It wasn’t until after World War II that the contours of today’s food supply began to take shape. Thanks to the wonders of modern chemistry, manufacturers could now thicken it, emulsify it, flavor it, color it, fortify it, and preserve it.
But along with convenience came junk. For every can of frozen orange juice concentrate there was a packet of Kool-Aid. For every loaf of packaged whole-wheat bread there was a Twinkie.
Suddenly, companies were tripping over each other in a race to concoct new “foods” by flavoring and coloring some combination of sugar, oil, water, and refined flour. Just look at the massive space the candy and snack food aisles take up in your grocery store. Add a couple of Cokes and you can go all day without eating a real food! And way too many people do.
A Twinkie is one of these iconic junk foods. As a country we are hooked. The food industry studies us long and hard to find just the right “bliss point” of junk foods (that’s a real industry term by the way). This was evidenced by the news last November that Hostess was going out of business and that Twinkie manufacturing would come to a halt. Stand back! There was a looting-like surge of customers buying up what was left on grocery store shelves. 9 months later and under new ownership Twinkies are back with a campaign entitled “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever”.
It should be titled: "The Most Chemically-Laden Comeback in the History of Ever!" because it has an extended shelf life of 45 days!!! The old version’s shelf life was 26 days which is bad enough but now 45??? Do we think this is great? NO! A 45 day shelf life means that there is no real food in this product.
I’d like us all to do a little experiment. Let’s put a peach on our kitchen counter, a ¼ lb. of hamburger in our meat drawer, a slice of bread in a baggie, or a stalk of broccoli in the veggie drawer. Now let’s mark the start date on the calendar and see how many days it takes for these foods to wilt, wrinkle, rot, mold or disintegrate. I’ll bet you it will be within 7 days. Why? Because it’s all REAL food!!! Real food rots. Chemicals don’t. Twinkies don’t go bad because the only real food in them is refined white flour and reformulated eggs. Take a look:
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, cotonseed oil, canola oil, and beef fat,dextrose, whole eggs, modified cornstarch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid, pyrophosphate, baking soda,monocalcium phosphate),salt,cornstarch, corn flour,corn syrup solids, 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. **Twinkie cream gets its slippery sheen from cotton cellulose, which serves the same purpose in rocket fuel!
Are we ever going to sway the tide of junk food that is having a horrible effect on our health and wellbeing? Does my one voice as a motivational speaker on healthy eating effect any change? I have to believe it does.
Let’s just take one lesson away from this blog post today: If the food in your pantry or refrigerator doesn’t go bad after a couple of weeks, double check the ingredient list and recognize all the conditioners, stabilizers and dyes that are keeping it “fresh”, throw it out and buy the whole food alternative to that product. Your body will appreciate the break from the chemicals.
p.s. Throw in some leafy greens and berries and your body will get right to work repairing the damage those junk foods have done.
Spread the word!