Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Twinkies aren't 'health food,' but that's not why Hostess went out of business

Op-ed contributor Joanne Cavanaugh Simpson argues that the Hostess Company's bankruptcy demonstrates the negative effects of the anti-obesity movement ("An unhealthy fear," Nov. 21). But the demise of Hostess was not caused by the anti-obesity movement, and Ms. Simpson never presents any evidence that movement directly affected the company.

Ms. Simpson claims that Hostess is a "victim of another movement sweeping the country over the past couple of decades: 'low-fat' and 'health food' trends, and the current government-sponsored anti-obesity campaign."

But the only thing Hostess is a victim of is poor management and the recession. According to the Wall Street Journal, eight Hostess executives received 80 percent pay raises in 2012. Is it ethical to raise executive salaries when Hostess was in decline and had millions in debt?

The company's costs for its workers and the ingredients needed to make its products had increased, causing it to file for bankruptcy in 2004. With loans from General Electric Hostess should have bounced back, but there they were in 2012 with over $860 million in debt.

Hostess' going out of business had nothing to do with recent health food trends. Given the company's mismanagement, this "venerable American business institution" hardly seems respectable at all.

Logan Weir, Poolesville

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • Don't blame the union in the great Twinkie debacle of 2012
      Don't blame the union in the great Twinkie debacle of 2012

      America lost one of its iconic brands last month when Hostess, maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Wonder Bread and other staples of postwar Middle America, closed up shop.

    • What Twinkies teach us about labor relations
      What Twinkies teach us about labor relations

      The Great American Twinkie Crisis illuminates what is wrong with the relationship between management and labor in this country. Hostess, the company that, since the 1930s, has provided our nation with snacks that are nearly indestructible, now threatens to go out of business and leave us bereft...

    • Pot is no harmless drug

      In response to the recent letter from Stan White of Dillon, Colo. ("Fight heroin by legalizing pot," March 3), I would point out that the disease of addiction is not drug-specific. I do agree with him that people who buy weed "on the streets" have a better than average opportunity to find...

    • The lessons of Ferguson

      The Justice Department on Wednesday released a devastating critique of police and city officials in Ferguson, Mo., where an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by an officer last year. Though the department did not find cause to bring a civil rights indictment against the officer who killed...

    • Gun ban in Howard makes sense
      Gun ban in Howard makes sense

      The effort by three members of the Howard County Council to keep unauthorized people carrying guns from bringing them onto Howard County government property is a common sense safety measure that keeps an important, if emotional issue before the public ("Howard councilmembers to consider weapons...

    • What Doug Gansler got right
      What Doug Gansler got right

      Doug Gansler should be Maryland's governor today. There, I said it. It needed to be said!

    • White House obfuscates on Clinton emails

      The article "West Wing and Democrats not on same page regarding Clinton's emails" (March 4) shows something is amiss within the Democratic Party. The story says the "…top White House spokesman said he wasn't sure whether anyone in the West Wing suspected [former Secretary of State...

    • Was Netanyahu playing bad cop?

      Does anyone else think that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech may have actually strengthened the U.S. negotiating position? ("Netanyahu's pointless speech," March 4.) Juxtaposing a far more aggressive alternative against the offering? Mr. Netanyahu may have done our...

    Comments
    Loading