, USA Today
Our country is deeply divided and polarized today. And the reason for this comes to a head this week:
No, the issue isn't deficit spending or debt ceilings. It's...candy corn.
You either love it or hate it. There's no middle ground on this important issue.
corn, I would assert, is the lima beans of candy. It's perennially the
last thing left in many trick or treaters' bags every year, and much of
it gets tossed. I cannot abide even the sight of those cursed little
isosceles triangles, leave alone their gooey taste and the cheap and
overpowering sugar rush they impart. But hey, that's just me.
I hated this stuff as a kid, even though I like both candy and corn.
But surprisingly, candy corn, at least judging by Twitter, has many
defenders (#candycorn) as well as, of course, us haters. (Volcanic
comedian Lewis Black even asserts, "Nothing proves just how dumb we are
collectively as a people as candy corn.")
So, in the interest of informing the debate, here are...
5 things you didn't know about candy corn
1. The CIA has been using it for years as an "enhanced interrogation technique."
the many classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden was a largely
overlooked report detailing the CIA's forced feeding of candy corn to
suspected Al Qaeda prisoners. The documents reveal that it proved far
more effective in getting sensitive information than waterboarding ever
2. Dentists and their staffs loathe candy corn
You may be
surprised, however, by the reason. The little buggers are loaded with
sugar and many people keep their dentists on speed-dial around
Halloween. It's good for dentist's business. BUT...normal dental tools
and office air compressors won't get the stuff completely off patients'
teeth. Many dental hygienists are assigned to go out and rent industrial
power washers to effectively remove all of it from patients'
sucrose-encrusted choppers It's an unwieldly process usually performed
in dental parking lots.
3. There are landfills devoted entirely to surplus candy corn
corn is non-biodegradable, and most waste-management companies won't
touch the stuff. It must be carefully sorted and then trucked to a few
special sites around the country in remote areas -- e.g., the one at
the federal nuclear storage site out in Hanford, WA. EPA officials there
say they're as worried about candy-corn leakage into the aquifers as
they are about nuclear-waste seepage.
4. All candy corn was manufactured in 1917
Candy corn is the
unwanted byproduct of a failed wartime manufacturing experiment that
extruded a food-like substance to make flotation devices for U.S.
troops. (But there was a war on, and few noticed this failed
experiment). The Defence Department was literally stuck with tons of
excess sugary material. It was briefly used as ballast for the U.S. Navy
during World War II, but when the sugary substance began rotting the
hulls of warships, the government quietly sold its stockpiles of the
yellow-and-white goo to candy purveyors, who didn't care about its
limited shelf life. Candy companies now sell their extra yearly
inventory to Third World Countries, who use it to pave roads.
5. It's not really made of corn!