Sunday, October 7, 2012

White Bread Blues

I love bread. It might be my favorite food. Soup, chili, spaghetti, you name it, I want bread with it. You could call it an addiction, and you'd probably be right.

I have known white bread is bad for a long time and thought I was eating whole wheat bread because the bread I bought at the grocery store was brown. Ha! If only it could be so simple. It turns out that the "wheat" bread on the shelves is actually white bread with caramel coloring. Yep, you read that right. Technically all bread is wheat bread, because it all comes from wheat flour. White flour has had the nutritious parts of the wheat stripped away and is then "enriched" with fake chemical vitamins and minerals which are actually really hard on our bodies. And the caramel coloring? It's not heated sugar like gradma used to make. It's a chemical cocktail including 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, which have been proven in govermnent-led studies to cause cancer in animals. This coloring is also in soda and many other processed foods.

Even if the bread label says "100% Wheat" it could still be made with white flour. It has to say "100% WHOLE wheat." If the word "whole" is not there, don't buy it. (Whole grain is also okay...that just means they used whole grains other than wheat such as oatmeal, bulgur, etc.) Be sure to read the ingredients. Just because it really is whole wheat doesn't mean there aren't a bunch of crazy toxic food additives lurking in there. Companies often try to make wheat bread fluffy and light like white bread, which is difficult to do without help from our friend the chemist.

Here are the ingredients in a typical so-called wheat bread:

INGREDIENTS: Enriched wheat flour, [flour, barley malt, ferrous sulfate (iron), “B” vitamins (niacin, thiamine mononitrate B1), riboflavin (B2), folic acid)], water, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, yeast, soybean oil, contains 2% or less of: salt, wheat gluten, soy lecithin, calcium sulfate, dough conditioner (may contain: sodium steroyl, lactylate, datem, mono and diglycerides, calcium dioxide and/or dicalcium phosphate), cornstarch, wheat starch, ammonium chloride, ammonium phosphate, caramel color, natural flavor, enzymes, calcium propionate and TBHQ (to retain freshness) 

Yikes! Google some of that stuff and I bet you won't want to eat it again. TBHQ is a form of butane. Even just the amount of ingredients is shocking considering you can make bread at home with only four ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and oil.

If you can afford high quality whole grain bread, go for it! If it's it too expensive for you or just can't find any without scary food additives, don't despair...I am on the verge of whole wheat no-knead bread perfection, and I will post the recipe next week!

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