Take my snack cakes? Over my blinded, bloated body!
January 12th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Sara Benincasa is an award-winning comedian, podcast host and author of the upcoming memoir "Agorafabulous! Dispatches Fom My Bedroom."

Diabetes is scary. But a world without Twinkies is hard to swallow.

Like other red-blooded Americans, I breathed a sweet sigh of relief when Hostess Brands announced that despite its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing it would not, in fact, cease production of Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, and other seductively-named products.

Hostess also announced that there would be no layoffs, but do we give a flying Yodel about that? After all, ours is a nation in love with dessert, especially when said dessert is crafted largely of saturated fat and sugar in a laboratory.

Just think of the Twinkie. Made with superfine sugar, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated fat and other not-so-healthy ingredients, its creamy texture and buttery flavor can easily trick you into eating more than a pack at a time. Before you know it, you may have consumed more fat and calories than you intended.

Of course, regular intake of such snack cakes is likely to lead to health problems. But like many Americans, I'll gloss over the depressing statistics and take the immediate gratification of sugar high any day.

So what if the Centers for Disease Control reported that 25.8 million Americans (8.3 percent of the population) have diabetes, and that 90 to 95 percent have the largely preventable Type II version of the disease? The American Diabetes Association reported that diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74, but will we really heed the warning to consume less sweets? And will we remember in the back of our minds the link between diabetes and stroke, heart disease and kidney failure?

We want our Ring Dings! We'll scream before we relinquish our Donettes. And if you try to take away our Hostess Cupcakes, well, we will die.

What's that you say? I can still have my Hostess treats once in a while if I exercise regularly and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean protein? Well, that's boring. If I wanted to lead a healthy lifestyle, I wouldn't have chosen a chicken wings-and-beer-laden career as a comedian, which requires me to stay up until all hours taking in booze and comedy in equal measure. I'd like to tell you I'm not the kind of gal who has ordered a fried Twinkie after a particularly rough gig, but I'd be lying.

And anyway, why not celebrate the glorious resilience of Hostess Brands? Whether you choose the healthy route (eating sugary snacks in moderation, exercising thirty minutes every day, drinking plenty of water and getting good rest) or the fun but less healthy route (my favorite), you can still enjoy your delicious scientifically-engineered carbs.

While the future of Hostess Brands is yet to be determined, I’d say: Get ‘em while you can. Hooray for Devil Dogs, Yankee Doodles, and Pecan Rollers! Long may their terribly unhealthy banner wave.

Read more on the Twinkies crisis



soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. modern wedding

    nice!!I choose processed foods and chemically enhanced foods. if you don't, eat your rabbit food and leave me alone. There's a cause why people live longer now, and it isn't an all natural lifestyle.all the best,actually i was bought same cake's and same tasteful from the modern wedding site as well as there are many wedding dresses,products as well as many others beautiful product's.so if you want to bought all this products from here so visit in this site very soon modern wedding

    January 26, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  2. coriolana

    *giggle* Loved the article-it made me laugh. As for the food police, *shrug* there's something very wrong with those who aren't content with mucking about with their own diet and insist on playing nanny to everyone else.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  3. Ann Eggleston

    Aren't Devil Dogs made by Drake's? I hope they are safe. They the finest of the junky snack cakes. Best served chilled.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • collins61

      Devil Dogs will absorb every bit of moisture in your head and choke you to death unless you have the milk right there. I still eat em. Chilled.

      January 13, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  4. Janet

    Haven'y had on in 10 years because I can't stop at one.
    But there had better be Twinkies in Heaven or OMG I have been so ripped off!

    January 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  5. SAM

    I agree that most of us baby boomers had it made in the shade with our cornucopia of snack foods. . . . and man, did they taste damn good! Here in So Cal in the 60's, we had the "Helms" bakery van that used to stop on our block almost every day, and when that whistle blew, every kid (and most adults) dropped what they were doing and practically ran over each other to get to him. The driver would then walk over to the back of his van and open the back double doors and pull out shelves of the most marvelous donuts, pastries and almost any other kind of beloved carb you could think of, just waiting to be consumed. Ahhhhh, those were the good old days!

    January 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  6. Grog Says

    Grog coo coo for co co puffs.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  7. Don

    I can't believe I just found this story. At work tomorrow, we're having Hostess Day in support of the restructuring. When I was growing up in the 70's, we played outside all day long so Twinkies and Ho Ho's didn't make us fat. I haven't had any of that stuff in 30 years but tomorrow I'm going for it.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Vicky

      The ingredients that they use in those foods now have no resemblance whatsoever to those used thirty years ago; THAT'S the probolem with many brand-name foods.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  8. Pull My Finger

    I wish i were an oscar myer weener,
    oops, sorry, lost my mind for a minute.

