Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Twinkie, Deconstructed

I didn’t read Fast Food Nation [but we both can for free with this google books link, so cool]. I figured that since I don’t eat fast food (they were never on my list of guilty pleasures- fluff , yes, Filet O-Fish , no) no need to read about it.

Wrong-o.

Now that I’ve finished Twinkie, Deconstructed I may have to go back and give it a read. I was riveted by Ettlinger’s descriptions of the physical processing that goes into some of our most common foods: the combines and computers, the machines and the tubes, vats, barns silos, trucks, scientists…

Here are some fun facts from Twinkie, Deconstructed :

Wheat flour dust is highly explosive [as is custard powder, instant coffee, dried milk, potato powder and soup powder].

Ferrous sulfate or the iron in enriched wheat flour come from iron ore mines as well as being a byproduct of crude oil [petroleum].

Cane/beet sugar and its derivatives have many industrial uses: as a flame retardant and plasticizer in polyurethane foam, as ink for printing on plastic bags, for curing tobacco, for cleaning out cement mixers, for soaking moisture in wounds and it can be substituted for charcoal in gunpowder or mixed with saltpeter for make smoke bombs.

Corn and its derivatives [half of which are genetically modified to resist a widely used herbicide] contribute to over 600 industrial and food products including auto fuel, pharmaceuticals, plastic fibers, starches, sweet drinks, and snack cakes.

One derivative of corn syrup, glucose, can be found in Twinkies as well as tobacco, shoe leather, adhesives, concrete, air fresheners, hand lotion and perfume.

Another derivative, cornstarch makes more cardboard than cake.

Soybean oil is also used to make paint, rubber, caulk, adhesive tape, leather softeners and diesel fuel.

Cellulose fiber is used in rayon, cellophane, sausage casing, cigarette filters and paint additives; LCD panels, wide screen plasma TVs, and outdoor billboards. Only pure gum is reserved for food.

Cellulose gum can be found in bulk laxatives, cosmetics, toothpaste, denture adhesives and ceramic glaze; other forms of the gum are used in diapers, napkins, drilling fluids, liquid detergents.

Soda ash, the sodium in baking soda is mined Trona and is the basic chemical ingredient in glass and soap.

Phosphorus one of three main components of baking powder explodes upon contact with air.

Polysorbate 60 is an incredibly complicated processed emulsifier comprised of sorbitol a corn based sweetener; stearic acid from palm tree oil [a main ingredient in soap]; and ethylene oxide-the main ingredient in PET plastics!

If I hadn’t already eliminated most processed foods, after reading this book, I would start, immediately. Except, and there is a huge except here, as you can read this stuff is in food as well as the non-edibles in your home, the office, in your kids’ toys: in every aspect of your life. Unless you literally go and live in a cave you are, we are, part of a larger system.

Ok, Duh, you already know this, I already know this. But lately I’ve been experiencing a deeper level of awareness. Have you? Perhaps it’s due in part of the latest wave of literature [and the uptrickle to the Zeitgeist ] about organics, food processing, and the environment that have really taken hold in the new century; this cry of alarm about our eco-system, how we’ve broken it, how we can mend it. Yoga, vegetarianism, organics, recycling, feminism [yes, I’m gonna throw that in there too] are no longer counter-culture and this can only mean good and positive things for us as a collective whole.

And yeah, no more Twinkies for you .

6 comments:

Courtney said...

What a great post. And yes, I can say I'm experiencing a greater level of awareness these days, too. Even when I do eat something processed, I am aware I am doing so. Huge change from 5 years ago. I'm planning on participating in the Eat Local challenge in September...can't wait to give that a go!
Courtney

Anonymous said...

Ferrous sulfate or the iron in enriched wheat flour come from iron ore mines as well as being a byproduct of crude oil [petroleum].

Sorry... Young Lady... that is quite wrong!!!

Ferrous Sulphate FeSO4 is a soluable form of IRON, which is generated from either taking scrap iron-steel + Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4), or the pickling of steel, or from the reaction of Ilmenite (Titanium+Iron bearing ore) & H2SO4.

In all cases, the FeSO4 solution needs to be crystalized and then dried to a form that may be used by Young Ladies as a 1Aday Iron supplement or in food or for Chicken-Piglet feed.

If you want to know more do email whoyouknow AT gmail.com

Be well, and keep your IRON levels up!

Allergic Girl said...

courtney: eat local challenge? tell em more,s ounds interesting...

anon: it was a quote from Ettlinger...thanks for weighing.

HipWriterMama said...

This is enough to make me sick. I'll never look at food quite the same way. Thanks for an interesting reading recommendation.

mokie said...

"Soda ash, the sodium in baking soda is mined Trona and is the basic chemical ingredient in glass and soap."

Sorry, but the base ingredient in soap is sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda. Related, but not the same thing.

you-leave-me-breadless said...

i make homemade fluff.. better than the store...yummy