Pondering M&M’s

I was poking around the ‘Net and found several lesson plans posted by teachers/professors for other teachers/professors. And a bunch of them involved using M&Ms as a way to demonstrate/illustrate the concepts being taught. I read a couple of these and actually learned a couple of things. One article in particular got me thinking about something I am observing here at work. The article was on demonstrating the radioactive decay of an isotope. And I am wondering if this is somehow related to the two colors (either red or green) in Holiday M&M’s in the following observations…

1) the ratio of red to green as they are pored out of the bag – there seem to be more green
2) the ratio of red to green as they appear to be consumed – people appear to prefer green

Yes, these are deep thoughts indeed.

With regard to the ratio out of the bag there are a few possibilities that come to mind. First is the conspiracy theory; where some bean counter (or m&m counter) figured out that red food dye is more expensive (0r some other reason red cost more) and to save money made less red M&Ms. I like this solution better than they common ploy food manufactures use – where they keep the packaging the same size, put less in it, put some adverb on the packing to make you believe it’s a better value and change you the same (or more)!

The second possibility that occurred to me is what if (as my observations above show) people just like green M&M’s better so they make more of them. Is it as simple that red M&M’s just like black licorice jelly beans – they have their fans – but they are a minority. My mind starts wondering on prejudices and stereotypes from here; I think I will say more on this later…

A third possibility is the chaos/random theory – that my measly sample of 5lbs of M&M’s just not large enough to draw any conclusions. This is just not as much fun as some of the other reasons.

Every hear the one about why there are so many socks out there without a mate; it’s because socks are actually the larvae form of coat hangers. Which is why you always have so many of those. Could something like that be true for M&M’s that the all the red one’s have “hatched” and become green ones. I guess the opposite could also be true depending upon the larvae time length.

Lastly, could this all be related to the fact that some time ago there was a red M&M scare back in the 1970’s; where (if my recollection is correct) they were pulled from circulation. So now they are back. But have people really forgotten? So are people consciously or subconsciously avoiding the red ones and the manufacturer knows it – so they make fewer of them?

Hmm. Just needed to share some of the scary thoughts that roll around in my mind. I think this is one of those times when sometimes words don’t mean anything.

Happy New Year!!