    Hotdogs, armour hot dogs,
    the dogs kids love to bite.

    Thats better.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  9. Calvins Rocket Underpants

    I miss penny candy.
    I would go to the store with a quarter,
    and 20 minutes later the guy behind the counter
    would kick me out because i kept changing my mind.
    Never got passed ten cents.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  10. Krumblebum

    I can't believe anyone eats this crap. I haven't had a Twinkie since I was a kid....yech!

    January 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • tesla1908

      I can't believe it bothers you. Miserable sob maybe you should try something fun to eat once in a while instead of being such a sour puss.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Sandy

      Newsflash: not everyone shares your tastes ... in food or anything else. I teach my kids not to make fun of others' choices - good advice, even for (alleged) grownups.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Vicky

      It's too bad that the ingredients in them have been cheapened tothe point of being pure garbage.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  11. yo yo yo

    long live snack cakes!!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Calvins Rocket Underpants

      Ten years old,
      a ring ding and a coke,
      life was good.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  12. unowhoitsme

    They are composed of artificial ingredients...chemicals! And we wonder why we're dying of cancer? This is foreign to the body. Americans consume approx. 1 gallon of chemicals per years from foods. Just think, when you die, you can save on the embalming fee!

    January 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Stephanie

      Yeah, they are. Like you have never enjoyed a delightful Hostess Cup Cake or Twinkie or Ding Dong! Its not something people should enjoy every day sure, but once in a while should be fine. An extra 15 minutes on the elliptical per week for each "indulgence" is my solution.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
      • Toonces

        You can 'elliptical' your pe- brain out and it won't unclog your arteries.

        January 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • denim

      Oxygen is a chemical. So is arsenic. Just saying something is a chemical isn't enough.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Calvins Rocket Underpants

      Chill out, grown up !

      January 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Pull My Finger

      This is foreign to the body.........

      So is the air you are breathing.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • tesla1908

      So you figured out what causes cancer?

      January 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Toonces

      Look at the bright side; only truly stupid people would eat this crap so who cares if they drop dead anyway? No great loss....plenty more Obama voters out there.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  13. ab

    I don't remember the last time I had a Twinkie.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Sparkle

      But we were together just *sniff* last night!

      January 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
      • Duck Duck Duck - GOOSE

        Its ok Sparkle,
        try a ho ho.

        January 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Stephanie

      2 years ago I had a Twinkie and boy, it was nothing like my child memory told me it should have been. I couldn't even finish the other half. Hostess Cupcakes in chocolate however is another story! Bring it ON.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
      • Calvins Rocket Underpants

        Save the earth, its the only planet with chocolate !

        January 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • Duck Dodgers

        You had the guts to use "twinkie" and "boy" in the same sentence.
        I could just imagine the zingers coming, Stephanie....LOL !

        January 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
      • KJC

        I totally agree. Twinkies are icky, but those yodles, ding dongs, hoho's and the like are delicious! :-) mmmmmMMMMM

        January 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  14. Amina

    Nice to see another individual taking responsibility for their own actions. Right on, junk foodie, right on!

    January 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Calvins Rocket Underpants

      Growing up, is not all its cracked up to be.
      Try a little peter pan.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
      • Amina

        On bread with strawberrry jelly and banana slices...of course ;-)

        January 13, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  15. Sevanti

    If the company is hurting that bad, it would suggest that the demand for crappy foods is finally dying out. I say live and let die.

    January 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • TheBear

      They aren't. My personal opinion they declared chapter 11 for one reason and one reason only, and that's to weasel out of their pension obligations.

      If they claim that they can continue on without significant layoffs or closing plants, I'm dying to hear their explanation of how they are going to cut costs.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Krumblebum

        Bear, you hit the nail right on the head.

        January 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Calvins Rocket Underpants

      Dont worry, the keebler elves arive after midnight.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  16. elisa

    I'm think I'm going to stockpile some sno-balls just in case.

    January 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Duck Duck Duck - GOOSE

      Say that to the right person, and you might get kissed.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  17. twinkie junkie

    I grew up with Twinkies and love them. My grandson could become a twinkieholic very easily. Once he heard they may not be around he wanted to purchased mass amounts to stockpile. Good thing they have a shelf life of a million years!

