just pop over to your closest fast food eatery or cafeteria and load up on some ketchup and mustard packets. If you have FOMO for all the self-loathing and regret that you'd get from eating a Tide pod, just swap the ketchup and mustard for Taco Bell's "Diablo" sauce, and you can have the whole package. They're all made to go inside the human body, so you're good to go!!!

7. Your Grandma's Jell-O

Whip up some orange and blue Jell-O, and you can pretend you're nomming on the real thing. Bonus: Have your grandma make it, and you know there'll be tons of unidentified floating objects (fruit? marshmallows? toxic chunks of laundry detergent?) that make it almost as mysteriously fun as biting into a Tide pod.

8. Something you dropped on the floor

At best, you'll strengthen your immune system and continue to prove that the five-second rule is totally a thing. At worst? You'll get a hair and a toenail along with whatever the food item is. Or go all out and wash the floor first for that soapy taste you crave.

9. Skittles you sent through the washer and dryer

You know how lip balm gets cray when you accidentally leave it in your pocket and send it through the wash? Instead, send some Skittles through a nice wash and dry, and you can have a weird colorful conglomerate that tastes kinda like laundry too. Perks: It started as something edible, so even if you get some added lint chunks, it's less foreign to your body than DETERGENT!

10. Vanilla pudding-while spraying Febreze

To really go for the home run, pop open a vanilla Snack Pack pudding and spray some Linen & Sky-scented Febreze while you're eating it. Smell is the majority of taste, anyway, so who cares whether the soapy smell is coming from inside your mouth or not?


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