How often have you stood in the store and pondered a food item’s ingredients list, blithely passing over the long, hard to pronounce words that seem straight from the chem lab? Would you skip over them if you not only could pronounce them but if you also knew what they are, what they do, and where they come from? Would that knowledge make you put back the bag of chips and box of Twinkies?
For many, the answer is, “no, my Hostess cakes are staying in my buggy, thank you”; especially if the alternative (read food lacking much if not all of the 15-letter words) seems a little more expensive or less readily accessible. One answer to this is that there are a growing number of options that aren’t that expensive and are in more and more chain supermarkets. Also, why not fix your sweet tooth with something locally (or home) made? Another might be that yes, the general public should be more aware of what’s in the processed food it eats. However, it’s probably not realistic to expect a dash for the science books.
An alternative to trying to create a nation of chemists might be, instead, to address how we can work to remove Twinkies and other highly-processed, chemically-laden items from our nation’s diet, because, yes, Twinkie sweets alternatives may be a few cents more than the Hostess cakes, but the health issues those cakes create are something like millions of dollars more.
— Mary Beth
Image from: stanford.wellsphere.com
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