Aug 172013

My brother-in-law came for a visit. He brought a box of Twinkies. He offered me one. I declined, but then decided to take a bite for old time sakes. I used to love the Twinkie back in the 50’s. In fact, the Twinkie was one of my favorite snacks along with another Hostess House product—the cream filled chocolate cupcake.

The Twinkie disappeared for awhile when Hostess House took bankruptcy protection. But a financial holding company bought the Hostess House Brand and relaunched the new Twinkie this past July. The advertising on the box proclaims, “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.” I don’t quite understand what that means. But the point is that the Twinkie is back on the shelves and people will be consuming them in large quantities.

The new Twinkie doesn’t taste vey good. I may suffer from nostalgia infused memory but the Twinkie of sixty years ago was quite tasty, a rich sponge cake with vanilla filling. It was, no doubt, replete with offensive ingredients as is the new Twinkie which, I’m certain, if kept in a cool, dry place you would be able to eat one hundred years from now. The ingredients give the impression that it was conceived in a lab. It’s something the Uni-bomber might have kept on hand to avoid trips to town.

Here’s what’s in the new Twinkie: Enriched wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable shortening – containing one or more of the following: partially hydrogenated soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, beef fat, dextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, cornstarch, corn flour, corn syrupsolids, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow No. 5, red #40.

Much of our processed food is loaded up with these emulsifiers, desiccants, preservatives and colorings. And, the evidence is becoming clearer and clearer that high fructose corn syrup is the work of the Devil. One wouldn’t think this kind of article from this week’s news would be even necessary—that soft drinks (loaded with corn syrup) make little kids aggressive.  High fructose corn syrup is ubiquitous. Soft drink annual sales are $60 billion. Average number of cans consumed by males in the 12-19 age group—an astounding 868. High fructose corn syrup is no doubt responsible for the epidemic of obesity. I’m talking sloppy fat; not healthy fat. Go-to-the- doctor fat.

I understand why people eat processed food. I understand why I eat it. It’s easy. Making your own food is not so easy in that it takes a lot of time. I’m reminded at how much time it does take to provide for oneself this time of year as the harvest gets heavy and we begin to put food by. Yesterday I started working on beets at 8am. Pull the beets, trim them, cull the leaves for freezing, wash the beets, boil the beets, remove the skins, cut the beets, measure the amount, make the brine, etc. etc. Finished that up about 1pm then went back to the garden and harvested about a third of our dried beans. Of course, once you pull those bean pods off the stems you have to get the beans out which took two of us another hour. Got about a gallon of beans.

There’s so much to worry about: Big Brother, Fukishima radiation, climate change, economic collapse. Yet, I become more and more convinced that the only constructive thing we can really do in a positive way to change things is to grow and preserve healthy food. At least it’s the only thing I can think of to do to affect change. Driving to the market today I noticed a guy down the road, a retired doc no less, spraying weeds across from his house. I doubt it was fertilizer. I expect it was Roundup. Lots of people are still spraying Roundup. It is nasty stuff and there is scientific proof to back this statement up.

It’s frustrating that Roundup, corn fructose syrup, and Twinkies are more popular than beets and beans from the garden.

We live in Twinkie World.