You think you can have just one, or maybe a two, and before you know it the whole bag has disappeared. But don't worry. It's not your fault. Scientists at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut are now saying that those beacons of chocolate cookie-and-creme goodness really might be as addictive as crack. Yes, we're talking about the Oreo. And almost more importantly, these super-smart scientists also settled the debate on which part -- the cookie or the creme -- reigns supreme.
Way to go, science.
Neuroscientist Joseph Schroeder from Connecticut College led research about the cookie's addictive qualities. Using rats, Schroeder found that Oreos trigger the same neurons in the brain's pleasure center as cocaine. The study also found that rats given coke and rats given Oreo cookies showed similar levels of addiction.
To come to these conclusions, the researchers put rats into mazes with routes to either a rice cake or an Oreo. Other rats were put into a maze with saline solution and cocaine. Once the rats had explored the maze, they were able to choose which reward they wanted. Of course, the rats has a strong preference for Oreos (and coke), and in both situations spent similar amounts of time hanging around the zone where they received their rewards. The fact that the rats in both cases hung around waiting to score again indicates similar levels of addiction.
The scientists also noted that rats tended to prefer to eat the cream part of the cookie first. Indicating that, in fact, the inside of the Oreo is the best part. Even to rodents.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.