By Bread Alone

By Bread Alone

Wheat bread is supposed to be healthy. Or at least healthier than white bread, which is supposed to be made of refined flour that when consumed in large amounts turns the consumer into a paper mache piñata.

So, I stood in the supermarket’s two-mile long bread aisle, facing tall shelves packed with all sorts of bread –from cheese to chalah, herb to Hawaiian, oatmeal to potato oat, pistachio to pumpernickel, raisin to rye, zwieback to zuccini, among others. I saw slices, loaves, buns, rolls, bagels, and baguettes. Where do all these breads come from?

Narrowing it down to as close to “wheat” as possible, there was whole wheat, wheat germ, wheat/grain, wheat/bran, dill wheat, whole grain, and multi-grain. Then I saw a “Honey Wheat” loaf that said, “Healthy Line, Light, Only 40 Calories Per Slice, 0 Grams of Trans Fat Per Slice, An Excellent Source of Fiber, No Artificial Preservatives, Colors, or Flavors.” How healthy can it get? Can it even still be considered bread? I knew it was all marketing hype, but, well, I bought it. Literally.

That was a week ago. I finished the loaf just now, and I said to myself, “Wow, I’m glad I’m done with that experiment. That last slice tasted like cardboard.”

I checked the packaging — it said “Best before Feb 27.” No wonder. Midnight of the 26th, it had started to deteriorate back into its native state. In another two days it would turn into sawdust.

Tomorrow I’ll stand in front of that endless aisle of breads again and start another experiment. Maybe I’ll try one with artificial flavors — at least it won’t taste like hay.

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