Our Daily Bread

Bread.  It seems to have a presence in nearly every human culture.  For most of us in America, bread is some variation of flour, water, salt and yeast.  Count that – 4 ingredients.  Even the yeast can be a wild yeast, so figure you mix 3 ingredients and you have all you need to add.

For about 30,000 years, human-kind has been mixing up some sort of bread and adding other foods or grains for flavoring.  But, the basic recipe, still useful, has been the four I mentioned.  So here’s an example of a bread label from one of our local bakers:

Real bread is Simple

Real bread is simple

Here’s a label from a commercially baked food product (I dare not call it bread!):

Chemical bread

This is not bread

 

I don’t know where to begin to point out all that’s wrong about the long list of ingredients in that bread-like product.  Shall we talk about all the chemicals? Shall we talk about why the heck can an edible food-like product have all those ingredients and still be cheaper at the point of sale that a simple 4 ingredient bread?

This label is a launching point for talking about food and why so many millions of Americans are unwell; for talking about government subsidy programs; for talking about food distribution; for talking about the benefits of localism; for talking about the carbon-footprint of food; for talking about health equity.

So, let’s talk. We can make some bread together.

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