J500 Media and the Environment


Your Twinkie is Toxic by jessicasb
January 28, 2009, 6:58 pm
Filed under: Food + Health, Society + Media

I have memories of visiting the Hostess Cakes store when I was younger. Cupcakes, twinkies and other desserts — packaged in plastic and in a chipboard box for good measure — lined the shelves.

Back then, I didn’t think much about what a bite of a 99-cent cake product really entailed for my body. But for his book, Twinkie, Deconstructed, Steve Ettlinger investigated each of the twinkie’s 39 ingredients.

Little did I know, one ingredient is thiamine mononitrate — which comes from Chinese petroleum. Can you imagine the cartoon children in the commercial below saying, “Mmmm, thiamine mononitrate!”? Not only am I disgusted by what my body must go through after digesting a twinkie, I’m disgusted that an ingredient needs to be imported more than 6,000 miles to create it. 

Not to mention that only 1% of imported grocery items and food ingredients are checked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. How can Americans feel confident about their buying habits if their government probably isn’t either? 

Although a college student’s budget is sometimes lacking, I try to be a little more selective about what I eat these days. I bake and cook at home way more than I ever used to, and I try to buy local and organic whenever I can. Anything that involves ingredients to allow its shelf life to last 28 days is probably out of the question. And if memories of countless shelves full of chocolate- and vanilla-flavored packaged desserts ever leads to a craving — rest assured there is probably a much healthier and appetizing alternative

— Jessica Sain-Baird

Thanks to YouTube for the video.

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

It is disgusting that man-made food additives need to travel so far to replace natural ingredients that are available right here. So locally made butter still isn’t good for my waistline, but I know what it is and where it came from.

Comment by mackenzies09

I’m with you – better to bake at home than cram down chemicals all night. I may not be the best cook, but I think I have something over petroleum.

Comment by alyv

I was shocked to discover that only 1% of imported food ingredients were quality inspected. It isn’t too surprising that Interstate Bakeries did not want to know where their ingredients came from, to ensure low costs. I guess ignorance is bliss as long as you don’t eat it.

Comment by matthewtb

Matt,
Agreed with the shock. I think that little factoid hit a lot closer to home than say, ingredients I can’t pronounce. At least ingredients are listed. If food isn’t being inspected that makes me a little more nervous.

Comment by jessicasb




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