Friday, 13 January 2012

SO LONG TWINKIE


Hostess, the company we can hold responsible for churning out such culinary gems as the Twinkie and Wonder Bread is apparently about to go bust, or has filed chapter eleven. Which these days doesn’t mean much – just look to Wall Street to see how companies who have lost billions can still stay in operation. [Oh yes, that’s right, because we bail them out…sorry, I digress].

It’s hard to imagine that such a thing like the Twinkie has survived all these years – since 1930 to be exact (not sure if the Twinkie was rocking its bad self in the 30’s, but Hostess came to be during that time). Then again, considering the ingredients of a Twinkie are still a mystery, perhaps it’s not so surprising that something with the shelf life of a rock can stick around for this long.

I can readily admit that when I was young I used to eat my fair share of crap like the aforementioned Twinkie. It was usually when I went to friends’ houses when I would ingest such things as the Hostess apple pie or ding dongs – as my European mother wasn’t sure what the hell to make of a Twinkie and its culinary cousins – and I would happily ignore the thought of what I was eating, because at the time it tasted good and back then I was putting a lot worse things in my body. Screw it if I can’t identify what they put into this oval cream-filled toxic artery clogger, I wanted it anyway, and why not wash it down with a cigarette and coffee.

Now that I’m older – and hopefully wiser and much more conscious of what I put in my face – it’s hard to imagine that as a society we are still churning out things that have no place in our bodies let alone in the universe. When you think about the food we eat one can (and should) become very alarmed at what we consume, not to mention, the liberties the food industry has taken in order to appear enticing and progressive. And of course by progressive I mean, intent to create pseudo food that creates unhealthy addicts of the masses.

In my opinion, the most scary thing our society has done to food is that we have created things that do not exist in nature, i.e. there is a billion dollar industry centered on food that is not really food (soda, McDonalds, ahem, Twinkies…the list is so long it’s painful). Not to mention, the food industry has gone as far as creating food that tastes like other things without having to be the thing itself. Confusing isn’t it? Meatless ‘meat’ that tastes like meat (never understood this one), potato chips that have the essence of chicken, beef or even curry (ewwww), crackers that taste like cookies, cereal that has more candy and chocolate in it than the candy aisle. You get the picture. Long gone are the days when the potato chip was just made with potatoes. Nowadays it's got everything but a potato in the actual chip.

Whatever happened to things just tasting like the things they should taste like? Or furthermore, what has happened to actual real food? Food that when you read the ingredients it does not read like some perverse science experiment? When I took the King to the hospital awhile back and he projectile vomited peas and corn everywhere, the thing that shocked me the most (you’d think it was the vomit, wouldn’t you) was the nurses' pleased reaction that I was feeding my son vegetables. What the hell else am I supposed to be feeding him, Twinkies?

Do I blame our society’s consumption of crap on the Hostess organization? Well, not entirely. Our problems are much more complex than just one company - but they shouldn't be so proud of their legacy, let's put it that way. Am I sad the Twinkie is dead? Not really. Although, saying this, I wouldn’t be surprised if that pernicious sponge cake outlives us all.  

1 comment:

  1. Great rant. You should see the video study / art project done by a TEDxManhattan fellow: she used a pill camera to demonstrate the difference in how our bodies digest processed vs. whole foods. It was pretty horrifying.

    http://foodinmyfood.blogspot.com/2012/02/processed-vs-whole-foods-well-i-feel.html

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