There’s antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium…

I just read a great book, Twinkie, Deconstructed (My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats), by Steve Ettinger.  I found it by searching my library’s index for Wyoming.  It’s all about the ingredient list on a Twinkie, and what goes into making all of those ingredients. 

I liked this book a lot better than some of the books I’ve read about the “shocking and horrible” things that go on in the food industry.  I tried reading Fast Food Nation once, and it really just annoyed me.  Some of the things that book described as shocking and horrible just really aren’t.  I’m supposed to be offended and hurt and shocked by the fact that fast food restaurants employ high school students and don’t offer good pay or benefits??  Please.  (That part of the book actually talked about the high school where Tina went to school – at least that was interesting.)

The Twinkie book was interesting and informative, but also humorous and fun.  I mean, let’s face facts.  I’m not going to cut processed foods out of my diet anytime soon (I’m not a big fan of Twinkies, but I love those Swiss Cake Rolls!).  It was fun to find out just what goes into making those processed foods.  And equally fun to find out that even when I bake something “from scratch” at home, there’s still boatloads of chemicals that go into that!  I’m not much of a science person, but it’s just fascinating to read about how they can take all these chemicals that are INCREDIBLY dangerous in minute quantities on their own, mix them all up with some other stuff, and come out with something like flour or artificial flavor or food coloring!  And the author didn’t write it from a perspective meant to get us all flipped out and scared – more from a perspective of “Wow, that is interesting!!  I had no idea!”  Did you know there’s only one actual preservative in Twinkies?? 

The coolest thing about the book?  There is a whole chapter pretty much dedicated to FMC Wyoming!!  That was the chapter all about baking soda (surprise).  In fact, here is an excerpt.  It was awesome to read about a place I’ve been, where I’ve worked (although it didn’t mention my powerhouse), and where my family members have worked for years.  Thanks, Dad and Papa for doing your part to nourish my need for junk food.  (And glass and detergent and homebaked food and cat litter and all the other awesome things you do!)

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