The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in Juneau, Wisconsin had an exciting Tuesday last week.
Summoned to County Highway S after passers-by spotted red objects littering the rural highway, sheriffs were surprised to find hundreds of thousands of strawberry Skittles strewn across the road.
The Skittles reportedly fell off the back of a flatbed truck after a wet cardboard box gave way in the rain — which was a stroke of bad luck for the cows looking forward to eating those Skittles.
“It is reported that the Skittles were intended to be feed for cattle, as they did not make the cut for packaging at the company,” Dale Schmidt, a Dodge County sheriff, wrote in a Facebook post (above). “In the end, these Skittles are actually for the Birds!”
Surprising as it may be, farmers often use sugary treats to fatten up cattle. Reuters reports that when corn prices soared in 2012, farmers looking for starchy alternatives settled on “co-products” that contained everything from fruit loops to gummy worms.
It’s an economic windfall for both parties. Confectionary manufacturers can offload their defective products for some profit, while farmers score animal feed discounted by half.
Nevertheless, Skittles manufacturer Mars Inc. claims to have no idea why or where those Skittles were going, according to TheKitchn, which reports that a representative said that while Mars Inc. regularly sells unused candies and ingredients to processors who then make it into animal feed, the company does not sell directly to farmers.
“We don’t know how it ended up as it did and we are investigating,” Mars told The Associated Press, adding that they had directed the particular plant in Yorkville, Illinois responsible for these Skittles to destroy the candies after a power outage caused them to be processed without the trademark “S” stamped on the shells.
Next, read up on the great molasses flood that devastated Boston.