11/20/2012 01:43 pm ET

Artist Dwight Eschliman Photographs All 37 Twinkie Ingredients (PHOTOS)

Almost as legendary as the question "how many licks does it take to get to the center of the Tootsie Pop" is "how many ingredients are in a Twinkie?" Turns out the answer is 37.

We found this out thanks to photographer Dwight Eschliman, who photographed the multiple ingredients of the endangered Hostess treat. Thanks to the potent combination of multi-syllabic ingredients like Thiamine Mononitrate and Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, we thought Twinkies would outlast us all. Known as the "roaches of snack foods," they seemed to be the only entity that had a chance at surviving the Mayan apocalypse.

In this difficult time when the future of the Twinkie is dangling by a thin thread, we would like to pay homage to the affordable treat which best incorporates animal shortening. When asked about his feelings on the possibility of Hostess shutting down, Eschliman expressed mixed feelings. "The Twinkie is such an icon," he expressed in an e-mail to The Huffington Post. "I feel bad for the many employees that will be losing their jobs."

"On the health side of things," he continued, "Just this morning I came across a statistic that a hundred years ago the average American consumed 1lb of sugar per year...and now we average [22 teaspoons] of sugar per day?! Incredible. Naturally I worry about my kids a bit. That being said, from time to time I love a little fast food. What food science has been able to accomplish is quite amazing."

What are your thoughts on Twinkie Gate? Are you praying for a cream-filled miracle? Let us know in the comments!

Dwight Eschliman