Disaster Strikes. No More Twinkies.

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Sep 10, 2009

Way back in 1976, George Stevens Academy science professor Roger Bennatti was leading a class discussion about the prevalence of chemical preservatives in processed foods when one of his students offered forth a Twinkie leftover from lunch to be used as an example. Little could Bennatti have realized then, but this lesson would mark the beginnings of an informal experiment that would outlast his career.

"How long do you figure this will last?" implored the professor, placing the Twinkie on top of an intercom box in his class. Nearly four decades later, the answer is still unresolved.

In 2005, Bennatti retired from teaching, undoubtedly bearing the mark of age after a long and fruitful tenure. But surprisingly, maybe even mockingly so, that Twinkie, the world's oldest, looked just about as good as new. So, before he left, Bennatti placed the fresh-faced Twinkie in a glass box and presented it to the Dean of George Stevens Academy, Libby Rosemeier, who had been a student in his class when the Twinkie was first introduced.

Now, 36 years later, the old Twinkie still looks as though it's hardly aged -- though you'd be hard pressed to find anyone brave enough to eat it.