Longtime readers know I have a slight obsession with Twinkies — not with eating them, but with grossing myself out about what's in them. To me, Twinkies symbolize the worst of American food culture — which is full of cheap, overprocessed, synthetic edible food-like substances that are strongly linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Well, apparently, CALPIRG — a nonprofit that tackles environmental and other progressive issues — feels the same way about Twinkies. The nonprofit's put together a video explaining just why Twinkies are so cheap. How could a super-processed, heavily branded, overpackaged product made with dozens of ingredients be cheaper than a carrot that can simply be pulled out of the ground?

The short answer is farm subsidies. Unfortunately, those two words that often make people's eyes glaze over — which is why CALPIRG's put together this short video to give you the skinny:

Watch it to find out why high fructose corn syrup is in so many products in supermarket aisles — and why it's so much tougher to eat well on a budget than to eat horrendously.

Want a world where carrots can compete with Twinkies on price? CALPIRG lets you easily send a letter to your senators asking to end the subsidies that make unhealthy food dirt cheap. Environmental Working Group has a Farm Subsidies Database that lets you see at a glance where all this subsidy money is going — as well as a written primer on farm subsidies if you'd like more of the nitty gritty details after watching the CALPIRG video.

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