If there is one thing that we here at A Bread Affair are very familiar with it is -drumroll please- bread. Yes, bread. We can only imagine the look of shock and surprise on your face right now. The reason we chose to fashion our brand behind this ancient (wonderful) food is due to the fact that it is so widespread and versatile. When you really think about it, grains of all varieties form a foundation of diets worldwide. These grain products aren’t constrained to bread either, and also include pasta, rice, and even crackers or cookies. In fact, when you really break it down, these products are consumed with almost every single meal, especially in Western societies.
The prevalence of these grain based foods within our lives is something that has caused a stir in the scientific community as of late, as consumers have expressed growing levels of concern revolving around their dietary habits. The widespread coverage of individual sensitivities such as gluten sensitivities within the media has helped to stoke this fire, and people throughout the Western world are becoming gradually more aware of their health choices.
In many cases, these concerns are well warranted, as there exist a plethora of wheat based products that are mass produced, and also contain a number of ingredients that are certainly detrimental to one’s health. An example of one of these is azodicarbonamide (sounds healthy, doesn’t it?), which is used in the bread served at many fast food restaurants. Although marketed as being edible, this chemical is actually also used within the production of less delectable items such as yoga mats and rubber soles. This is certainly a far cry from the locally sourced, organic ingredients that our shop uses! In addition, simple components such as flour may be treated with a number of FDA approved substances, including bleach. In fact, the more one delves into the production process of many types of bread, the more they will uncover a series of undesirable chemical based products.
Scared yet? Don’t be! Fortunately, we live in an advanced society that has made the collective choice to include an ingredients list on each product sold commercially en-masse. When reading these labels be on the look out for dough conditioners such as the aforementioned azodicarbonamide, as well as oils such as soybean or corn oil, which often form the foundations of more nefarious substances. As a general rule, if you can’t pronounce the name, it probably shouldn’t be your healthy pick of the day. Artificial flavors and colouring are also a telltale sign that your loaf may be detrimental to your well-being. Sweeteners are also very common, and are often applied to ‘improve’ the flavour of the finished product. These may include high sugar substances like fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, both of which have been proven to promote serious health disorders such as diabetes.
While carefully avoiding the aforementioned ingredients, you should be on the look out for the following ones, as they are typically indicators of a far healthier product. Ancient grains such as quinoa, spelt, millet, or sorghum are usually more difficult to process than wheat and are thus more likely to have fewer added ingredients. Sprouted wheat is something that should also be a desirable part of any grain based diet, as your body processes it differently as opposed to regular flour. While the latter is broken down internally into sugars, sprouted wheat actually provides a broad selection of important vitamins and minerals. Bread made with certified organic ingredients are always a good choice as well, as the foundations of the product will have experienced much less exposure to pesticides.
Love it or hate it, grain based products are a vital part of our day-to-day diets. Because of this, we urge our readers to try to live as healthy as possible by making the right choices when purchasing bread. Our baked good are made fresh using certified organic ingredients, so you need not worry when perusing our selection. Outside of A Bread Affair exists a jungle of potentially malicious ingredients, however, so we advise you keep this guide handy, and feel free to ask us any questions if you would like! Bon apetit.