Friday, September 17, 2010

I freakin' LOVE cheese Twisties!

You too, right? Hydrolysed vegetable protein, salt, MSG, yellow food colouring and whey powder! What's not to like? I tells ya, there's nothing like getting home from work and kickin' back in front of the TV with a big old bowl of whey powder. And hydrolysed vegetable protein! None of than plain vegetable protein here; they HYDROLYSE that bad boy! I go to a restaurant and they bring me my vegetable protein, I'm like, "Is it hydrolysed my good man?" And the waiter's like lolwut, and I'm like d00d, take it back and hydrolyse it! You too, right?

You don't....WHADDYA MEAN YOU DON'T LIKE TWISTIES!? Not even Chicken ones? But powder, man! Whey powder!

I like Twisties. This surprises some people; I'm fairly health conscious, I stay in shape, I watch what I eat and I'm smart enough to know that if the factory it comes from used to make fertiliser or WMDs, I probably shouldn't eat it. But when it comes to Twisties (and their spicy latino cousins Burger Rings), don't care, don't care, don't care. And those little 'fun sized' bags can go to hell; gimme the big old 100 gram bags, the ones so big you get yellow stains up to your elbow.

I've tried eating half a bag of Twisties. I swear, I've tried. But you get there and you think, "there's heaps left, just a few more". Then you stop again and roll the bag up and you realise there's more bag than Twisties there, so you think "bugger it", upend the bag and pour the last few straight down, possibly stopping to chew. On particularly hungry days I'll go so far as to lick the bag for that last big salty hit. Hey, don't judge me.

Apparently there are reasons we eat them this way. It goes something like this...

Food is supposed to satisfy hunger. You eat, it fills you up, you get back to whatever the heck you were doing. But with junk food it's different. The things that make us like them are the salt and fat (and sometimes a fair hit of sugar). Salt and fat are good, but they're usually minor ingredients in something that's mostly protein and carbohydrates and fibre. You get a steak, you splash a bit of sauce on it, you're good to go. Or fruit: when you eat a peach, it is ALL about the peach. Nature nailed it with those things; nothing you can do to make them better, short of having them lovingly sliced and fed to you by a dusky Polynesian beauty. But that says more about me than it does about peaches.
What was I...right, salt and fat. They make food taste better. Theoretically they satisfy cravings too, but this is where it gets tricky. You know when food has too much salt; it tastes awful. Too much fat? Makes it sickly and overly rich. Both of these can be countered; back off the salt a bit and rather than satisfying a craving, it actually makes you want more of the stuff. In the case of fat, you can make it more palatable by thinning it out with the latest enemy of the diet fraternity, carbohydrates. And what are most of our favourite snack foods based on? Potatoes and wheat, the carbohydratetest sources of carbs. Besides dusky Polynesian beauties.

So when you grab yourself a handful of potato chips, you get enough salt for your body to say "Hey, that's pretty nice! More please," a hit of fat mixed with just enough carbs to make it taste really good, and bugger all else. Processing takes out all those annoying vitamins and such, leaving you to savour the delicate texture of really well-hydrolysed vegetable protein. The end result, and curiously the point of the whole exercise is that no, you can't stop at one. A hundred grams of salty, fatty goodness later, you're thirsty, your fingers are yellow and you've poured a good six hundred calories down your neck, but the odds are you're just as hungry. And given that you probably just bought your bag of Cheetos at a train station vending machine, you're suddenly in front of the thing again, trying to decide between more Cheetos, an out-of-date Mars Bar and Baked-Not-Fried low fat pretzels (yeah, like that's gonna happen). Junk food industry: 1, self-restraint: 0.
It gets worse too. Apparently junk food can be as addictive as heroin. It's like cigarettes apparently: you get desensitised to the feel-good chemicals it gives you, so you need more to get the same rush. Eventually you're so desensitised that nothing short of a whole Polynesian tribe serving you crates of Cheezels on gold platters can shake your tail feathers.

Don't care, don't care, don't care. Did I mention that I freakin' LOVE cheese Twisties? Next time I'm waiting at the train station and those little yellow bags are calling me from behind the glass, well, it'd be rude not to go say hello. And I'm totally cool with having to run fifty km and eat nothing but peaches for the rest of the week to make up for bingeing on fifty grams of yellow-dyed MSG.

You too, right...?

1 comment:

  1. Me too. Keep the stinky chicken ones. CHEEEEEESE!