February 28, 2012 10:37 AM   Subscribe

What would make a good visual substitute for cocaine?

I need to take a close-up photograph of some cocaine (for a book cover).

Of course, being a good boy, I don't actually have any nor am I quite sure what the stuff looks like. Honest.

I have several 'white powders' around the house -- all for very normal purposes such as cleaning clothes and sweetening cakes. I'd like the photo to look as authentic as possible. I have icing sugar, washing powder, talc, cornflour, salt and bread flour among other things. Which of these would look the most convincing?
posted by run"monty to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Probably the icing sugar, though I'd imagine if it were on a mirror in lines, the context would take care of any small inconsistencies.
posted by Mooski at 10:39 AM on February 28, 2012

Caster sugar (icing sugar) or baking powder.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:41 AM on February 28, 2012

Any white powder in a line on a mirror.
posted by Melismata at 10:49 AM on February 28, 2012

Go with the baking soda, which is frequently used to cut the real thing.
posted by I am the Walrus at 10:54 AM on February 28, 2012

My husband is a Big Time Hollywood Propman and when he needs to make cocaine he uses Trader Joe's meringue cookies. He mashes them up (in a bag, with a hammer) and apparently the way those cookies break into smaller powder along with slightly larger, rock-like pieces makes it look just perfect.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:54 AM on February 28, 2012 [50 favorites]

Are you talking rock cocaine? crack cocaine? Once you figure out what variety, what quality of cocaine are you shooting for?
posted by Blasdelb at 10:55 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't use the salt or bread flour. Those definitely will not look right.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:59 AM on February 28, 2012

Inositol is also frequently used as a cutting agent and is the right color and consistency.
posted by mullingitover at 11:59 AM on February 28, 2012

nthing trader joes meringue cookies.
posted by grog at 1:02 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Mannitol is the right color and consistency and - unlike any sugar or baking soda additive - does not clump together or melt in your pocket. I have been told by a guy I met in a bar who overheard someone on a bus talking about a movie they saw that this is what coke dealers step-on their product with.

It's also a mild laxative.
posted by three blind mice at 1:46 PM on February 28, 2012

Fine white sugar or flour, maybe mixed with powdered sugar.
posted by KRS at 2:07 PM on February 28, 2012

posted by oceanjesse at 7:57 PM on February 28, 2012

2'nding Inositol, plus afterward you can use it as a nutritional supplement.
posted by maishuno at 9:08 PM on February 28, 2012

I remember reading somewhere that lactose is used as a coke substitute in movies where someone has to actually do lines (e.g. here). In the article I originally read, though, the actor was actually lactose-intolerant and so this had some unpleasant side-effects.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:32 AM on February 29, 2012

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