As a girl, my favorite Mister Rogers’ episode was when he went to the crayon factory. I was mesmerized by those machines pumping out perfect symmetrical tubes of color. The Food Network program Unwrapped gives me the same thrill: It’s an entire show dedicated to visiting the factories of different food companies to see how mass-produced products are made, and it’s full of “Oh, that’s how they do that” moments. Unwrapped delves into the technology, engineering, and crazy chemistry behind America’s favorite junk foods, though I could do without some of the useless knowledge, like the fact that it takes five days to make a gumball. One of the best episodes is about cereal, in which they explain the history of Lucky Charms, created by combining Cheerios and diced orange circus peanuts.
Unwrapped airs on the Food Network. Check your local listings.