Last Christmas, I decided to prepare stuffing from scratch to take along with my turkey to our family Christmas dinner. I went ahead to buy four loaves of bread from our neighbourhood supermarket. I used three loaves to prepare my dish, leaving one loaf on my kitchen counter for almost 3 weeks, but to my surprise, the bread didn’t grow any mold. It was as soft as the day I bought it. This got me really concerned as I examined the length and breadth. Immediately I knew the bread was full of preservatives. Preservatives are bad, and I try to avoid them at all cost.
When bread is freshly-baked, it is usually very soft and a bit moist, now this moistness serves as a good breeding ground for mold. Although you cannot see these molds, millions of their spores are found in the air around you as they are airborne. These spores settle on the bread when exposed to air and when the bread is stored in your cupboard or on the provision shelf, the spores begin to multiply. Mold on bread reproduces as long as there is a food source. Sometimes, mold reproduces very rapidly and can sometimes double in size in an hour.
Bread should mold, when it doesn’t, there is a problem. Remember, it only takes 4 ingredients to make bread – flour, yeast, water and salt. Most commercially-produced bread these days are full of ingredients that are not healthy such as dough conditioners – these are unnecessary in traditional bread making and only make the process faster and cheaper for the food industry to make bread in big machinery. Many dough conditioners like azodicarbonamide (which is banned all over the world), DATEM, monoglycerides, diglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate are linked to health issues. Many dough conditioners start with manipulating fat– like soybean oil or corn oil, which is also most likely GMO.
Bromide– This is also a dough conditioner found in most flours as potassium bromate. It replaced potassium iodate starting in the 1960s because bakers claim it yields dependable results, and it makes the dough more elastic, which can stand up to bread hooks and other commercial baking tools. Bromate is an endocrine disruptor that competes for the same receptors in the thyroid gland as iodine. Constant ingestion of bromate in your daily bread may eventually create a thyroid hormone imbalance because iodine is needed for thyroid hormone production. It has also been fingered in some of the cancer cases.
GMOs – Most commercially available bread contain one or many genetically modified ingredients like soy lecithin, soybean oil, corn oil, corn starch or soy flour. GMOs have not been tested long term on humans, however, we know that the pesticides sprayed on them are toxic and considered to be poisonous. Some GMOs are created by inserting a toxic pesticide into the seed itself to make an insect’s stomach explode when they try to eat it.
Added sugar – This is where you really need to watch out. There’s nothing wrong with a little honey to bring out the sweetness in bread, but most manufactures are using excessive sugar, and this can pose health risks. Almost all commercially-baked bread brands have some form of added sweetener. Watch out especially for “light” breads, which often contain more added sugar.
Remember to always choose bread that is made with real, certified organic ingredients. The wheat that is used to make most bread is heavily sprayed with pesticides and by choosing certified organic products you will avoid exposure to GMOs.