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Tony Saves And Dissects An 8-Year-Old Apple Pie
July 2, 2004

When I started working at AMSOIL on Monday, January 13, 1997, I was excited, to say the least. On Wednesday, January 15, 1997, I stopped at a gas station before work and bought two Dolly Madison Apple Pies to bring to work. I sure enjoyed the first one, but I left the second one in my desk drawer and discovered it several weeks later. On contemplating whether it was still edible, I noticed that one of the primary ingredients was Propylene Glycol. This is the primary chemical used in AMSOIL Coolant/Anti-Freeze, so a lightbulb went off, and I wrote the company a letter out of sheer amusement. They responded, and then I sent them another letter a couple weeks later. They never wrote back. They probably worried that further correspondence would lead to evidence in a trial.

Now featured in New Scientist Magazine! (1.38MB PDF)

(See the letters below the photos...)

After that damn pie sat in my desk drawer for seven years and 6 months, I finally decided to dissect the Apple Pie and document it, along with a fresh Apple Pie from the grocery store bought today. And here are the results!

One of these pies, is not like the other. One of these pies, is very old... When unwrapped, the nearly 8-year-old pie on the left is visibly dessicated and lacks what Realtors call "curb appeal," to say the least.
The cutting open of the pies was revealing: The old pie was pretty dry. But still gooey inside. One half of the old pie's filling shrunk, leaving a gaping hole inside the crust.
The color difference between old and new was pronounced. Amazingly, they both passed the "sniff test" and smelled exactly the same. If I survived a plane crash in the northern Canadian Bush, and found the old pie, I would eat it. It doesn't look wonderful, but it is totally edible.

I sent the first letter with some carefully-crafted bad grammar to make it believable and see if I could get a corporate response. Indeed it worked. I'll bet my letter went through the entire corporate office and was copied and posted on a wall of shame somewhere...

The First Letter

February 21, 1997

Interstate Brands Corporation
General Office
Kansas City, MO 64111

Dear Customer Service Person:

I am a huge fan of your Dolly Madison Bakery Apple Artificially Flavored Real Fruit Pies (I prefer the Apple model), and I wanted to express my delight of them with you. The first time I ate one, I was hooked. I buy your pies all the time, usually evry day. At first I would buy just a cupple at a time, but I soon was buying quite a few every day.

Right now I am eating two before work, one for a mid-morning snak, and three for lunch. And I always have a cupple after dinner every day, for sure!

Yesterday at lunch, I noticed that one of the ingredents in the Apple Pie model was Propylene Glycol. I actully use antifreeze in my truck that is Propylene Glycol. I was wondring if it is safe to eat, as much of the pies that I have been eating lately. Is it bad for you?

My friends at work are betting me on how many Dolly Madison Bakery Apple Artificially Flavored Real Fruit Pies I can eat at work each day, and I am curently up too 9. Jeez, they are good.

Please let me know about the Propylene Glycol, and wether it is bad or not in this amount. Otherwise, I'll keep going for eating more evry day to break records.


Tony Rogers
Duluth, MN 55804

Interstate Brands Corporation Responds, two weeks later...

March 7, 1997

Interstate Brands Corporation
Customer Service Department
Kathy Adams

Dear Mr. Rogers:

We are thrilled that you like our Apple Pies so much. But we are concerned about the sheer number of them that you are consuming on a daily basis. The best advice I can give is to look to the government's Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of nutrition and make sure that you are receiving proper nutrition levels. If you look at those guidance figures, you will see that our apple pies are giving you entirely too much in sugar and fat if you are eating that many every day. They are actually meant to be a dessert product, and eaten after you have a complete, nutritious meal. I would not advise eating that many of our pies on any given day, and I would certainly not encourage you to "go for a record" of daily consumption of them, for a host of reasons related to your health.

Please continue to enjoy our apple pies, but do so in a moderate fashion.


Kathy Adams
Interstate Brands Customer Service Representative

P.S. I included two coupons for free pies

(She really did, too. I never did redeem them)

Letter to Kathy At Interstate Brands Corporation, One Month Later
(At the prodding of my boss, Kevin)

March 7, 1997

Interstate Brands Corporation
General Office
Kansas City, MO 64111

Dear Kathy:

Well, I broke all records! I ate 12 Dolly Madison Bakery Apple Artificially Flavored Real Fruit Pies at lunch yesterday, on a bet. I have actully eatin 18 in one day, but I sufered for that one later.

Thanks so much for the two free coopons! I used them the first day I got them. My friend said I might try a diffrent fruit model, so I tried cherry and it sucked and I through up in the truck.

My boss found out about my "pie eating record" days and he noticed that I was always looking sick and throughing up and he said I can't eat that many pies when I work. But I still still sneek a few here and their, so you'll be happy.

Thanks again Kathy!


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