Before I came down with an absolutely flattening cold, I was planning to do a big Easter special post about Marshmallow Peeps, which I find really weird and disturbing. Before I lost all my energy and the power of taste and smell for several days at a stretch, I was going to buy some Peeps and do some taste-testing and experimentation. Not that the taste-testing would have been so exciting. I can’t say I dislike the taste of Peeps; they don’t taste like much of anything, really, which is part of what I find disturbing about them. I’m really more bothered by the way they’ve spread beyond Easter.
Marshmallow Peeps for Easter make sense to me. The original bunnies and chicks belong in the Easter basket, and there’s something special about their seasonality. But the pressures of commerce have led the company to make Peeps “always in season,” and so now there are not only Easter Peeps but Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween Peeps. The Halloween category used to include black bats, which were extremely creepy-looking, but apparently I wasn’t the only consumer to think so; I don’t see the bats on the current site listing for Halloween.
I understand that contemporary capitalism cannot accept the idea that some products are seasonal and have predictable peaks and valleys, that to survive today a business must be pushing all-out, all the time, and be constantly focused on selling more, always. But I think that’s one of the things that’s wrong with today’s society, one of the things that bring us styrofoam-textured tomatoes in January. Nature has seasons. Nature has periods of higher and lower energy. Life has cycles. There are times that we rest and times that we work hard. Disrupt these patterns, and long-term problems result. I would like to see an economy that recognizes and echoes natural patterns rather than penalizing workers and consumers for being human.
You may be wondering just what Peeps are made of and what they can withstand. Lucky you: Peep Research has delved into the response of Marshmallow Peeps to cold, heat, smoking and other environmental conditions. Enjoy.