Through Facebook (of all places) I found this “Survival of the Fittest” story relating to M&M’s. Credited to this Tampa Bay best of Craigslist page, but I found other/older instances of it on the web as well.
“I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theater of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world.
Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment. “
In addition, I found a slightly more serious attempt at using M&M’s for “survival of the fittest” experiments: This time, like many other times, the M&M’s are prey to hungry school children. They try to find out whether, for example, brown M&M’s are slightly safer against a brown background. Does this work? I can imagine that kids would grab them all extremely fast regardless of the background colour. And nobody would dare bring candies that were processed in the same factory as peanuts into the classroom anymore.
Some very serious M&M research was published in Science several years ago: M&M’s take up less space than spheres. “The researchers filled these containers with M&M sweets and determined the packing fractions for them. They measured these for both the “regular” and “mini” varieties of the chocolates.” See, this is why I’m not a physicist: Whenever I fill a container with M&M’s, I just end up eating them, much like a hungry school child.
Now, I wonder how Smarties hold up to all these rigorous M&M experiments… Nestlé vs. Mars in a battle of sugar coated chocolates — can I get funding for this? I gladly accept candy.