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The Great Twinkie Bailout

These days you hear a lot about bailouts, for good and for ill. What you may not have heard is that Interstate Bakeries, the maker of the immortal Twinkie, got their own bailout-- to the tune of $600 million dollars. Treehugger has the story from the New York Times.

Apparently, the bakery couldn't keep up in the age of low-carb diets like Atkins and South Beach. So does that mean Americans are making slightly healthier food choices, forgoing the identically-frosted Hostess cupcakes for some more nutritious option? Does this make a junk food manufacturer like our failing auto plants, behind the times yet tied to so many jobs that it's too painful to think of healing the problem by cutting off the industry entirely.

One thing the new administration seems to understand is that certain industries are not sustainable in their current configuration; hence the popularity of the "green jobs" concept: prevent unemployment by switching workers from a failing industry to an in-demand profession that also helps solve our environmental problems. It really is the crux of the economic crisis: can we make the changes we need to move towards more sustainable practices without worsening unemployment, or making the proverbial omelet without breaking eggs.

No one knows for sure, but it would be refreshing to hear about bailouts or agricultural subsidies for truly healthy foodstuffs, as opposed to shoring up the system that keeps powerful forces like the corn lobby in place. What about a subsidized tasty, nutritious school lunch program? In a nation with rising obesity and type-II diabetes, it's just a shame that either-or thinking must come down on the side of saving jobs at the expense of people's diets.


Tags: Bailouts, Economy, Green jobs, Junk food, Twinkies

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