    January 12, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  18. czerendipity

    Hate Twinkies, but love the occasional Ding-Dong.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Dolt Patrol

      Don't tell that to your wife. She might pack her bags.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Duck Duck Duck - GOOSE

      You typed that with a straight face ? (chuckle)

      January 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  19. HH

    I'm sick of the food police. Guess what, CDC? There are plenty of us out here who AREN'T overweight, diabetic, or have high blood pressure. Leave us, and our kids, alone.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • dom625

      I second that statement. There are more than enough of us who exercise regularly, eat in moderation, and live generally healthy lifestyles. But we like to indulge every now and then. I personally stockpile M&Ms for just that occasion.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
      • Crasty

        Thirded. I don't need people policing my food, or the opinions of weak-willed sobsters and how twinkies make you fat. I've eaten hundreds, if not thousands of hostess snacks, and I'm not overweight. I like processed foods and chemically enhanced foods. if you don't, eat your rabbit food and leave me alone. There's a reason why people live longer now, and it isn't an all natural lifestyle.

        January 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
      • Grog Says

        Grog hunt Pterodactyl,
        rather have twinkie.

        January 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Foghorn Leghorn

      There are some people who cannot walk by a pastry without gaining 10 pounds.
      Then there are those who can stuff thier faces all day and never gain an ounce.
      BRB, going to get a beer and a twinkie.....mmmmmm.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  20. mizh

    Our friends in England LOVE 'Twinkie bars' — you cannot get them in the UK. I have one probably once a year, if that... probably eat Cheetos a little more often, though. :) So I'm with ya, dragonwife.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  21. dragonwife1

    I personally can't stand Twinkies (just personal taste); my terribly unhealthy snack addiction is Cheetos. As long as they're still around, I'll be the one with the artificially-orange-cheesy-powdered fingers! And to show how bad it is, consider this – I'm a woman, and I'll take Cheetos over chocolate any day! Not that I don't love chocolate, understand, but there's just something about that salty pseudo-cheesy crunch that makes my hand keep reaching for more. Okay, now I have to stop typing before I drool all over the keyboard....

    (Just for the record, I do try to eat healthy stuff otherwise, and exercise daily, so I'm not a total disaster!)

    January 12, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Chester Cheetah

      We appreciate your bidness. Are your computer keys orange also?

      January 12, 2012 at 10:57 am |
      • Duck Dodgers

        I just spit my beer all over my monitor !
        That was funny.

        January 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • czerendipity

      Great, now I'm craving Cheetos.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:45 am |
      • Grog Says

        Grog hunt cheetos.
        Twinkies too hard to catch.

        January 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Play-doh

      @dragonwife1, I'm with you on the salty preference 100%. Two of my favorite bad foods are flourless chocolate cake & fried chicken. Given a choice between the two, I'll take the fried chicken every time.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:53 am |
      • Internet Police

        I'm with you on the salty preference ........

        Keep it clean folks, we got little ones here.

        January 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Stephanie

      OMG Cheetos are the BOMB! I actually have to avoid the snack aisle because I can't stop eating them once I start. I love the crunchy little cheesy thingys. (now I'll have to stop after work and get some).

      January 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Sesame Street

      B is for bong.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  22. NODAT1

    Zebra cakes and black coffee on my drive to work each morning

    January 12, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Do Not Disassemble

      Bet you drive fast.
      VVVRRROOOOMMM !!

      January 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  23. Sam

    "In the daytime, I'm Ms. Natural, just as healthy as I can be, but at night, I'm a junk-food junkie, good Lord have pity on me!"

    January 12, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Robyn Cleveland

      @Sam–haha! "...lately I have been spotted with a Big Mac on my breath...!" Fabulous!

      January 12, 2012 at 10:47 am |
      • denim

        Good reference!!

        ...with a face as white as death.

        January 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • Sesame Street

        No officer, that white stuff is just twinkie goop.

        January 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
      • Grog Says

        Grog smell whopper.

        January 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Grog Says

      Grog put skittles in salad.
      Taste rainbow.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  24. Jim Crawford

    I love Twinkies and attribute my consumption of them to allowing me to be more in touch with my feminine side.-Jimmy

    January 12, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Sesame Street

      Try a ho ho, Jim.
      A manly cake.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  25. Martini

    Sara you are a lady after my own heart!

    January 12, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Foghorn Leghorn

      Nobody doesnt like sarah Lee.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
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