An Ode to Oreos: Milk’s Favorite Wheat Food

On March 6, the Oreo celebrated its 100th birthday. To mark the occasion, Nabisco launched a special edition of the world’s most popular cookie, with “Birthday Cake” cream filling between the two ubiquitous chocolate wafers.

In the Kansas Wheat office, we celebrated the Oreo Birthday* with a brief party: each of us grabbed a couple of the special batch of cookies and devoured them. According to the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco), women most often choose the “twist-and-eat” method; men just take a bite…or eat them whole. Exhaustive research conducted in the Kansas Wheat office followed this theory to a tee.

Sadly, we had no milk with which to wash down the cookies.

* Incidentally, American centenarians often receive a letter from the President of the United States, and/or a mention on NBC’s Today Show. If I live to be 100, I’d like to celebrate with Oreos.

Oreo “biscuits” were first made at the Chelsea Market Bakery in Manhattan, New York. A year later, Nabisco registered the Oreo name. Grocers paid $0.30 per pound for Oreo. From those humble beginnings, more than 345 billion Oreo cookies have been sold…and consumers around the world enjoy 7.5 billion Oreos each year. Nabisco makes Oreos in 21 bakeries around the world.

The Kansas wheat farmers in us would love for Kansas-grown wheat to be used in the making of Oreo cookies. Sadly,  that’s not the case. The recipe includes about 5 ounces of soft wheat per 39-cookie package. We estimate that Nabisco uses about 1 million bushels (or 60 million pounds) of soft wheat* each year to make Oreo cookies.

*Guesstimate courtesy of Kansas Wheat’s staff members and is not deemed to be 100% accurate. Believe it or not, in this era of instant information, we could not find the exact amount of flour in a package of Oreo cookies anywhere on the World Wide Web!

That seems like a lot. But then again, making Oreos requires 18 million pounds of cocoa and 47 million pounds of creme filling per year. (Incidentally, each Oreo is 71% cookie, and 29% creme).

These bored/entertaining/scientific bloggers determined that each package of regular Oreos contains about 6 ounces of creme filling*.

*If it were up to this writer, all Oreos would be of the Double Stuf persuasion.

100 years, and 345 billion Oreo cookies. Imagine the impact all these cookies have had on Americans (and China, Canada, France, Australia and more than 95 other countries). The cynic in me says: tooth decay, tons of crumbs, carpal tunnel syndrome from all that twisting…

But after sharing an Oreo with my kids for the first time a few years ago, the optimist in me says, what fun. And isn’t “fun” what cookies are all about?

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2 Responses to An Ode to Oreos: Milk’s Favorite Wheat Food

  1. Kim says:

    It’s always good to find a reason to celebrate, but it sounds like the party planner needed to add milk to the shopping list! This woman goes against the national trend of women twisting the cookies to eat them. I prefer cookie and cream in each bite – whether the creme has birthday sprinkles or not.

  2. Bill Spiegel says:

    I know of a few other women that eat “bites” rather than twist the cookies…personally, I like to eat the whole thing at once. I am a little in awe that there has been research about this topic!

    And yep, milk would have been good. Next time!

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