Despite all better judgement and ample warning from the company, teenagers have been eating Tide Pods. What started as a harmless meme that pointed out how Tide Pods look like candy (the colors are known to be alluring to young children) led to the creation of the “Tide Pod Challenge”, where people take videos of themselves eating the colorful laundry detergent and post it online.
I’ll be the first to admit—I think Tide Pods look delicious, as do many others. In fact, The Onion posted a satirical article titled “So Help Me God, I’m Going to Eat One of Those Multicolored Laundry Pods” from the perspective of an ambitious toddler. In the past, laundry pods—especially colorful ones like the Tide brand—have come under fire before for looking too much like candy. To humans, the colors and shape signal to the brain that it is a nutritious and delicious snack; much like fruit. Have you ever heard someone say that the best kind of meal is one that includes every color of the rainbow? Tide Pods satisfy the same primitive instinct.
According to the blog Just a Whole Lot of Weird, “[Tide Pods have] the oleic gleam of an avocado, but bright carotenoid-rich coloration like a berry that tells you to eat it, It tends to smell sweet and slightly floral, enhancing that effect, similarly, when you hold it, it’s quiet dense, but very soft and liquid, which tells your mind that this is fruit which has either high sugar or high fat content and almost no cellulose to it.” If you took a bite, your brain would expect an amazing rush of sweetness, but you would be instead met with a bitter taste.
So, to those out there who want to eat Tide Pods, just know that you are not alone. However, that doesn’t mean you should eat Tide Pods. Please don’t eat Tide Pods.