Saturday, March 27, 2010

What Hath God Wrought?

Easter is coming. And in the wake of the Easter Bunny (it's a rabbit that lays eggs - does no one find this disturbing?) are the decidedly creepy and arguably malevolent peeps.

A Peep Is Born

Peeps are not created. They are born. They are born of sugar, marshmallow, gelatin, and carnauba wax. Once the alchemy needed to fuse these ingredients into just the right proportions has been completed, the inanimate peeps are sent to a sealed vault where shadowy figures in dark robes incant what is necessary to breathe life into these little spawns. 
Carnauba wax, incidentally, is also found in Turtle Wax, cosmetics and shoe polish. It's refined from a plant native to northern Brazil - I often wonder who decided to apply the compound to sugar, marshmallow and gelatin. Did they have a clue as to what they were unleashing?

A Wolf In Peep's Clothing

What we feed our children is an increasingly debated topic - and rightly so. We seem deaf and blind, almost willingly, to public knowledge of hormones, pesticides and other carcinogens that lace factory food. That a thing tastes good is no longer a good enough argument for its consumption. That these "foods" such as fast food with mass-produced,carelessly butchered meat, and hormone-laden, long-shipped produce are more inexpensive than fresh produce and organic proteins is the tragedy. Parents are practically cornered into providing unhealthy sustenance filled with such nefarious and addictive compounds as high fructose corn syrup and MSG. 

Peeps, with their demonic friendly smiling faces, bright colors and cheerful packaging beckon the children to beg Mommy or Daddy to invite these ghastly menaces into their homes. They invade quietly. They sit in the cupboard, and they wait to be dispensed as a treat. The little Trojan horses can lie in wait for decades before showing any outward signs of aging. This beings me to my next point:

Peeps Are Forever

I've read that peeps are practically indestructible. Given my fear of hatred for these little harbingers of sugar and destruction, I had no issues with spending $1.56 of my hard-earned cash to test out a few methods of dispensing of the terror-chicks, and while doing so possibly find their Achilles beaks.

It turns out they come in three-packs of rows of five peeps fused together, looking as if they're about to march into battle. I took out my first row of victims and placed them on the counter. 

They look innocent, don't they? Don't be fooled. They were designed that way.  I pried the first one loose and decided my first test would be the microwave. What happens when you microwave a peep? I've heard it does nothing, but surely something must happen. 

There he was. I named this one Duke (after the arcade game Duke Nukem) and waved goodbye as I closed the microwave door and pressed 30 seconds. 
It began to grow after two seconds. Evading the possibility of a mutant peep on my hand, (or a really difficult mess in the microwave), I opened the door and removed it. The thing began to shrink back to its original size. Very little evidence was left to show its ordeal, though there were a few cracks that I'm sure, given time, would heal. 

Next I decided to test solubility. I prepared three spice dishes with water, acetone, and rubbing alcohol. I placed a peep in each dish. (I made Duke watch).

Guess what happened? Nothing, apparently. So I turned them upside down to review the damage to their undersides. There was none.
I turned them back up and they all seemed to be staring at me, taunting me. Then I thought - chlorine!
Again, nothing. Peeps, it turns out, are adept swimmers. 

So acetone, chlorine and alcohol have no discernible effects on peeps. Does anyone believe stomach acid or intestinal bacteria would have an effect? These harsh chemicals cannot dissolve these beasts - your body can't either. 

How To Stop Them

I cannot think of a way to stop these malicious marshmallows other than to tear them apart, bury them and salt the earth. 
Like so many items that line our grocers' shelves and calls us from the side of the road with happy colors and clowns, peeps are not food. I don't want to take the joy out of food, and understand parents often need food that is fast, easy and inexpensive. Let's just not fool ourselves (mega food manufacturers do that pretty well without our help) into thinking we are consuming food. General rule of thumb: if it comes wrapped in plastic and requires happy, fun, warm-fuzzy marketing, it should be little more than a rare treat. 

As human beings we are programmed to like food. We are programmed to know what's good and what isn't. If it takes chemicals to induce the right flavor, texture and aroma to entice us, or inviting plastic to catch our attention, then our bodies don't really want it. 

I say it again - bury the peeps. Bury them, and salt the earth! 

Happy Spring everyone.


Anonymous said...

Have you seen the movie The Future of Food? It was made in 2004, so I imagine things have gotten worse since then. The big issue in that movie is genetically modified ingredients. Basically when they came out other countries (it was either China or Japan in particular) said they would watch American children for 10 years and see what the state of their health was after a lifetime of being fed GMIs and if after that time they seemed healthy enough they would allow them to be used in their foods. I think I saw in a Michael Pollan book "If you can't find it in nature it is NOT food."

Now I just need to put all I know into practice. For the most part I do OK, but still have to stop buying so much canned stuff.

Mandy said...

OMG...that is one of your funniest blogs ever...

"Achilles beaks" rofl

Also like how you made "Duke" watch...too funny-take that Duke, shoulda melted in the microwave you SOB!

Seriously...that is a freaking hilarious it! You should do humor more often!

Darkwulfe said...

HEY!!!!! Lay off the peeps! These absolutely tasteless pieces of marshmellow like carboard are absolutely my second favorite of seasonal junkfood (my first being candycorn during Halloween!) And it is true..damn things are totally indestructible! This is a great post! love it lol

P.S. And peeps are close enough to food for a fat guy! lol

Jay said...

LOL! That's hilarious. I hope you're keeping a couple of them and will let us know if they have changed any by this time next year. Well, I mean, keep one of them in a safe that it can't get out of. Just in case Peeps are going to lead the zombie apocalypse. ;-)

Sherry at EX Marks the Spot said...

I've never liked those things and have never understood why anyone likes 'em. Yes, they are colorful and may attract children, but there are other things out there just as colorful for Easter baskets. (Chocolate, anyone?)

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Peeps are gross. None will enter my home this festive Easter! :-)

25BAR said...

Happy Easter!

Pearl said...

God you're funny! So glad I found you.

I'll be bock.