Friday, November 25, 2005

junk food vs. fast food

What with mad cow disease, avian flu and the historic swine flu, the non-meat-eaters in our country must be delirious with vegetarian vindication. The vegans have probably gloated themselves into spontaneous combustion (oh, I meant bloated...all those raw vegetables make you so gassy). So what are we, the shameless carnivores, supposed to do? Begin sheepishly sifting through the organic tofu (that's right, though it seems redundant) and bulgur wheat patties at our local Whole Foods store?

Probably. But for those of us who hear the words: T-Bone, Ribeye, and even New York Strip Steak accompanied by a faint but persistent angelic choir in our heads, there must be another option. If we, as a culture, can master the chemical prestidigitation involved in making a Hostess Twinkie, than we can figure out how to raise, butcher and prepare an animal without turning the fucker into a petrie dish of deadly disease.

And speaking of Twinkies, it is amazing how much shit is written about them little snack cakes. On first googling, I found more upbeat, urban myth-destroying links with a pro-Hostess-spin than anything about the nutritional abomination that they are. Of course, it goes without saying that I love them. There is no verifiable reason, except for connecting their sweet, chemical sponginess with all things a warm bottle, a dry bottom and a well-worn blankie.

There are even Twinkie Recipes (from Hostess, of course) complete with a stunning cross-cultural, cross-genre recipe for Twinkie Sushi...don't think about it, just do it. The other recipe photos look way too much like regurgitation for me to recommend them.

Then, there's the Twinkie Project. Purportedly executed right here in Houston at Rice University. The harsh tests of Twinkie endurance were spellbinding but the haiku was disappointing. Still, you've got to love two young men, attending one of the most prestigious universities in the south, spending that much time concocting, conducting and documenting their experiments on the cellophane-wrapped nutritional equivalent of etymology's bastard child, "crapulence."

What I want to know is why can't you order Twinkies in the drive-through at fast food places? Wouldn't that be perfect? Slick up your digestive tract with more foods that use the word "extruded" somewhere in their formulae. Until this moment, I never fully comprehended the difference between junk food and fast food and now I get it. However, the day a Twinkie shows up on Mickey D's backlit microphoned menu will be the day that the two will, once again, become one.

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