It sounds like an urban legend. A rumor, whispered at the lunch table. A factoid floated in an auditorium by a misinformed gym teacher. A forgettable footnote on a D.A.R.E. pamphlet.
It's a punchline: Elaine Benes herself fell under the spell of poppy seed bagels, then flunked her drug screening as a result -- leading to some hilarious ‘90s laugh-track action. But it wouldn’t be funny if you lost your job because of your breakfast, would it?
Research has shown that eating poppy seeds, which contain trace amounts of opioids, can in fact trigger positive drug results on standard urine tests. Always wary of "science," I decided to take matters into my own bladder to see if eating poppy seeds will actually cop a non-opium user (like me) a hot pee test in real life. The process was painful. It was bitter. And it left with me nothing but a bad taste in my mouth and a cup of urine in my hands. Kind of like D.A.R.E. assemblies in middle school, actually.
But I learned something along the way: mainly, that it's extremely hard to eat poppy seeds in large quantities. And, if you think you are going to get drug tested in the near future, it's best stick to croissants. If you value your career path, at least.