Many of you are probably more than already aware of this, but the latest trend in consumable marketing is something of an unholy marriage between food staples and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. It’s not just juice smoothies that promote mysterious “immunity boosts” anymore. It’s also things like fortified coffee.

And what’s with all this “energy boost” crap these days anyway? People used to plow fields and carry water 12-hours a day. When did we become such impotent, spineless wusses in need of beverages marketed like alkaline batteries?

Coffee has been safely consumed in moderation for centuries; yet some marketers cannot resist the temptation to tamper with it under the false pretense of “healthier living”. So it was little surprise to read the news today from Malaysia, where an instant coffee marketed as a “health product” (it claimed that it contained “natural herbs and ingredients” such as gingko biloba and ginseng) was instead discovered to be laced with toxic chemicals: The Electric New Paper, Singapore – The Electric New Paper News – Toxic chemical found in instant coffee packets.

Available on Malaysian store shelves for about a year, undercover agents discovered that the coffee was laced with synthetic sildenafil nitrate — the active agent in Viagra. Someone must have read our old Coffee Sugar Sex Magik post.

Must we repeat Michael Pollan‘s mantra?: Never trust a food product that makes a health claim.