Media Information

For media professionals:
In the course of publicizing his books (see About the Author), Steve Ettlinger has appeared on all the morning network TV shows and many regional and local TV and radio shows as well, while granting dozens of print interviews.  He is available for interviews, appearances, or lectures around the country.  Media exposure is noted below.  Scheduled public events are listed on the page, “Events.” Samples from the book are found on the page, “Contents and Index.”  Reviews are viewable either by links below or by clicking on REVIEWS.  A high-resolution author photo similar to the one on this site is available upon request, via e-mail, to the publicist, Liz Keenan.
Reporters and food critics are invited to come to the March 15 launch party, which will feature a “Twinkie Tasting Table” full of commercial Twinkie knock-offs as well as an organic, whole wheat, low-fat, low-calorie, vegan version and most importantly, a “gourmet” version.  And the real thing, too, of course.  All with Champagne.  Professionals, please contact Liz Keenan for details and to sign up for the press release.
Liz Keenan, Publicity Manager
Hudson Street Press                                                                    
(212) 366-2245                                            
For fans of best-selling investigative food books like Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation comes TWINKIE, DECONSTRUCTED: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats (Hudson Street Press; March 2007; 978-159463-018-7; $23.95) by Steve Ettlinger, a pop-science journey into the surprising ingredients found in dozens of common packaged foods, using the Twinkie label as a guide.
Media and Rights News and Reviews
[Links will be established as possible.  Just click on the title.]
Known upcoming reviews or features (This is a casual list, very incomplete and unpredictable; the unknown list will reveal itself later):
The Montel Williams Show (March, 2007 tbd)
nationally syndicated
CBS Chicago- see video (February 23, 2007)
Publishers Weekly (Jan. 1, 2007)
 “…a delightful romp through the food processing industry… cleverly reveals how Twinkie ingredients “are produced by or dependent on nearly every basic industry we know.” ”
Tufts Alumni Magazine (Winter 2007)
New York Post (Feb. 21, 2007) page 49
Discover (Mar.) (First Serial Rights) page 66
“To see what gives life (and shelf life) to today’s processed foods, writer Steve Ettlinger tackles a case study:  the bewildering ingredient list of a Twinkie.”
Tampa Bay Tribune (Feb. 24, 2007)
Newsweek Magazine (March 5, 2007; on sale 2/26)
“…you will never read a label the same way again.”
The Denver Post (Feb. 24, 2007)
Everyday with Rachael Ray (Feb.)
Esquire (April.)
Time Out New York (March 1-7, 2007, page 28)
Body & Soul Magazine (Martha Stewart) (March)
(For a list of most of the dozens of radio interviews Steve has done, please see “Radio Shows” by clicking here.)
NPR Radio KCRW – “Good Food” (Feb. 28, 2007, 12:30PM)
Santa Monica, Southern California and on the web/podcast/archived
USA Radio Network – Daybreak USA  (March 6, 2007, 7:35AM)
Sirius Satellite Radio Out Q    Morning Show (March 6, 2007, 9:40AM)
Accent Radio Network -Right Balance (March 6, 2007, 11:06 AM)
Lifestyle Radio Network, with Frankie Boyer (March 6, 12:40PM)
Mitch Albom Show (March 6, 2007, 6:35PM)     
WBIX-AM & Langer Net, with Frankie Boyer (March 6, 2007)
Martha Stewart Living Radio  – “The Body & Soul Hour”  
Sirius 112 (March 22, 2007)
NPR Radio WHYY – “A Chef’s Table” (March 8, 2007, 3pm)
Philadelphia, nationally syndicated
Sally Jessy Raphael Radio (March 13, 2007, 10:30AM)
nationally syndicated, webcast, archived
USA Today blog (Feb. 27,2007) (Feb. 27, 2007) (tbd)  – Podcast (March 14, 2007)
Audio Rights sold to Listen and Live.
REVIEWS:  click here.
Did you know that. . .?
•    Flour dust is explosive.
•    The iron compound found in enriched flour is also used as a common weed killer.    
