Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: May 11th, 2012
What’s in a Twinkie?

With obesity making headlines almost daily, prompting discussions about all things fat preventative, I want to weigh in–pardon the pun–on what I think a huge part of the problem is: SAD.

SAD stands for Standard American Diet, also called the western pattern diet, which is calorie-dense and nutrient poor. Americans rely heavily on sugars, refined flour and processed food, often times valuing convenience, ease of preparation, availability, appearance, aroma and taste over nutrition. It is low in fiber and often includes hormone and antibiotic treated meats and dairy, and a whole host of chemical additives, dyes and preservatives.

A popular concept or rule of thumb among those of us who push healthy eating as a lifestyle, is that the fewer ingredients there are in something processed, the better it is for you. Enter the Twinkie, which has 37 plus ingredients, many of which are polysyllabic and almost impossible to pronounce. Twinkies are reflective of a typical snack in a SAD diet.

Obviously, I am no expert. I hold no degrees in nutrition, biology, chemistry or any health-related field. But I do read–a lot. And I do eat, drink and live in this country where freedom of choice is a privilege and one that I am not ready to give up. So this isn’t about bashing fast food chains and what they serve, big agriculture or even biochemical giants like Monsanto that control a large portion of our food chain, or even trends in entertainment that glue children to a chair thanks to online gaming, video games and computers.

I have problems with much of it, but ultimately, it comes down to one thing: choice.  We as consumers still hold the power to decide what we eat. What frustrates me is the level of denial that so many live with about the longterm, detrimental effects of a poor diet, namely, one rich in processed and fast foods.

Buying power continues to hold sway over industry in this capitalist society of ours. I do believe that choices made on an individual level do impact the whole and when done repeatedly and with great intent, can have an long-reaching impact.

That said, next time you pick up a Twinkie, think about what goes into it. Click here to see it for yourself, courtesy of The Daily Beast and photographer Dwight Eischliman.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Switch to our mobile site