Preserve This

The best way to teach is by modeling the desired steps with a successful outcome.  Along with English, I am also the forensics coach/teacher.  Not CSI stuff, but acting and public speaking in competition.  While the rules for informative speeches say we cannot have any visual aids, I added them here for your viewing pleasure…

Zombieland, an apocalyptic movie that follows four strangers on their individual quests, shows the eldest member chasing down the elusive Twinkie.  He drags his three companions with him in an adventure in search of one of the most preservative-packed snack foods on our Earth.


Spongy Goodness

I believe everyone has heard the urban legend of how the preservatives in our food makes our cells in our bodies change.  But how do our bodies actually react?  According to, it can range from “diarrhea, tumors, kidney problems, and ADHD.”  Many health problems can be attributed to preservatives.  Carcinogens–or cancer causing agents– were found in preservatives when injected in lab rats.  They are approved by the FDA, however, because when the rats ingest them, there were insignificant results.  But the ultimate consequence preservatives can impose on us is after we die.  They make our bodies actually last longer.  Seth Roberts, a nutrition and food author of How Fast Do We Rot?, says that “preservatives in foods we eat may diminish the presence of some bacteria that help decomposition.”

Why, then, do manufacturers use preservatives?  Virtually every food you eat has some sort of preservative on it.  Fruits and vegetables are covered with it to make them last longer in the refrigerator.  Breads and cereals stay in the pantry longer.  Fruit drinks and snacks keep their pretty colors and great taste.  Companies use preservatives such as sulfur dioxide, sodium benzoate, and sodium nitrate, among others, to inhibit bacteria growth, to slow down oxidation, and to block the natural ripening of foods.  In Chemical and Engineering News, they claim that these things help keep food fresh, better than the traditional method of freezing, drying, smoking, pickling, and canning.

If you were to look at the ingredients of a strawberry milkshake, you would see a list of 17 chemicals along with 12 other ‘ingredients’ for milk.  –None of these ingredients are actually milk.  Puristat, and online digestive center guide, says these are listed as “natural flavoring.”

And that twinkie from ZombielandRon Lagerquist, who wrote North American Diet, says “the small print on your Twinkies read more like rocket fuel than food for human consumption with unpronounceable test tube names…”  Sounds enticing.

You sure you wann buy that milkshake?

Hold on, this food looks dangerous.

However, these foods won’t last forever.  As Tallahassee, the Twinkie hunter from Zombieland, correctly pointed out, “Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date.  Some day very soon, life’s little Twinkie guage is gonna go…empty.”


Go ahead. Everyone's watching.

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