Don't Believe the Legend: You Wouldn't Want to Eat a Month-Old Twinkie

More

If you want food to last you, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Hostess_twinkies.jpg

Yummmmm. (Wikimedia Commons)

With news today that Twinkies have hit the endangered species list, people are already stocking up on the cream-filled pastries, presumably to last them through the Twinkie apocalypse and beyond. Which, it must be said, is pretty silly, and not just because some hero out there is likely to rescue the Twinkie from this end, but because Twinkie's don't actually last all that long -- 25 days, according to the company. So buy all the Twinkies you want, just be prepared to eat them all before the year is out.

Many people mistakenly believe that Twinkies last forever and a day because they contain no dairy and a variety of preservatives and stabilizers. And while 25 days is not bad for a baked good, if you want food that lasts, you're going to have to look elsewhere.

Specifically, to Utah, where food-storage companies such as DailyBread, Emergency Essentials, Stormy Day Foods, and The Ready Store are all based. Food storage is an important Mormon practice, and not because of the apocalypse. Rather, the Mormon church encourages its members to keep at least a three-month to a year's supply of food and water (and more, if possible) as part of a general ethos of preparedness and self-reliance. Similarly, the Latter-Day Saints church advises Mormons to avoid debt and instead build up some savings for a future job loss or other tough patch.

The Utah-based companies tend to specialize in canned foods, dehydrated soup mixes, grains, freeze-dried produce, and containers that will not degrade. Most of the food-storage experts advise building up a pantry of goods that can last years, and then another supply of things with a shorter shelf-life (30 days) that can be rotated out on a regular basis. And that -- the weak, fragile stockpile -- that's where your Twinkies belong.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In