everyday sciencefun facts

what is it about the green ones?

The story goes

The Mars Company started producing M&Ms in 1941. Since then, various rumors have been attached to different colors of the candy, but one stuck: the green ones are a pure aphrodisiac.

Mars notes that this hearsay was developed by consumers, not the company. The company routinely states it “cannot explain any extraordinary ‘powers’ attributed to green M&Ms, either scientifically or medically.”

The rumor started or first gained prominence in the 1970s when students reportedly picked the green ones out of packages to feed to the objects of their desires.

Why the green M&Ms have been attributed to this power is unknown: perhaps it was because the color green has always been associated with healing and fertility. (I’ll catch up on that in full a bit later.)

Based on snopes.com, in 1992, a California lawyer named Wendy Jaffe cashed in on the legend and started a company named Cool Chocolates Inc.
Her company’s sole product was a green M&M-like candy sold under the name The Green Ones.

M&M/MARS claimed trademark infringement, in part because the characters on The Green Ones’ packages were quite similar to the trademarked M&M cartoon figures.

Mars finally started using the mythical image associated with green M&Ms to its advantage by running an “Is it true what they say about green ones?” advertising campaign and introducing the vampy Ms. Green M&M character.

And yes, even decades after the steady riding on the urban myth, Mars is cashing in on the legendary aphrodisiac powers of green M&Ms.

One thing is for sure: All of the M&M’s have the same structure. They differ only by the color dye which actually does not have a taste.

On the other hand, colors can have a subliminal psychological effect, which can result in us having a certain “feeling” about the particular color. That can be a trigger from childhood or very often, a preconceived notion about color.

Color psychology suggests that different colors can evoke psychological reactions. For example, color is often thought to have an impact on moods and emotions. Sometimes these reactions are related to the intensity of a color, while in other cases they are the product of experience and cultural influences.

How does the color green make you feel?

Green has long been a symbol of fertility, growth, new beginnings, and was once the preferred color choice for wedding gowns in the 15th-century.

Green is a cool color that symbolizes nature and the natural world. Green also represents tranquility, good luck, health, and jealousy. Green is thought to relieve stress and help heal. Those who have a green work environment experience fewer stomachaches.

Green worldwide

In Western cultures, green represents luck, nature, freshness, spring, environmental awareness, wealth, inexperience, and jealousy (the “green-eyed monster”).

Of course, green is an emblematic color for Ireland, which earned its nickname “The Emerald Isle” from its lush green landscapes. Green has traditionally been forbidden in Indonesia, whereas in Mexico it’s a national color that stands for independence.

In the Middle East green also represents fertility, luck, and wealth, and it’s considered the traditional color of Islam. In Eastern cultures, green symbolizes youth, fertility, and new life, but it can also mean infidelity. In fact, in China, green hats are taboo for men because it signals that their wives have committed adultery.

So, M&Ms are playing with your head and you are the only one to blame.

For all M&M’s lovers :* (pun intended)

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