In 1979, Dan White invoked what became widely known as the “Twinkie Defense”. The former city district official was on trial for killing San Francisco mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk when his lawyer brought a psychiatrist to the stand who testified that White was clinically depressed, marked by a junk food binge. White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
500,000 million Twinkies per year are consumed by Americans. There are up to 39 ingredients in a Hostess Cake - many of them not recognized as food. The ingredients are stable enough that the cakes get stale but they do not rot. Sweet, fat-laden processed foods act on the brain just like addictive drugs. They affect the message-carrying chemical dopamine, a key brain neurotransmitter. Just as with heroin or cocaine, it gradually takes more and more tasty food to get the same pleasure. Neurotransmitters are released less and less and therefore more and more junk food is needed to get the same effect. Within one or two generations, exposure to junk food can leave a permanent trait on our brains, a permanent change that is passed on to our offspring.
I have set out to host a reversal of their ominously poisonous effects by transforming Hostess Cakes into works of art. “Awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines by lowering inflammation in the body – a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art – has direct influence upon health and life expectancy” - Dr. Dacher Keltner, California University in Berkeley.