A Tragic Death

Once again, I had planned to write a post about my blog: what peace means to me, etc.  And once again, life has interfered, with pressing matters of great importance.  First, a military general cheated on his wife, resulting in humiliation for his justifiably furious wife.  Not only does she have to deal with his heartless betrayal, but she is contending with the very public dissection of her marriage and her husband’s behavior, by a salivating media.  Then, individuals in several states decided to secede from the U.S. and have filed petitions on the White House website.  I’m not even going to comment on that.  But then, today, the unkindest cut of all.  That’s right, Hostess Brand has ceased production of all products and is liquidating its assets.  And, I’m sorry to say, this means the end of Twinkies.

Aspersions have been cast on union bakers, who went on strike last weekend.  That’s right, a five day strike by bakers has brought an American icon to its knees.  Okay, that’s not really true.

Hostess actually filed for bankruptcy in 2004; then in August of 2011, they stopped paying into employee retirement to cut costs.  They filed for bankruptcy again in January of this year.  Recently, they announced that they planned to cut employee wages by 8%.  But it’s all the union’s fault.  Really.

Anyway, I decided to start baking my own Twinkies, so I looked up the list of ingredients:  Enriched wheat flour, sugar, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable and/or animal shortening - containing one or more of partially hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed, and canola oil, and beef fat, dextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, cornstarch, corn flour, corn syrup, solids, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium casein ate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow #5, red #40. 

Sounds delicious!  Nothing I can’t obtain from the hardware store and a chemical lab.  No wonder there are urban legends about the eternal shelf life of Twinkies!  I suspect the only survivors in a nuclear holocaust will be cockroaches and Twinkies.  Of course the cockroaches will eat the Twinkies, then it will be down to just the Twinkies.  But I digress… To tell the truth, I’m not a big Twinkie fan.  I’ve eaten a few in moments of sugar desperation, and immediately regretted it.  But if you are a fan of Hostess products, now is the time to buy!  Stock up; they’ll last forever.  Or wait until the next corporation buys out the product and buy it under a different name. 

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d say this highly-publicized closure was a ploy to get people to buy more Hostess products; it seems to be working, judging by the collective public outrage in social and mainstream media.  And it IS an outrage!  We Americans DESERVE our horrible, nutritionally empty junk food!!  The internet has been filled with memes of Twinkies that look like caskets, complete with birth and death dates, sad commentary, and plenty of talk about socialism.  We know what matters here in America, and this is important stuff, right?

In other news, for every minute it took you to read this blog, between 12 and 18 children died from hunger.  15 million children die of hunger each year, and one in four U.S. children go to bed hungry each night.  Don’t see much talk about that…


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Father's Day

I spent this last Father’s Day in silent, burning rage at my dad, and it’s taken me three months to sort it out enough to write.