•    Glucose, the form of sugar that adds bulk and sweetness to Twinkies’ crumb and filling, also adds glossiness to shoe leather and prolongs concrete setting.
•    Homeland Security figures prominently in modern food production.
•    Only a small percentage of the 750 million pounds of cornstarch that’s manufactured annually goes into food like Twinkies. Two-thirds is used to make paper, cardboard, and packaging “peanuts.”
•    When cooked, cotton cellulose is transformed into an incredibly soft goo, perfect for lending a slippery sensation to the filling in snack cakes–and rocket fuel.
•    Soda ash finds its way into much of what we eat, which is pretty alarming, considering that it is also the primary component of glass and soap.
•    Phosphorus, one of the seven elements necessary for life, is also what puts the glow in tracer bullets and causes artillery shells to explode.  
Some angles and pegs:
Twinkie, Deconstructed touches on nutrition, food science, consumerism, eating, baking, home cooking, and even history and geology.
A few common questions and short answers (please feel free to quote directly):
Why did you tackle this subject?  What makes you qualified to write Twinkie, Deconstructed?
I’ve long been into food reference, starting with The Kitchenware Book (1992), which led me to understand some unusual foods.  When I wrote The Restaurant Lovers’ Companion in 1993, I looked into many odd ingredients of ethnic foods, and loved the research.  And having had to explain things like hops in Beer For Dummies, I was used to this kind of project.
Why focus on the Twinkie?
There are thousands of artificial ingredients, and I needed to find a way to make this work as a readable book, not a reference book.  I realized I should try to find one well-known product that had just the right number of ingredients for a book, with ingredients that represented the whole range of kinds of food additives.  I considered many products, but Twinkies really fill the bill.  The Twinkies ingredient list is actually my table of contents, but the text covers all kinds of artificial ingredients.
What are some of the basic themes that you uncovered in the course of your research?
Artificial ingredients, whether for Twinkies or any other popular, common, processed food, are often made with raw ingredients or sub ingredients that come from all over the world, notably China.  Most of these ingredients are made by enormous international companies that have no plans to reveal how they make our food.  
What are some of the most surprising things you learned?
That we eat lots of rocks.  And petroleum.  When I started, I was certain that most things, like sorbic acid or various vitamins, were extracted from plants.  Not so, not at all, it turns out.  Also, that a lot of toxic things like carbon monoxide and chlorine gas are used to make food, but they only help with reactions and don’t add any toxicity to the food product.
Are you pleased with the book?
I’m very happy with it, but I constantly struggled to limit the writing to the ingredients at hand.  There is so much interesting stuff out there on other ingredients, or on nutrition, that it was often hard to stop.  Also, I wanted to put more of my personal experience from the trips to the sites, but the book would have been quite unwieldy and extremely long if I had.  It is the ingredients that matter, not my trip.  I would have loved to stand in the ground where EVERY raw material comes from, but that would have been impossible. (At the very least, it would have entailed standing on a lot of middle eastern or Chinese oil wells.)  I’m very proud that I was able to identify the raw source of every artificial ingredient, including the sub-ingredients.  It all comes from somewhere in the ground, eventually.  
And I love the fact that the index has things like “diketene” and “ding dong” right next to each other.  In fact, the index, which is on this web site, is fun to read. No other book can make such a claim.
What is your favorite ingredient?
That’d have to be polysorbate 60.  Not only is its name totally chemical and unfamiliar, but my little daughter asked me what it was, and I did not have a clue. Not one.  Plus it was incredibly hard to find out how and where the stuff was made.
What was the most amazing thing you saw in your travels?
Hard to say.  There’s the water-like elemental phosphorus (used to make baking powder) bursting into flame as it was poured out of a ladle, and the mine where the ore for baking soda comes from (I went down 1600 feet under the Wyoming plains and then got in an old Jeep and DROVE for 20 minutes).  And I love visualizing the egg-breaking machine at a plant where they break 7,000,000 eggs a day.  None of these things say “little, soft, sweet snack cake” to you.
* * *