Steve Ettlinger’s latest book is Twinkie, Deconstructed (Plume, 2008). He’s currently working on a book about how computers are made, and writing captions for a photo book about artificial ingredients. His first book, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Everything Sold in Hardware Stores, has just been released as an e-book specially adapted for smartphones. Contact him at

When Hostess filed for bankruptcy last week, many Americans fretted over the fate of their snack cakes. But knowing what we now do about processed foods, Steve Ettlinger, author of the book Twinkie, Deconstructed, asks: is it time to let go?