OFFBEAT: Peep show

I just ate 17 percent of my daily allowance of fat. It took me all of three bites. I hate Easter, I re
Cory Frolik
May 24, 2010

I just ate 17 percent of my daily allowance of fat.

It took me all of three bites.

I hate Easter, I really do.

As if Thanksgiving wasn't bad enough, here comes a holiday hopping down the bunny trail that revolves around jelly beans and chocolates.

Curse the man who invented Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs.

And Peeps -- yeah, they hurt my face.

I shovel them in until my palms are all gooey and yellow, and my belly starts to swell and quake like its hosting a rock concert.

Been to Target recently?

Oh, it's like something out of a dentist's nightmare.

Rows of malted milk balls and gummy animals are stacked higher than one can reach. If it's rich in fat and sugar, it's certain to be found on those shelves.

Now, don't get me wrong -- candy makes a lot of sense these days.

The New York Times wrote a story last month about how candy products are just flying off the shelves in this down economy -- the theory being that even cash-strapped Americans have no problem springing for a little bag of sugar-coated goodness.

People have a deep-seated need to treat themselves, and candy treats are more affordable and sensible than, say, speed boats.

"Famously, confectionery companies are often good investments during in recessions as people cut back on luxuries and comfort themselves with small indulgences such as chocolate bars," wrote Financial Times business writer John Gapper.

So while a National Retail Federation survey found Americans on average will be spending only $116.59 this year on Easter -- down from $135.03 last year -- respondents said they would likely shell out $16.55 on candy this year, down only $1.57 from 2008.

Sixteen dollars buys a lot of Peanut Butter Eggs at Target. Thirty by my count -- 29, if you want to be cool about it and throw one my way.

Except for Halloween, no other holiday has Americans chowing down on so much candy.

According to the National Confectioners Association, about 90 million chocolate bunnies are made for Easter each year.

And that's just for appetizers.

Americans eat somewhere between 600 million and 700 million Peeps each year, depending on which source you believe.

To put that in perspective, lined up in a row, it would take only 70 million Peeps to connect New York and Los Angeles -- this comes from the source itself, marshmallowpeeps.com.

And it's not as though you can find a box of Peeps come May. They are all gobbled up in the span of just a several weeks.

I'll eat my large and unhealthy share of the birdies (probably yours, too, for that matter) before this column goes to print.

But I guess just because I'm royally incapable of limiting my candy consumption, doesn't mean you should skip out on this Easter.

As for me, I'm just looking forward to May.

No stockpiles of candy show up for Memorial Day.

And Mother's Day? Yeah, my mother doesn't feel like she has to share her chocolates on her Big Day.

I, for one, couldn't be happier about it.