Did you fall for it? PALCOHOL….. powdered alcohol you can sprinkle on your food or (God forbid) attempt to snort! A “news item” gone viral… the talk of the town, especially the recovery community. Imagine.. powdered alcohol! The worst of both drugs and alcohol, brought to you by some consumer-feeding Big Corporation, seemingly sneaking past the tax man, the moral police, and even mom and dad (since in powder form, “palcohol” is allegedly legal even for minors).
You’re being trolled folks. Palcohol is not real.
Oh sure maybe the promotional campaign is real. Maybe the patent General Foods got a long time ago, for alcohol encapsulated within sugars and packaged as “dry goods” was real. And maybe the labels that were submitted for review were real labels. And maybe the poor bureaucrats at the Protect Us from Tobacco and Alcohol (PUTA?) were really duped, but no, powdered alcohol is not about to rock your world.
Alcohol cannot be “powdered”. Alcohol is a molecule, which exists in liquid form and will vaporize if “released”. It is easy to “release” it with a little heat. Capture alcohol into something else and you have… alcohol captured within something else. Ever see those mini wax bottles full of liquid? Put alcoholic liquid in there and you have… a product with alcohol in it. Regulated if it exceeds certain limits for alcohol content, or if it is sold with specific intent.
Ever see those chocolate candies filled with liquid? Put alcohol in there and you have… a dry goods product containing alcohol. If it’s enough alcohol, it’s regulated. If not, it’s not regulated.
Same for the “powdered alcohol” patented in the early 1970s (now expired and in the public domain). If you could put enough alcohol into those sugar complexes to enable you to package alcohol as a dry good, it’d be regulated as a product containing alcohol. Oh, and you can’t, by the way. It’d be a lot of sugary powder to just try and get some decent booze from it.
But. but…but… we love controversy. And we need to “see” ourselves and our ideals in physical form whenever possible, so we need issues like this news that a “company patented powdered alcohol and the government says it’s ok to sell and no regulation and oh my God the world is about to be flipped upside down…” to make us feel, well, relevant.
And some need to be 100% absolutely sure they don’t accidentally ingest (or perhaps inhale) any alcohol, since that might trigger relapse. Well, with all due respect, be careful what sorts of overripe fruit you eat, and candies you eat, and I guess powders your randomly sprinkle onto your food.
And public relations professionals (and amateurs.. why not?) troll you to get that reaction. Because it gets attention, and attention can be used to sell stuff. Like maybe books about wine tasting (the current product of the guy behind palcohol).
Now if you want real debate, consider what happens if I sell you a brick of yeast and some fruit. Mix them together and whammo…. alcohol! And…. wait for it… it is perfectly legal to sell yeast and fruit to minors!
Now if I package them TOGETHER and label it to suggest that all a minor needs to do is smash the fruit and add some yeast and then enjoy some alcohol… well you better believe someone will regulate that! It’s never clear WHO will, so the products usually carry disclaimers like:
Overripe Fruit Ferments in Animals’ Stomachs
A classic video from You tube, showing animals feasting on the overripe fruit and subsequently “enjoying themselves”. You can even see in the video, some of the animals are under age!
- Fox News on the news (no link, sorry, that just rewards the bad reporting)
- USA Today on the palcohol news (no link, sorry, don’t want to reward them)
- The Guardian (UK) fel hard on this one (no link)
- Palcohol web site (no… no link…. even though it was clever)