Dried Plums? More Like Explosive Sorbitol Bombs

Let me begin with an apology. I’m sorry, but I must tell you about my weekend and it involves an explosion of sorts. I know, I know. I’m a lady and I shouldn’t talk about these things. I can’t help it! I come from a family of bowel-talkers; we like to chat about strange occurrences regarding the toilet, it’s fun and makes for great conversation at the dinner table.

I can promise you right now, if I felt comfortable writing about these things on a daily basis, I would have a 50% increase in my entries. I’m sure that would be coupled with a 50% decrease in readers, but hey, I can’t suppress my art.

Most importantly, this is not just an entry about a scary bathroom occurrence; it’s a warning to men and women everywhere. Dried plums are menacing and vengeful, and you must be informed of their secret weapon.

Dried plums, you ask? Commonly referred to as the “prune”, it seems the new marketing term for these gems has been changed. After spending ten minutes staring at all of the packages of dried plums at the grocery store and wondering where in the hell the prunes were, I picked up a package and actually read the label. Oh, dried plums ARE prunes! Interesting. I don’t recall naming dried bananas “brunes” or dried apricots “apricunes”. And technically, wouldn’t they be called “plunes”? Whatever. You go, Sunsweet! Way to change the way America views prunes.

I must also inform you that I am not having any issues with er, blockage of the pipes. I’ve never had that issue in my entire life; now, don’t get me started on the other end of the spectrum. Trust me. Anyway, I thought since I had officially entered the second half of my pregnancy, I should be proactive. All you hear or read about is Pregnancy = Constipation, Constipation = Pregnancy, Pregnancy = Pipe Blockage = Hemorrhoids. OK! I get it! I’ll nip this in the bud before it even starts!

So, my plan was to introduce a little more fiber into my diet daily. No biggie, just a little fiber addition. Plus, after reading Sunsweet’s glowing review of all the benefits of dried plums on the back of the package (Dried Plums have more potassium than a BANANA! Hell yes!), I was sold.

Saturday, after a long walk with my husband (the start of my bowel demise), I decided to hit the prunes. I ate 10 or 11 in about 5 minutes. Not smart. Really not smart, considering after my colonoscopy, I was diagnosed with an intestine that moves like a NASCAR event. I then ate a huge dinner about one hour later. What happened next was very uncomfortable. And I mean uncomfortable in a Jack- Bauer’s-CTU-counterpart-inhaling-nerve-gas-kind-of-way. I won’t go into details, but it involved cramping, sobbing, pacing, lying on the bathroom floor yelling to call 911 because I was pretty sure I was delivering my baby, and a lot of poop. An hour’s worth. Painful.

So, what’s my point? Well, I’m getting there. As soon as I could tear my ladylike arse away from the porcelain god, I jumped on the internet to do some research about prunes (oh yeah, I now call them prunes, the bastards). And it turns out; it really has nothing to do with fiber and everything to do with SORBITOL. Sorbitol is a completely indigestible compound that cannot stay in the body. Period. It wants out, and it wants out FAST. Surprise! Prunes have a ton of naturally occurring sorbitol compounds, which in turn, make it a powerful natural laxative stimulant.

The moral of the story? Prunes hurt and will ruin your Saturday night. Proceed with caution. The end.

  1. Jessie

    March 21, 2006 at 10:07 am

    Eek! That sounds like no fun at all! Hope the rest of your weekend was more relaxing and less painful!

  2. Alicat

    March 21, 2006 at 10:21 am

    oh noooo. :S

    Hey I love the new banner!! So cute.

  3. ms. sizzle

    March 21, 2006 at 10:42 am

    these are the things i feared and the very reasons i have never eaten a prune (dried plum my ass) in my life. thank you for this cautionary tale. :)

    p.s. love the new banner.

  4. Sarcomical

    March 21, 2006 at 11:05 am

    dear god. i can’t believe how much i just laughed at your pain.

    so sorry about that. ;)

  5. BeachMama

    March 21, 2006 at 11:39 am

    Ouch! I feel bad to say this, but I was definately laughing. I say if you don’t need the prunes, don’t eat them! But, it is interesting to know the fact about natural sorbitol! When I do “need” plums, I buy candies with sorbitol, does the same trick with a little more flavour :)

  6. whoorl

    March 21, 2006 at 11:49 am

    do NOT feel bad for laughing…that’s the only reason i write this crap!

    and if this doesn’t make people chuckle, i need to quit this gig pronto. ;)

  7. Amanda Brown

    March 21, 2006 at 12:10 pm

    Love the site’s new look! Sorry to hear about your poop troubles. One time I took a laxative tea to clear out my system, and what resulted was very traumatic: after pooping violently for an hour, my bum proceeded to dry-heave. It was TERRIBLE, and I feel your pain. For my fibre I opt for oatmeal cookies. :)

  8. rebecca

    March 21, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    I had the exact experience you had looking for prunes. It slowly dawned on me that those sneaky dried fruit growing bastards had changed their marketing tactics. “Prunes” are for the geriatric consumers, whereas “dried plums” are for EVERYONE!! And oh, the potassium. It is indeed an impressive nutritional chart on the back of that package.

    But alas, I did not know about the sorbitol until I read this. As always, I’ve learned something new visiting you. Whoorl, you are truly a fount of knowledge on many topics. :)

  9. bishOp stu tu

    March 21, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    Dearest whOOrl gOOrl,

    May I quote you….”I must also inform you that I am not having any issues with er, blockage of the pipes. I’ve never had that issue in my entire life;”

    What in the hell???? I am shocked that you would attempt to lay off this cheap piece of brown journalism. When in fact your sweet Mother Lini and mahself had to beat you like a rented mule to get you to pass organic material condensed into a substance having a hardness higher than diamond. And a specific gravity of uranium.
    O my dear God…this was so very Geo. Bushish of you.

    tankee, da bishOp

  10. lini

    March 21, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    Dear Whoorl, The bishop knows not of what he speaks about. We did not beat you, we forced you to sit on the throne for hours, days at a time. I am sure this problem runs in his family as mine is perfect!? Love Love Love the new banner.

  11. whoorl

    March 21, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    George Bushish of me? Oh, you certainly know how to hit below the belt…the ultimate insult. By the way, did you see that assbag this morning?

    Excuse me while I catch my breath…

    Ok, I didn’t mention the coaching sessions in the bathroom (PUSH, SARAH! PUSH!); the stinky herbal pills hidden in my food and the suppositories because I was referring to my bowel issues after the age of eight.

    However, thank you so much for the enlightening retrospect of my gastrointestinal journey.

    Good times for all.

    p.s. – So this is what it takes to get you to comment on my blog. I should have known it would revolve around shitting. A whoorl family member, through and through! ;)

  12. jen

    March 21, 2006 at 5:29 pm


    sorbitol is also a major ingredient in some breathmints! plus diet drinks!!!

    check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorbitol

    found ya via blogmad.

  13. reluctant housewife

    March 21, 2006 at 11:52 am

    I’m so sorry your Saturday went to, well, you know what. At least you got the internet equivalent of an afterschool special out of it. I consider myself warned.

    But you made me laugh my head off!

    And I LOVE the new banner.

  14. Lyndsay

    March 21, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    When we visited the Jelly belly factory, I ate a bunch of sugar-free jeally beans. I did not know what Sorbitol was, but they contain a lot of it. Let’s just say it ruined my trip to the bay area. A hot air balloon ride of wine country was OUT OF THE QUESTION.

  15. lissa

    March 21, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Oh my goodness I am so sorry for your horrible Saturday night, but thanks for informing us! How nice of you! Love the new banner by the way.