What do two thousand calories look like?: The cookie edition

February 28, 2020

We have all heard that the average person should eat about 2,000 calories a day. It varies from person to person, depending on things such as sex, age, how active you are and a bunch of other factors (but since I’m not a nutritionist I cannot think of other factors). For example, according to Calculator.net, my couch potato self should consume only 1,800 calories a day. 

Why am I even talking about this if I am not a nutritionist? Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to convince you of anything. I would just like to point out a truth about the world we live in today: food has a lot of calories. 

Being a loyal Brandeisian, I decided to conduct my field research in the C-Store, because at Brandeis food has to be high in calories and overpriced. There is way too much food to review in one article, so snacks.

Warning: this article contains complex mathematical calculations, however, I was unable to find a math major to verify my data. 

Exhibit A: Oreos, the ultimate cookies. In this case with three different levels of stuffing: regular, “Double Stuf” and “The Most Stuf.” I love Oreos; they really are great cookies. As much as I love the classic Oreos, which will cost you 160 calories per three-cookie serving, recently I’ve been leaning more toward the Double Stuf oreos, which are 140 calories per two-cookie serving. 

A few days ago, I also noticed that the limited edition The Most Stuf Oreos are back, so I decided that it would be fun to try them. I was not impressed: it’s bad enough they are 110 calories per cookie (as opposed to 53.33 calories in the regular and 70 calories in the Double Stuf), but when you bite into them, all that stuf oozes out from the rest of the sides. That is not fun, and quite frankly, there is just not enough cookie for the amount of cream, and I like the cream. I’ll be sticking to my 70-calorie Double Stuf oreos, and if I ever decide to spend a day eating just them, I can eat 28.5 oreos, which is a little scary. But if I want more oreos, I could eat 37.5 regular oreos to reach the 2,000 calorie mark. If you do decide that you want to drown in cream, you can eat 18.2 Most Stuf oreos. Don’t forget the milk! 

Moving on to another favorite of mine—Exhibit B: the Original Chips Ahoy. Let me start this by saying that people who prefer the chewy version are monsters. Don’t get me wrong, I, like any other normal human being, love chewy cookies, but the Chips Ahoy “chewy” cookies are honestly just soggy and gross. I’m pretty sure they are made by throwing the regular ones in water and leaving them there for 12 hours. I like chewy cookies as much as any other sane person, but that is just soggy snot. A pathetic excuse of a cookie. And I know that most people at Brandeis agree with me, because whenever the C-Store has nothing left, the one thing that will definitely still be there are those chewy cookies. 

The regular chocolate chip cookies make for a great snack and only cost you 160 calories per three cookies, which is only 53.33 calories per cookie. Which means in total I could eat 37.5 cookies to reach the 2,000 calorie mark, just like the regular Oreos. In other words, a day’s worth of food is essentially a box of cookies. Which isn’t great, but at least they taste good, right? 

Up next is an American classic. Exhibit C: Cheez-It crackers. It is not surprising that I am not a fan of this American classic. They’re just way too salty and cheesy, just like almost all other “classic” foods. (Do people have taste buds here? Or are they killed by all the genetically modified food?) When I first tried these, I thought my tongue was going to fall off from the amount of favor that was in them. Can you water down crackers? Because they desperately need it. 

In terms of calories, they aren’t too bad; they are only 150 calories per serving. What gets to me though is that a serving is 30 grams, or about 27 crackers. Who can eat 27 of those in one sitting is a question for another day, but who in their right mind counts how many crackers they eat? Imagine sitting there, studying for a midterm on a cold February evening, and counting how many crackers you are eating. If I did my math correctly, a single cracker has 5.56 calories which means that to get to the average daily limit of food, you need to eat 360 crackers. Now that is insane. And at this point I would like to point out that I am not recommending trying to eat 360 Cheez-Its in a single day. I am not responsible for your adult decisions. 

Exhibit D: Pepperidge Farm’s Milano milk chocolate cookies, is a weird one. I have nothing bad to say about these cookies, but I also don’t have anything good to say about them. This must say something right? They are just too plain to be remembered, which isn’t great for a cookie. Imagine being forgotten 10 seconds after being eaten; it must not be a great feeling. As with most other cookies, the serving size is three cookies, but this time, they will cost you 170 calories per serving. I’m not going to lie, I found this very surprising: between Chips Ahoy and Oreos, I’d expect these to have the least amount of calories as I always thought these are the “healthy cookies.” But these have 3.33 more calories per cookie; I guess you learn something new every day. This means that if you wanted to spend a day eating nothing but the milk chocolate Milanos, you could eat a little over 35 cookies: around two and a half packs. But hey, at least you can always find them at the C-Store, and only for double their normal price!

And finally, last but not least, Exhibit E: Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish, in the classic Cheddar flavor. After the less than impressive Milano cookies, the Goldfish truly have my heart. They are the perfect bite-size size, the perfect—totally natural-looking—orange color and are truly a treat for my taste buds. I will not comment on any of the other flavors, because apparently I have been “too negative” in my reviews, so I will just say that there is a reason why the classic flavor is classic. The portion is also pretty generous: 55 cookies for only 140 calories! That works out to around 2.5 calories per cookie. That means that if I want to spend an entire day eating only Goldfish, I can eat 800 of them! I can imagine my doctor would have a few things to say about this, but I think it would be pretty fun. And think about how orange your mouth will become. Best snack in the C-Store. 

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that all these calculations have been done for theoretical purposes and not for experimental use in everyday life. 

Editor’s note: This is the third part of the series “What do two thousand calories look like?”

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