Three-quarters of UK households eat bread every day. To many, bread has become simply a way to eat a sandwich filling – a means to an end. Totally understandable when the vast majority of bread sold in this country is tasteless, fluffy and insists on parking itself in the roof of your mouth.
In order to create this mass-produced “bread”, the manufacturers are prioritising efficiency, costs and quantity over anything to do with nutrition. Fine if it’s just plugging a hunger hole… Or is it?
There’s big brand bread out there that contains as much salt per slice as a whole packet of crisps. Yuck. If it’s not salt it’s sugar. Something has to make these poor innocent traditional ingredients palatable after they’ve endured a process introducing them to their overpowering new friends, the artificial agents and enzymes.
Here we are blaming poor old yeast and long-suffering flour when all along, more often than not, it’s the added ‘stuff’ to make a fast loaf that our bodies really object to.
I’ve spoken to quite a few people about their bread habits recently as I’ve changed my own for the better, and it’s an overwhelming majority. The bread in the everyday basket is big brand, sliced, maybe with a few seeds on top – mostly bought for the children.
The parents, however, have often cut down their bread consumption, they just don’t feel great after it. Um, hello?! If YOU feel bad on it, why on Earth are we continuing to cram it down the throats of our amazing young progeny? Simply because of our (The Brits’) relationship with bread – the plugging-the-gap role that the £1.10 loaves play in our lives.
But don’t be fooled by the price – It may be only 7.5p for a slice of toast and a layer of olive oil spread but, for you, they’ll throw in a free dose of bleach, a good double helping of yeast and an army of ‘E’ numbers.
If the thought of these little extras going into your offspring’s perfect little body makes you squirm, just look at the budget side too. A buttered slice of toasted “Real Bread” (free from additives and just a downright gorgeous pure loaf) still only totals somewhere between 15.5p and 26.5p per serving. Is that really a break-the-bank snack? Safe in the knowledge that there’s no allergy-trigger enzymes or bloat-inducing processes, the kids can go off to school on a healthy start.
Equally, try it yourself. If you’re one of the many parents among us who swear they’re no good with bread, try “real” bread and you might just make a wonderful discovery.
But where? Sadly, as our appreciation of the lovely stuff was won over by price tags, thousands of bakeries closed down for many years. Farm shops, markets and delis are now a great place to find brilliant bread – many will only accept the finest “real” form of bread although most at least have “proper” stuff! But don’t fear, supermarkets have cottoned on and Waitrose, for one, is now stocking Gail’s, Cranks and other better-for-you loaves.
Bring Bread Back. Enjoy!