Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Science 1, Marital Discord 0

Vindication, people, that's what this study concerning rats and Oreo cookies is - vindication for every time Larry has asked me, "But WHY can't you eat just 2 Oreos and leave the rest of the package alone?"

“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” neuroscience assistant professor Joseph Schroeder says. “That may be one reason people have trouble staying away from them and it may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.”

See, Larry?  I'm addicted.  It has nothing to do with willpower or discipline - it's brain chemistry.

But, wait!  Larry wants you to know that that is not the whole story.  You see, in the early years of our marriage, my younger, more optimistic, believing-in-feeding-kids-healthy self often served rice cakes and peanut butter for lunch and insisted that it was tasty.  Delicious, even!  Larry refused to drink that particular nutritional KoolAid, as it were; and now - dontcha know - we read that, as part of the experiment,

Schroeder’s neuroscience students put hungry rats into a maze. On one side went rice cakes. “Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating them,” Schroeder said.

In other words, when trying to think of something that was as unlike the yumminess of Oreos as possible, the architects of this study came up with the lowly rice cake.  "Imagine that!" said Larry, feeling himself vindicated once and for all in our longstanding rice-cakes argument.  "I told you they tasted like styrofoam."

You know, I'll let him win that one - so long as he stops regarding as a moral failing the fact that I can't eat just 2 Oreos.  Or 3...or 4...

[Rat/Oreos image: Bob MacDonnell / Connecticut College]
[Rice cakes image: Photo Dictionary]


  1. Boy am I glad that whole rice cake craze is over. Blech.

  2. So funny. I actually don't mind the cheddar cheese rice cakes, but those probably defeat the whole diet/tasteless point of the rice cake.

    Maybe we should start an Oreo's Anonymous support group. Or, perhaps we should anonymously enjoy our Oreo cookies.

  3. LOL but did they have peanut butter on them? Peanut butter makes everything better. I personally can't buy Oreos or I'll just keep eating them. My daughter made cookies the other day and I think I've eaten 50 of them. I just can't have that crap in the house.

  4. My son ate half the raisins in our house today that I'd been stashing to make Everything Cookies. I'm using that as an excuse to eat the rest of the ingredients on their own... starting with the chocolate chips.

  5. Damn science. Swings both ways, doesn't it?

  6. I'm afraid I'm with Larry on the tasting like Styrofoam bit. OTOH, I can refute science in that I have seen mice eat rice cakes. Mind you, they never had oreos as alternative option. (There's also probably something there to do with the fact that rice cakes sat around long enough to attract mice, whereas the oreos never last that long.)

  7. I think of rice cakes, along with grits & cream of wheat, as one of those foods that taste like whatever they’re served with/in/on/over. Unlike some, I don’t claim to know what Styrofoam tastes like, but if you mix it with rice cakes, they would taste like Styrofoam.

  8. I loved rice cakes for a few years in the mid-1980s. Then one day I ate too many -- or maybe I just stopped drinking the Koolaid. I haven't been able to stomach them or their Styrofoam scent since then (not even the caramel corn flavored minis!)
    I knew Oreo's had to be addictive because I don't even LIKE them but if I eat one, I have to eat a handful.

  9. How did you ever find that picture of a lab rat and Oreo's? I'm impressed!

  10. I don't like rice cakes but I really like corn thins (similar concept, but thinner, and made of corn, not rice), especially with pb for a quick, gluten-free, on-the-go lunch. As for the oreos, I can't eat them, so it's a moot point. But when I was diagnosed with celiac and cut out gluten, my desire for sweet stuff went way down. I've never had an out-of-control sweet tooth, but I think it's interesting that my body pretty much stopped craving the THINGS THAT WERE MAKING ME SICK when I cut gluten out of my diet. An out-of-control craving can be a sign that something is way off--I'm not the only one I've heard of who was craving the very thing that was causing problems.

  11. Okay, I can't even talk about eating just one, I can't even buy just one package of Oreos........