Are Americans Getting Too Healthy For Twinkies and Ho Hos?

Flickr Photo by Like_The_Grand_Canyon

Hostess Has Filed Chapter 11. Have Americans Eaten Enough Crap?

Hostess, the makers of Wonder Bread and Twinkies, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  According to the Washington Post, Hostess cites high labor costs and the rising costs of sugar and flour as the reason for the filing.

Some web sites are posting articles that express fear that Americans are getting so healthy they no longer want to eat white bread and Ho Hos.  I have a feeling the company’s financial woes has more to do with the cost of labor and sugar, as the Post stated.

One article on Yahoo News states that health nuts and unions have caused Hostess’ bankruptcy and the author goes on to say that they don’t buy Twinkies anymore because they don’t want their children to eat them and that there are healthier choices. I think some of Hostess’ problem may be revealed in the last part of that statement. There are healthier options.

What’s in a Twinkie?

Here’s the list of the 37 ingredients that go together to make a Twinkie.  The list comes from from  If you visit the web site you’ll find a visual of all of these ingredients.

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.

There are 150 calories in one cake.

You Can’t Unknow What You Know

A few years ago Steve Ettlinger wrote the book “Twinkie, Deconstructed” which broke down the ingredients in Twinkies and other highly processed foods.  Up to this point people may not have given too much thought as to what was actually in a Twinkie, but the book was quite an eye-opener. It revealed that some of the ingredients are derivatives of petroleum and gypsum. For Hostess to undo the damage of that information becoming public would be nearly impossible.

Flickr photo by carringtonvanston says that over the next few years the current diet craze will swing to the other end and people will start eating white bread and cupcakes again. She thinks that until then we all need to support Hostess.  Apparently, she’s not up to speed on the health problems of the country and the rising cost of obesity and diseases linked to it that are largely due to the rampant consumption of highly processed foods.

People are wary of eating foods with ingredients they can’t pronounce and because there are so many healthier snack choices on the market, they don’t have to. Now that we’ve learned that a ‘food’ that contains 37 ingredients isn’t good for us why would we continue to eat it?

Who cares that Hostess has filed for bankruptcy (again)?  Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call to a company that continues to churn out crap like Twinkies and Snowballs.