By Riki Shore
At my daughter’s school parents are asked to contribute either money or food for classroom snacks. The plea asks specifically for “fresh food” and they ask for this fresh food twice per week. Below is what one parent brought to the classroom for “fresh snack”. Can you guess what this is? Do you know what glucose is derived from? Can you guess how many grams of sugar is in one serving of this “food”? Do you think this snack turns our children (or teachers) into lean, energetic, healthy people? The answers are below.
Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable and/or Animal Shortening (Soybean, Cottonseed and/or Canola Oil, Beef Fat)
Modified Corn Starch
Leavenings (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate)
Sweet Dairy Whey
Soy Protein Isolate
Calcium and Sodium Caseinate
Mono and Diglycerides
Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
Natural and Artificial Flavors
Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness)
Glucose is a simple sugar added to many processed snack foods and sweets. The production of glucose powder for use in manufactured foods in the United States starts almost exclusively with cornstarch. The production of glucose syrup, however, almost always starts with wheat. If you’re not sure about the source of glucose in foods, and you’re following a gluten-free diet, you would do best to avoid the food in question.
A single serving of this snack contains 19 grams of sugar, equivalent to about 5 teaspoons of white table sugar. There is no official recommended daily intake for sugar for children, probably because kids don’t need sugar to live, and they would no doubt be healthier with no sugar in their diets at all.
This snack was first manufactured in 1930 and has been eaten frozen, deep-fried and right out of the package. It’s been placed in a time capsule, made into a wedding cake, and considered a cultural icon. The creator of this snack wrote that it was “the best darn-tootin’ idea I ever had”.
This snack is a Twinkie.
Fooducate Blog did a great post about Twinkies last year that’s still more than relevant today.