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Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, M ined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats
     

Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, M ined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats

3.6 11
by Steve Ettlinger
 

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A pop-science journey into the surprising ingredients found in most common packaged foods

Like most Americans, Steve Ettlinger eats processed foods. And, like most consumers, he didn't have a clue as to what most of the ingredients on the labels mean. So when his young daughter asked, Daddy, what's polysorbate 60?, he was at a loss and determined to find out

Overview

A pop-science journey into the surprising ingredients found in most common packaged foods

Like most Americans, Steve Ettlinger eats processed foods. And, like most consumers, he didn't have a clue as to what most of the ingredients on the labels mean. So when his young daughter asked, Daddy, what's polysorbate 60?, he was at a loss and determined to find out.

From the phosphate mines in Idaho to the oil fields in China to the Hostess factories and their practices, Twinkie, Deconstructed demystifies some of the most common processed food ingredients, where they come from, how they are made, how they are used, and why. Beginning at the source (hint: they're often more closely linked to rock and petroleum than any of the four food groups), we follow each Twinkie ingredient through the process of being crushed, baked, fermented, refined, and/or reacted into a totally unrecognizable goo or powder, all for the sake of creating a simple snack cake.

An insightful exploration of the modern food industry, if you've ever wondered what you're eating when you consume foods containing mono- and diglycerides or calcium sulfate (the latter a food-grade equivalent of plaster of paris), this book is for you.  Consequently, as Hostess plans to permanently close its doors in 2012, this book will provide a relevant guide into the practices of one of the biggest companies of all time.

Editorial Reviews

Newsweek
You will never read a label the same way again.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452289284
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/26/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
323,569
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Andy Smith
Everything you ever wanted to know about the ingredients in a Twinkie but were afraid to ask. . . . A fascinating global tale. (Andy Smith, editor in chief, Oxford Companion to Food and Drink in America)

Meet the Author

Steve Ettlinger, author of six books, has long been fascinated with everyday consumer products, from hardware to beer.

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Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated Into What A 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was really looking foward to reading this book since I am into organic foods and wanted to know more about the processed foods industry. However, I have read 75+ pages so far and am utterly bored. The author has presented this information in a way too scientific manner. It is going to be quite a challenge to force myself to finish this. The only positive thing I can say is that it appears that the chapters can stand alone and be read in any order so perhaps I will just skip ahead and read the couple of chapters that still hold interest for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I appreciate the author's quest for the truth about how Twinkies are made, but the book is bogged down with details about chemical processes. This is a good and valuable book, but it should be considered a reference book rather than a quick, fun, summer read. In order to truly understand most of the book you would need to have a degree in chemistry and not just a passing interest in food or the food industry.
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MiracleNY More than 1 year ago
This is a very entertaining and easily understandable story written in a very interesting way. It tells all about the list of ingredients on the package of Twinkies. Now how much fun can that be, right? Let me say the book is humorous, mysterious, and so much fun to read. This isn't a book about the health benefits (or lack thereof) from eating Twinkies, it is neither pro-Twinkie or anti-Twinkie, just an easy read, can't put the book down story about what the ingredients are, where they come from, how they are put together to make this snack cake. I say it is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing