Column: Peeps Oreos and their unfortunate consequences

by Casey Diana
edited by Kelsey Hausman, Robbie Sequeira and Sean Ellerston

(Photo: Google)

As Easter approaches, Peeps Oreos combine an Easter treat and America’s favorite cookie, which has become popular with consumers. Peeps are a personal favorite snack of mine, so I was immediately intrigued by the product, especially when I heard they could turn your poop pink.

When I heard that some people across America are finding that the food coloring used in the product does not agree with their digestive tracts, leading to pink colored bowels, it was an almost no-brainer that this theory was going to be tested through personal experience.

It was Monday, March 6th  at about 1 p.m. when the idea came up in a conversation with some of my friends. Through multiple conversations over the course of the afternoon, it was decided that I would be the subject of the experiment involving the Peeps Oreos. For scientific research, of course.

The Peeps-themed Oreo cookie features the golden cookie used for the brand’s famous Golden Oreo cookie and has a marshmallow flavored creme on the inside. The creme is bright pink, courtesy of FD&C Red #3, a dye commonly used in foods.

“As these Oreos pass through the system, the pink coloring would initially be diluted to a lighter color, as it mixed with stomach fluid and other liquids in the digestive tract,” said Dr. Ian Lustbader in an interview with Livescience.com. “But once it gets down to the colon, the excess water is removed and reabsorbed by the body.” Lustbader is a gastroentologist and clinical associate professor of medicine at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

I began eating the Oreos around 8 p.m. after purchasing them at Wal-Mart. We tried to get them at Market Basket, but found out that the store currently has every flavor of Oreo besides Peeps in stock.

After about six cookies, I could feel a stomachache coming on and my tongue was turning a rather pretty yet unnatural shade of pink. It took roughly an hour and a half to finish the entire pack of Oreos, and I then proceeded to lay on the couch feeling as if I was going to vomit for another 45-ish minutes after that.

For much of the following day, our experiment seemed to be a failure. Results weren’t coming back (or out) as expected, and we were disappointed. However, with time running out on our allotted 24 hours, the results came back positive. The Peeps Oreos did indeed cause a pink tint in the toilet, and our patience paid off.

Admittedly, this was one of the more bizarre things I’ve ever been a part of, but my curiosity was alleviated, and I will probably never eat another Oreo again in my life.

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