No More Twinkies, No More Science?

twinkies and science

When Hostess announced their closing the other day, there was a run on Twinkies in stores across the country. Why not stock up on the golden, spongy cakes rumored to be able to survive months years in a closet and still be edible? While many share personal stories about the loss of Twinkies, we need to look at what this means for science.

As my friend Rebecca Levey pointed out to me, Twinkies have played a critical role in scientific research. Take, for instance, the archive of Twinkie experiments performed at Rice University in 1995.

Indeed, a Google search of “Twinkie Science Experiements” yields near 1.5 million results!

One of the results leads back to a report from NPR’s Science Desk. Recorded early in 2012, the post hints at Twinkies’ demise (though not, apparently, in a vat of Mountain Dew). It seems that in the eyes of Millennials, the Twinkie is “an abstract object, a toy, even, to play or experiment with – not real food.” As opposed to those of us who grew up eagerly chowing down on them at any time of day. (Yes, I ate Twinkies, Ho-Hos, Ding Dongs and Suzy Qs for breakfast.)

Here’s another fun one: the Twinkie equivalent of Space Jump. This kid did his homework. And I’ll let you search around to find your own scientific Twinkie gems. But first, one last video.

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