Nitrous oxide is bad for people and bad for the Earth. We know this. So why is it in every can of whipped cream? Can't we find something else that's just as good? The answer is no. Laughing gas really is the best option, and here's why.
A few years ago, I did a short piece on why laughing gas works so quickly when inhaled. Nitrous oxide consists of two nitrogen atoms attached to an oxygen atom, the latter of which allows the nitrogen atoms to piggyback their way into the blood of the consumer. When people breathe pure nitrogen down into their lungs, it fills the alveoli — the little sacks in the lungs — but it doesn't manage to cross from the alveoli into the bloodstream.