A pop-science journey into the surprising ingredients found in dozens of common packaged foods, using the Twinkie label as a guide
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.
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Steve Ettlinger, author of six books, has long been fascinated with everyday consumer products, from hardware to beer.From AudioFile:
Its the quintessential snack treat, the subject of myth and legal proceedings. The Twinkie stands for all that is right and, perhaps, wrong with American processed food. The author examines each of the ingredients of the Twinkie, starting from the most common all the way to the unlisted less than 1 percent additives, such as color. He also examines where each ingredient comes from. Its a delicious lesson in organic chemistry, world trade, and gastronomic history. Mark Lund narrates with enthusiasm. He warms to the subject, and his tone engages listeners. He could have rendered the book as stale as a Twinkie past its sell-by date. Instead, like his topic, he is bouncy and fresh. R.C.G. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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