Grit Blogs > A Long Time Coming

Un-Gritty Book: Twinkie, Deconstructed

A photo of Shannon SaiaIf you liked Michael Pollan's investigation into processed foods in The Ominvore's Dilemma, then you might also be interested in a book I discovered recently, Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger, which is Mr. Ettlinger's "journey to discover how the ingredients found in processed foods are grown, mined (yes, mined) and manipulated into what America eats."

Using the list of ingredients on a package of Hostess Twinkies as a kind of road map, Mr. Ettlinger investigates just what goes into producing each of them, tracking down their sources, and in many cases (where he was allowed to) touring the facilities where the sometimes flammable and sometimes toxic substances are converted into (presumably) safe and (presumably) palatable food ingredients.

Most fascinating of all to me is the point of view, which is something like, "Hey, isn't this cool? Aren't we lucky to have it?" Definitely an eye-opener for anyone concerned about what they eat.