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Twinkie Twinkie Little Food

 

I found the following photo essay extremely interesting. It is 37 pictures of each of the 37 ingredients – and I use that word loosely – in a Twinkie. You know that little cellophaned, see-through plastic wrapped package with two long pieces of cake filled with something gooey and creamy.

Based on this photo essay, I am prepared to say ingredients in food today simply are not what they used to be. It seems if I can’t pronounce an ingredient on a food label, it probably is not a food product at all. More likely it is just a chemical mixed together with other chemicals to make something approximating food.

The truth is there is little food in our packaged food today!

So what is really in a Twinkie?

From the Today Show website: 

Author Steve Ettlinger spent years unearthing the answers to that very question. Using a Twinkie label as a guide, he interviewed chemical engineers and industrial bakers and even traveled 1,600 feet below the surface of the Earth to see where Twinkie ingredients — the same ingredients used in plenty of processed foodsare, ummmm, mined. He chronicled his findings in his fun-to-read book, “ Twinkie, Deconstructed.” [Emphasis mine.]

In his book, Twinkie Deconstructed, Ettlinger writes, that many of the Twinkie’s ingredients are “more closely linked to rocks and petroleum than any of the four food groups.” Technically they do come from the Earth. So that is how Hostess can label the product, “all natural.”

REALLY!! You can’t make this stuff up!!!

You can see a full size picture of each of the 37 separate ‘ingredients’  by clicking here.

It is really fun, enlightening, and a bit scary at the same time. It is worth your time to have a look-see.

My favorite is whole eggs. Doesn’t look like the whole eggs I have come to know and love! 

Here is a small preview:

This is a picture of 8 of the ‘food’ items that go into the making of a Twinkie. Makes my mouth water at the sight. NOT.

As the  Fooducate blog wrote so well:  “Something to picture in your mind the next time you bite into a chemistry lab experiment turned ‘food’.”

I don’t know about you, but I prefer real food to chemicals!!!!!

Maybe, just maybe the hit song from the summer of 1969, In the Year 2525, by Zager and Evans was just a bit to prescient. 

       
Featured Recipe:   Baked Beans
Made from REAL food, not chemicals!!!!

I almost used this recipe for Labor Day since it is reported that Labor Day is the biggest day for grilling food. And what goes better with grilled foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats than baked beans. But I opted instead for Biscuits and Gravy.

But grilling season and picnic season are far from being over even though summer may be “officially” over. There are a lot of warm and sunny days left to this year. And that means more grilling and more picnic days.

Then of course, football season is upon us and that means tailgate parties. Baked Beans are perfect for tailgate parties too. Or even when noshing when just watching the game on TV. 

This recipe comes from Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two Cookbook, 1976 Edition. The newer editions are very, VERY different from this 1976 edition of the cookbook. The differences are like night and day. 

I doubled the recipe so it serves four.

This is what you will need to serve four:

4 slices of bacon, diced

1 medium onion*, diced

2 cans 16 ounce baked beans with pork

4 tablespoons catsup**

4 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

*I used half a large onion as that is what I had on hand.

**Or chili sauce or BBQ sauce.

Here is what you do:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dice the bacon and the onions.

In a large skillet sauté the stir the bacon and onion until the bacon is crisp. If you have excess fat here, drain it. 

NOTE: I had no fat to drain off. I use Center Cut bacon. The brand I use seldom renders much fat. (there are several brands out there) Center cut bacon eliminates a lot of the fat. It is more expensive. But for me it is worth every extra penny because the fat content is lower. You can see in the picture below  how little fat the bacon let out. I actually had to add about one-eighth teaspoon of vegetable oil towrds the end of browing just to prevent the bacon and onions from outright burning.

While the bacon and onion are cooking I get the next ingredients ready. I literally line them up so that I can get everything into the skillet lickety-split.

I am not Monk!!!

Now my friends like to tease me and say that I am the “a” word. Really now! I much prefer to call myself just super-organized. I make no apologizes. It is how I am hard wired.

I love the TV show Monk. Even in reruns it is better than half the crap on TV these days. Part of my pleasure in watching Monk is that I can see some of me in his personality. I chuckle so much when he has to have everything just so. I understand. I understand. I am certainly not clinically Obsessive Compulsive like Monk. But I do have some of the traits. But much milder.

In the hands of a lesser actor-comedian Monk would have been a caricature. But Tony Shalhoub let the man’s humanity shine through.

Back to cooking. I get distracted easily too. Where was I?……Oh I was lining ingredients up.

If you look closely you will see I am not completely Monk. The cans are not lined up perfectly and one of the spoons is crooked.

Anyway…………….

Stir all the  remaining ingredients into the beans and heat through.

Pour into a 2 quart casserole.

Bake uncovered until hot and bubbly about 45-50 minutes.

Can be served with hot dogs, hamburgers, or brats. This is even good with grilled chicken or grilled steak. It is also good when Hungarian Cucumber Salad is on your picnic menu.

Cost

4 slices of bacon                               $0.85

1 ,edium onion                                  $0.26

2 cans baked beans                           $1.00 (on sale)

4 tablespoons catsup                          $0.14

4 tablespoons brown sugar                 $0.22

2 tsps Worcestershire sauce               $0.05 

1 teaspoon prepared mustard             $0.02

Total Cost for 4 = $2.54
Cost per person = $0.64
And this cost was for REAL food, not for chemicals.

Bon Appetit!!!

Quote of the Day:   The movers and shakers have always been obsessive nuts.        Theodore Sturgeon (American science fiction author)

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5 comments to Twinkie Twinkie Little Food

  • Ummm. My mother used to serve baked beans almost every Saturday night, along with a hot dog, mustard, and brown bread out of a can. I remember liking the broad bread especially.

    Loved your Twinkie research. I ate them in my youth. Today you can find recipes for deep-fried Twinkies. The recipe says “The Twinkie will float, so you need to hold it down.” Hmmm. Wonder what makes it float? All those “earthy” ingredients?

    • Roberta

      Jan, I remember a brown bread in a can my mom used to serve too. I liked it.

      Hot dogs and baked beans. Hamburgers too. Baked beans were a staple of picnics and cookouts. It is a wonder we did no all grow up to be over weight.

      My mom cooked with real fat and lard too.

      I wonder why so many children are over weight today as compared to when I was growing up. We ate lots of fatty foods too. Was it that we got more exercixe? Like walking 6 or 7 blocks to school every day?

  • Whoops. Make that “brown” not “broad.”

  • Roberta — My mother used Crisco. She wasn’t much of a cook. Her staple was meatloaf. And she would do liver and bacon. I hated the liver. I would cut it into very small pieces and swallow it like a pill.

    Walking to school – the increase in traffic at 3:00 PM when school gets out is amazing. How do parents have the time to do this? My parents only had one car. (Actually, that’s because my mother refused to drive.) I took the bus in high school, but it was 12 miles away.

    Why is childhood obesity such a problem today — Despite the Twinkies, Hostess cup cakes (with the “crème” filling), and Fritos of my youth, there’s much, much more cheap processed food available today, not to mention the frosted flakes cereals.

    I wrote something about this recently. People are snacking more often than 30 years ago. Men consumed 268 more calories a day in 1994-96 than they did in 1977-78. 241 of those calories came from snacks, not meals. For women, the numbers are 143 more calories, 160 more from snacks (they ate 74 fewer calories at dinner – the meal with the vegetables and protein).

    Also, there are more women in the full-time workforce. In 1965, a married woman who didn’t work spent over two hours a day preparing food and cleaning up afterwards. By 1995, women were spending half that time. Women had less time both to prepare food and to sit down with the family for an evening meal. I know many conscientious parents still do this, but it’s a documented trend.

    So … Less time? People started eating out much more, both at fast food outlets and restaurants. I love this statistic I got from the New York Times: A typical restaurant meal can have more than eight tablespoons of fat — more than an entire stick of butter.

    BTW, I like your taste in music. I suspect you and I are of the same vintage.

  • […] For me a picnic is not complete without baked beans. I shared my all time fave Baked Bean recipe with you several months ago. You can revisit it by clicking this link: Baked Beans. […]