Becky Mikles

Becky Mikles

Posted June 22, 2011

Published in Food

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What is that in my loaf of bread?

Read More: Bread, Food, Health

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Why is it so hard to buy a decent loaf of bread? With most supermarkets devoting an entire aisle to bread products, it frustrates me when I can't find a simple loaf of bread with just a few basic ingredients.  Having made whole grain bread at home for many years, I know that all it really takes is whole grain flour, yeast, a dash of salt, and water.  But if you aren't lucky enough to have access to a natural foods store or a whole grain bakery, it can be literally impossible to find simple whole grain bread without additives, dough conditioners, fats, preservatives, dairy products, high fructose corn syrup, and something I just stumbled upon recently: Azodicarbonamide, or ADA. It turns out ADA is not even food.  It is a synthetic chemical with the molecular formula C2H4O2N4  and is used as a blowing agent in the rubber and plastics industries.  The use of ADA as a food additive has been banned in Australia and Europe, but so far not in the United States.

 Today I looked at every single loaf of whole grain bread stocked in a large chain supermarket, and was unable to find even a single one free of questionable ingredients. The choice becomes, do I just skip buying bread altogether, or settle for the one loaf that seems the least offensive?  It sort of ends up feeling like the choice between avoiding a known poison, or just having a drop or two at a time, hoping my body can handle it in small amounts.  Of course bread isn't a dietary requirement (and in some circles is even quite reviled), and I can always return to making my own again. But for those of us who still enjoy a sandwich for lunch, or a piece of toast with breakfast, it would be so nice to have widespread healthy options available.