(This article was originally posted in June 2018 on old website.)
What are people’s reactions when I say I bake breakfast breads everyday? “Oh that’s sweet of you” from baking lovers or who grew up with baking moms, and of course, from wonderful cooking community on IG. But majority of reactions aren’t like that in reality, in my daily life.
There’s a very old story I still can’t forget that I want to share, the worst comment I’ve ever got when I was in late 20’s. I was eating homemade sandwich in conference room while preparing for upcoming presentation. A female co-worker several years older than me stopped by asking where I got my lunch from. I answered what it is. Out of blue she said, “You are skinny because you are always eating F%!#ing organic S%#@!” I was like, wow… I didn’t expect hearing that from eating healthy food. The conversation was held between so called educated (may be just to say, school degreed) designers in the conference room of high-end design firm in NYC. I thought, at the moment, that was emergency, I really need to do something about food safety and environment.
Many years later having children, I hear tons of indirect negative comments, still now. I’m so glad that I started Instagram that connected me with thoughtful cooking friends. Most of time in daily life, I receive unpleasant reactions. The simple one without words is raising eyebrows. O.K., I know what it means. In Japan and Korea, understanding food safety is much lower than U.S. They ask me why I avoid store-bought breads for my kids, I answer, in the middle of answering I see they are already annoyed. Then they can’t wait to say “There’s nothing you can eat, then.” Exactly. But it’s a serious issue we need to resolve. It’s up to individuals how to take it; you are lucky because you don’t get allergic reactions, or, you are lucky to have a body gives you an alart when toxins come into your systems.
Here is the shortest and simplest list of things in typical store-bought breads. Unless the maker quotes specifically, those are used regardless prices, even at luxury hotels. Needless to say, there are negative impacts on physical and mental health in short or long term.
Just note that there are thousands more if break them down into details.
- Preservatives (in many forms and names)
- Dough conditioner (water and oil have to be kept blended for a long period of time, which is unnatural)
- Plant based oil made with GMO produce (especially Soybean Oil)
- Artificial sweetners
- Artificial flavors and MSG
- Artificial colorings
- Table salts (not natural sea salts)
I didn’t even mention about refined white sugar, lard, butter, milk, eggs that are natural but considered as unhealthy ingredients or allergy food for some people. For those, it’s important to look at “vegan” “gluten free” sign on package, at the same time, we need to check what “else” are still in the product.