Wired wonk figures out how Krispy Kreme’s donuts-for-vaccines program could power 120,000 homes


Krispy Kreme recently offered Americans a free donut with proof of their COVID-19 vaccination, and a Wired writer has just figured out that all those free donuts could power 120,000 American homes. 

Alas, there’s a catch.

Writing for WiredRhett Allain, an associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, figured out if every American who got said free treat hopped on a stationary bike to work off those calories, that could generate a massive amount of energy.

This is, of course, supposing that said Pelotons were hooked up to a power grid, and — perhaps a bigger ask — that each of the 63 million Americans who the CDC says have been vaccinated would be willing to work off said donut.

Of course they wouldn’t, because America, but don’t let that get in the way of the science.

Allain crunched the numbers for the 190-calorie freebie using a calorie-to-joule (unit of energy)-to-watts conversion that’s likely too complicated even if you had strong coffee with your donut, but here’s the gist.

Each American on that theoretical exercise bike could generate two “measly” watts of power working off those 190 calories, about the typical output for a smartphone. “However, once you include all the vaccinated people, we get up to 144 megawatts,” the physicist determined. 

That much juice a day is enough to power 120,000 homes, Allain calculated. “Oh, and you get vaccinated,” he adds. “That’s a win.”

As Homer Simpson once said: “Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?”

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