Twinkies, the iconic American junk food are back. For those of you who did not notice their absence from supermarket shelves, here’s a quick update. Early in 2012, Hostess, the manufacturer filed for bankruptcy citing increased labor costs and an inability to negotiate with unionized employees. And thus these sponge cake chemical wonders disappeared from the shelves.
However, this is America, and Hostess was acquired by a private equity group. They restructured the company and brought in new low wage employees – so that we can continue to ingest this wonder of modern food processing. The new Twinkie product is slightly smaller than the old one (an eighth of an ounce), and has a longer shelf life. We thought a hundred years was long enough… But from an ingredient perspective, nothing has changed.
In a press release yesterday, the new Twinkies owners were thrilled to announce “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of EVER!”
Sweet? Yes. Good for humans? No.
Take a look at the ingredient list:
Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour [Flour, Reduced Iron, B Vitamins (Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid)], Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable and/or Animal Shortening (Soybean, Cottonseed and/or Canola Oil, Beef Fat), Whole Eggs, Dextrose. Contains 2% or Less of: Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Leavenings (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sweet Dairy Whey, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium and Sodium Caseinate, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour, Cornstarch, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness), Yellow 5, Red 40.
Some key highlights:
- 37 highly processed ingredients
- 9 teaspoons of sugar
- high fructose corn syrup
- hydrogenated oils
- controversial artificial colors
- multiple chemical additives
This is a comeback we wish would not have happened.