Lucky Charms and Jet-Puffed Teamed Up to Make Soft, Super-Sized Marshmallow Charms


Most people don't buy Lucky Charms cereal for the oat cereal pieces. Eating Lucky Charms is really just an excuse to have marshmallows for breakfast, and General Mills is well aware of this. As People reports, General Mills has teamed up with Jet-Puffed to create squishy, super-sized versions of Lucky Charms marshmallows that are available by the bag.

The new Lucky Charms marshmallows recreate four of the charms (or marbits, for marshmallow bits) made famous by the cereal: stars, hearts, four-leaf clovers, and blue moons. The shapes and pastel colors are similar to the original marshmallows, but the texture and size have been updated. Instead of tough, dehydrated marshmallows that need milk to soften up, these charms are perfectly soft and pillowy to begin with. You can use them anywhere you would use regular marshmallows: Bring them camping and roast them over a fire or break them out on a cold day and add them to your hot cocoa. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from snacking on them straight from the bag either.

The product is already available at select retailers, and beginning in September, they will be sold nationwide for the foreseeable future. One 7-ounce bag of puffed-up Lucky Charms marshmallows costs $1.50 and will be available on shelves with other Jet-Puffed items.

The last time Lucky Charms sold a special marshmallows-only product, fans had to scramble to get their hands on it. Boxes of marshmallow-only Lucky Charms cereal were sold for a limited time in 2017, and General Mills released them again in 2019 following high demand.

[h/t People]

The Great Tryptophan Lie: Eating Turkey Does Not Make You Tired

H. Armstrong Roberts/iStock via Getty Images
H. Armstrong Roberts/iStock via Getty Images

While you’re battling your cousins for the best napping spot after Thanksgiving dinner, feel free to use this as a diversion tactic: It’s a myth that eating turkey makes you tired.

It’s true that turkey contains L-Tryptophan, an amino acid involved in sleep. Your body uses it to produce a B vitamin called niacin, which generates the neurotransmitter serotonin, which yields the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate your sleeping patterns. However, plenty of other common foods contain comparable levels of tryptophan, including other poultry, meat, cheese, yogurt, fish, and eggs.

Furthermore, in order for tryptophan to produce serotonin in your brain, it first has to make it across the blood-brain barrier, which many other amino acids are also trying to do. To give tryptophan a leg up in the competition, it needs the help of carbohydrates. Registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer tells WebMD that the best way to boost serotonin is to eat a small, all-carbohydrate snack a little while after you’ve eaten something that contains tryptophan, and the carbs will help ferry the tryptophan from your bloodstream to your brain.

But Thanksgiving isn’t exactly about eating small, well-timed snacks. It’s more about heaps of potatoes, mountains of stuffing, and generous globs of gravy—and that, along with alcohol, is more likely the reason you collapse into a spectacular food coma after your meal. Overeating (especially of foods high in fat) means your body has to work extra hard to digest everything. To get the job done, it redirects blood to the digestive system, leaving little energy for anything else. And since alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, it also slows down your brain and other organs.

In short, you can still hold turkey responsible for your Thanksgiving exhaustion, but you should make sure it knows it can share the blame with the homestyle mac and cheese, spiked apple cider, and second piece of pumpkin pie.

[h/t WebMD]

How Mammoth Poop Gave Us Pumpkin Pie

MargoeEdwards/iStock via Getty Images
MargoeEdwards/iStock via Getty Images

When it’s time to express gratitude for the many privileges bestowed upon your family this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to be grateful for mammoth poop. The excrement of this long-extinct species is a big reason why holiday desserts taste so good.

Why? Because, as Smithsonian Insider reports, tens of thousands of years ago, mammoths, elephants, and mastodons had an affinity for wild gourds, the ancestors of squashes and pumpkin. In a 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Smithsonian researcher and colleagues found that wild gourds—which were much smaller than our modern-day butternuts—carried a bitter-tasting toxin in their flesh that acted as a deterrent to some animals. While small rodents would avoid eating the gourds, the huge mammals would not. Their taste buds wouldn't pick up the bitter flavor and the toxin had no effect on them. Mammoths would eat the gourds and pass the indigestible seeds out in their feces. The seeds would then be plopped into whatever habitat range the mammoth was roaming in, complete with fertilizer.

When the mammoths went extinct as recently as 4000 years ago, the gourds faced the same fate—until humans began to domesticate the plants, allowing for the rise of pumpkins. But had it not been for the dispersal of the seeds via mammoth crap, the gourd might not have survived long enough to arrive at our dinner tables.

So as you dig into your pumpkin pie this year, be sure to think of the heaping piles of dung that made the delicious treat possible.