Watch Those Poppy Seed Bagels!

Image: A poppy seed bagel with cream cheese, tomato, and mushrooms. (yossigee/pixabay

Poppy seed bagels are among my favorite Jewish food treats. The chewy, nutty black seeds are so delicious on a bagel that it is worth the trouble of dealing with tiny orbs. Then add a bit of cream cheese, some lox, onion and cucumber, and it’s a chewy bit of heaven! Poppy seeds are healthy, too, as they are good sources for oleic acid, dietary fiber, B vitamins and several minerals.

However: if your life includes even occasional drug tests, you should know that the stories about positive drug tests from eating poppy seeds are not urban legend.  The Washington Post recently reported that a woman faced monitoring for drug abuse after she was admitted to a Maryland hospital in labor, and a routine drug screen showed traces of opiates in her bloodstream.

The positive test result meant that her daughter had to stay in the hospital and be monitored for five days. Afterward, Eden was assigned a case worker who closed her file after determining that she was a “legitimate case of the poppy seed defense,” WBAL-TV reported. – The Washington Post, 8/8/18

So, enjoy your bagels, but if there’s a chance you will be subjected to tests for opiates, choose plain or sesame seed instead!

What’s your favorite bagel? Where do you find the best bagels in your area?

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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

6 thoughts on “Watch Those Poppy Seed Bagels!”

  1. My favorite is sesame seed. Or onion. With lox, cream cheese, purple onion, capers and tomatoes. I’m getting hungry now just writing about it.
    Never knew about poppy seeds! Fascinating!

  2. Of course my favorite has to be the poppy seed one! With strawberry cream cheese, lox, cucumber, and a touch of salt. But I’ve stopped the salt intake.

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