A friend sent me Tyler Cowen’s thoughts on a new food book from Steve Ettlinger. I don’t know who Tyler Cowen is, but he made me want to read the book:

There are entire companies which do nothing but break eggs open for other companies; the largest such egg-breaking company is based in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

That is from Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated Into What America Eats, by Steve Ettlinger. So far this is my pick for the best food book of the year.

I also learned that a Twinkie is about half sugar, sulfuric acid is the most produced chemical in the world, sugar is used to clean out cement mixers, phosphate rock and limestone make Twinkies light and airy, Twinkies’ butter flavor is created out of gas, Twinkies contain only one preservative (sorbic acid), and the original 1930 Twinkies were filled with banana flavor, not vanilla.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.