Twinkie, deconstructed : my journey to discover how the ingredients found in processed foods are grown, mined (yes, mined), and manipulated into what America eats

Ettlinger, Steve

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Creator Steve Ettlinger
  • Format Books
  • Publication New York, NY : Hudson Street Press, [2007] ©2007
  • Physical Details
    • xv, 282 pages ; 22 cm
  • ISBNs 1594630186, 9781594630187
  • OCLC ocm71329887


  • Like most Americans, Steve Ettlinger eats processed foods. And, like most consumers, he often reads the ingredients label-without a clue as to what most of it means. 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 corn fields in Iowa, from gypsum mines in Oklahoma to the vanilla harvest in Madagascar, Twinkie, Deconstructed is a fascinating, thoroughly researched romp of a narrative that 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 with a strange name-all for the sake of creating a simple snack cake. An insightful exploration into the 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) this book is for you. Book jacket.
  • Includes information on amino acids, animal feed, artificial vanilla, baking powder, bread, browning, butter, canola oil, Cargill, chlor/alkali industry, chlorine, corn, cosmetics, cream, Crisco, egg whites, egg yolks, ethylene, ethylene oxide, explosives, fermentation, flour, Food and Drug Administration, food coloring, glycerin, Hostess, hydrochloric acid, hydrogenation, ice cream, Kraft, lime, limestone, monoglycerides, monosodium glutamate (MSG), Monsanto, natural gas, Neutrogena, nitrogen, obesity, oxygen, palm oil, Papett's Hygrade Egg products, petroleum, phosphates, phosphoric acid, plaster, plastic, polysorbates, preservatives, propylene glycol, protein, red no. 40, refined sugar, salad dressings, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, shelf life, shortening, Silver Springs (New York), soap, soda ash, soybean oil, soybeans, stearic acid, sucrose, sugarcane, sulfuric acid, trans fats, trees, triglycerides, Trona, vanilla, vanillin, vitamins, Wise, Wonder Bread, yellow no. 5, etc.


  • 1. "Where Does Polysorbate 60 Come from, Daddy?" -- 2. Wheat Flour -- 3. Bleach -- 4. Enrichment Blend: Ferrous Sulfate and B Vitamins-Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid -- 5. Sugar -- 6. Corn Sweeteners -- 7. Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Glucose, and High Fructose Corn Syrup -- 8. Corn Thickeners: Cornstarch, Modified Cornstarch, Corn Dextrins, and Corn Flour -- 9. Water -- 10. Soy: Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable and/or Animal Shortening, Soy Lecithin, and Soy Protein Isolate -- 11. Eggs -- 12. Cellulose Gum -- 13. Whey -- 14. Leavenings -- 15. Baking Soda -- 16. Phosphates: Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate and Monocalcium Phosphate -- 17. Salt -- 18. Mono and Diglycerides -- 19. Polysorbate 60 -- 20. Natural and Artificial Flavors -- 21. Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate -- 22. Sodium and Calcium Caseinate -- 23. Calcium Sulfate -- 24. Sorbic Acid -- 25. FD&C Yellow No. 5, Red No. 40 -- 26. Consider the Twinkie -- Human Resources
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