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 Yahoo.com 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.

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  8 Responses to “Twinkie World”

  1. I agree that growing our own healthy food & avoiding biocides are choices we really can make that help keep our environment intact. Here’s another:

    Choosing to not travel by air for pleasure (includes just-for-get-together family & friend visits). This one is hard for me & for most people I know — we do so hate the notion of giving up our lingering 20th century sense of entitlement to travel wherever we want, however we want, as long as we have the $$$. I’ve only done 1 one-way flight in 3, 4 years now. I didn’t attend a unique family reunion n MD last June. And I’m sooooo! tempted to fly to Hawaii this winter, or maybe Santa Fe in fall; or fly with Bill and cuz Diane to Washington DC for sightseeing & family visits …

    Will I succumb to those urges? Maybe, maybe not. Whichever I choose, I will do so understanding the decision has a strong moral/ethical/environmental dimension.

    This is a very *very* tough topic to have discussions about, I’ve found, even with my most ardently environmentally / climate change-aware friends. Much, much, *much* harder than food, biocides, junk food . . . I think it’s because we are all so totally hooked on our very deep 20th century sense of entitlement to travel wherever, whenever, however we want as long as we have enough $$$, time & health.

    Tough stuff.

  2. sorry about the repetition re: entitlements. didn’t proof first. but maybe it’s a statement that bears repeating.

    “We have met the enemy and they are Us”

  3. Well spoken Randy! There is no doubt that GMO products are in Twinkies and yes that Roundup is killing the bees not to mention the soil. Well written post!!! Love it.

  4. ! I grew up helping my mom garden and can and freeze homegrown produce. I can’t tell you how many ears of corn I de-silked, string beans I cleaned, peas I shucked, and the list goes on. Tomatoes, cucumbers (pickles), peaches… I think I complained. A lot. But what I wouldn’t give now to taste that frozen sweet corn (yes, it was good even frozen) on a plate now. Or the beets. So delish. Nothing compares to the memory of the taste of that homegrown food. We spent a lot of time together, too. With my grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins, who all benefited from the processing of the produce. But it’s hard to think about growing and shelling beans (you spent an hour harvesting alone) when stuff is so cheap at the store, and I already spend a lot of time working. I’d either be working all the time (like my parents still do), or resort to buying food at a store that someone else or something else processed for me. Maybe I could pay both of YOU to process home grown food for me! Now THAT’s an idea I like!

  5. Some Great links for your readers around Pesticides – Gardens and Bees.
    Would love to hear your thoughts on GMO as Washington State has a huge opportunity to make changes with GMO Label laws.

    EPA issues new pesticide labels to warn about hazards to bees
    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/epa-issues-new-pesticide-labels-warn-about-hazards-bees-6C10931490

    Is Your Garden Pesticide Killing Bees?
    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/01/bee-killing-pesticides-not-just-corn-fields

    Tell Home Depot and Lowe’s to Stop Carrying Roundup Herbicide and Neonicotinoid Pesticides
    http://org.credoaction.com/petitions/tell-home-depot-and-lowe-s-to-stop-carrying-roundup-and-similar-pesticides

  6. I had the same experience with Hostess sno-balls. You know those chocolate half ball shaped cake things covered with a marshmallow cover and coconut? It tasted awful. Not at all like when I was a kid but then kids, including myself will eat anything sweet. I am in the midst of canning and preserving my garden and other locally produced items so I am painfully aware of the work. I consider it “condensed meal prep” because it is done now for use later and later you don’t have to do all that work. The satisfaction of going to the pantry or freezer for something in the middle of Winter is great! And all those gleaming jars on the shelves are beautiful. How did your potato harvest go? Mine is a bit late because I was a bit late getting it in but we have been enjoying some lovely Yukons.

  7. @Sue,

    I think the voles got my potatoes in the wire cages. However, I am hopeful that the front garden tomatoes which I grew in cedar boxes were more vole proof. Thought the cat had cleared out the voles but saw him throwing one around near the potatoes the other day. I put too much mulch about the potato cages. Gave them cover.

    I agree that the big payoff is in winter when all that prep work turns into fast food.

  8. You are forgetting that people eat twinkies deep-fried too. I’m not sure you can find something less healthy, LOL.

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