Twinkie, RIP?

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In spite of its “natural” ingredients. This is from the web page of Steve Ettlinger, author of Twinkie, Deconstructed, on the strange culture embraced by Americans of not knowing the chemical factory that makes up the “food” they eat.

In this fascinating exploration into the curious world of packaged foods, Twinkie, Deconstructed takes us from phosphate mines in Idaho to corn fields in Iowa, from gypsum mines in Oklahoma to oil fields in China, to demystify some of America’s most common processed food ingredients—where they come from, how they are made, how they are used—and why. Beginning at the source (hint: they’re often more closely linked to rocks and petroleum than any of the four food groups), Ettlinger reveals how each Twinkie ingredient goes through the process of being crushed, baked, fermented, refined, and/or reacted into a totally unrecognizable goo or powder with a strange name—all for the sake of creating a simple snack cake.

An insightful, entertaining exploration of modern food industry, if you’ve ever wondered what you’re eating when you consume foods containing mono and diglycerides or calcium sulfate (the latter, a food-grade equivalent of plaster of Paris), this book is for you.

Why is it such a secret what the “creamy filling” is made of? The New York Times explored this question, and many others.

8:14 pm on November 28, 2012
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