I, CHEETO by Nadya Simakov

Images by Amber Poer

Beware of the Cheetos®! You probably can’t even pronounce the stuff on the ingredients list: Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Monoitrate, Riboflavin, Frolic Acid, Disodium Phosphate, et al.

30 different kinds of ingredients go into making Cheetos, which end up being 4.8% protein, 35.9% carbs, and 59.3% fat. Cheetos are “one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure,” says food scientist Steven Witherly in New York Times Magazine. Eating Cheetos may be purely pleasurable, but the feeling you get when you realize you’ve eaten an entire bag of Cheetos is less so.

The coating of salt and the fat content rewards the brain with instant feelings of pleasure, and the sugar that come from the starch of the potatoes it’s made out of all combine to make Cheetos the perfect addictive food. Most ingredients are substitutes of natural ingredients, so basically you’re eating fake ingredients that are less nutritious, regardless of the taste.


Heritage High School sells Cheetos in their vending machines. My friend Lika was chomping on a bag of the Cheddar Jalapeño Crunchy variety in Mr. Emmert’s room. “I hope that’s not your lunch,” he said. “You are what you eat. Cheetos are made out of chemicals, so now you are, too.”

“So if this is true then Lika is a solid chemical preservative,” added Mr. Derek Bain.

It’s easy to make jokes about it, but other schools take junk food more seriously. They feel that the extreme compounds in Cheetos make them a health hazard for kids to consume, and many have decided to remove junk food like Cheetos from their schools to help students make healthier food decisions and think about what’s in their foods.

It seems apt to promote food health in a place that is meant to develop a healthy mind.