This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Monday, October 26, 2015


In preparing a display on Poison Prevention for the 1st - 3rd graders at my grandson's school, I was pairing up different medicines with candy "look-a-likes". The kids will be asked, "Which one is the candy and which one is the poison/medicine/"bad" stuff?" I went out to three different stores and purchased about $20 worth of candy (it's a rough job). I have Good 'n Plenty, Hot Tamles, Smarties, Sweetarts, Skittles, Tic Tacs, Mike & Ike, Harbro Gold-Bears, Lemonhead, Hershey bar, and MMs. 

I went to the hospital pharmacy, where I work occasionally, and with the Director's permission, attempted to match up as many of the candies with similar looking tablets and capsules. I was successful with all but three or four of the candies (I'll just have to eat those I suppose). I took the candies and medicines home, got out my zip-lock bags and began matching them all up. 

For one of the medicines I needed two red M&Ms (plain, no peanuts). I opened the 3.4 oz, $1.00 bag of M&Ms and poured a few out in my hand but didn't see any red ones at first glance so I dumped the entire bag on the dining room table. After searching through the pile I found ONE red M&M. Why was there only one red M&M in my package? This both frustrated and baffled me so I did some research. How many of each color should there be in a bag? 

But first, an aside. A little extra bit of trivia I picked up when researching. It seems that red has always been the favorite color M&M for the past umpteen years. But in 1976, because of a study associating FDC #2 red food dye with cancer, the red M&Ms were discontinued -- even though FDC #2 was NOT used to color the red M&Ms. The company was afraid the public might assume that the harmful dye was used. As a result, orange M&Ms were introduced to replace the red ones. However, in 1987, after an eleven-year absence, the red M&Ms were reintroduced and the orange ones were allowed to continue.

Now, back to the M&M color distribution question. How do they decide how many of each color goes into a bag? Well, a guy named Josh Madison ( wondered the same thing. He found that Mars (M&M manufacturer) claims the color distribution is as follows:

Red 13%
Brown 14%
Green 16%
Orange 20%
Yellow 14%
Blue 24%

Josh went out and purchased a retail box (48 packages, 1.69 oz. each) of M&Ms, dumped them all out, divided the colors, and counted. There was a total of 2,620 M&Ms with the color distribution as follows:

Red (369) 14.20%
Brown (371) 14.16%
Green (483) 18.44%
Orange (544) 20.76%
Yellow (369) 14.08%
Blue (481) 18.36%

Josh concluded that these numbers were close enough for him. So I counted the M&Ms in my one bag. I had 115. I divided out the colors and counted each one. In addition to the ONE red M%M there were eight browns, thirty-six greens, eighteen orange, twenty-one yellow, and thirty-one blue. A total of one hundred and fifteen M&Ms. Was the color distribution in my bag of M&Ms on target? After counting and calculating, this is how my M&M colors were distributed:

Red 0.9%
Brown 6.8%
Green 32.3%
Orange 15.6%
Yellow 18.4%
Blue 27.0%

Not even close! It looks like I may have to sue Mars to get my second red M&M. Why is it that I never seem to have the time to get anything done?


Bill said...

Must have been a real bugger playing marbles when you were a kid. By the time you got yours sorted everyone else would have gone home. : )

Croft said...

LOL. This reminds me of one of your very early posts where you explained one of the reasons you had trouble in Mexico was that nothing was organized, that as a Pharmacist you were used to complete order and exactness in your life. Looks like you still have some work to do! ;) Great post!

Robert & Carol Ann Martin said...

I will admit to a touch of OCD. I've always wanted to be a perfectionist, but I make too many mistakes because of my ADD. But once I focus in on something I don't easily let go. It's worth it to get to legally take some really cool meds!