Why Roaches and Twinkies Have Ingredients That Will Out Live Us All

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According to the Hostess website, Twinkies have a shelf life of 26 days, and contain, among other ingredients, Polysorbate 60, Red 40, mono and diglycerides and calcium sulfate — “a food-grade equivalent of plaster of Paris.”

Author Steve Ettlinger spent months interviewing chemical engineers, questioning industrial bakers and even traveling 1,600 feet below the surface of the Earth to see where Twinkie ingredients are mined.

Ettlinger claims many of the Twinkie’s ingredients are “more closely linked to rocks and petroleum than any of the four food groups.” Ettlinger’s jouney is documented in his book “Twinkie, Deconstructed”.

Ettlinger said he was astounded by what he learned — particularly that Twinkies’ ingredients are “manufactured with fourteen of the top twenty chemicals made in the U.S.”

“The unlikely food sub-ingredients sulfuric acid, ethylene, lime, and phosphoric acid top the list,” Ettlinger wrote in his book.

“That industrial aspect of our food — and Twinkies are but one among tens of thousands of processed foods — would be less troubling if it were easier to still see where it all comes from.”

(Click “Next” to see the Ingredients)

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper
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