The Wood-Fired Blog

More on Supermarket Bread

While buying King Arthur whole wheat flour and rye flour at my local supermarket, I saw their “bread” section out of the corner of my eye, and decided to swing by. For $1.49, you can buy an 8 oz “Sourdough Baguette”, and I couldn’t help myself. I bought one, just so I could read the labels and take a few photos.

My first impression is that word “Natural” needs to be regulated. There are no food labeling standards for the word Natural, and if this product can be called Natural, the word really has no meaning. They might as well say Carbon Based.

“No artificial ingredients or preservatives
All Nature
Same great taste
0g of Trans Fat per Serving”

My second impression is that the list of ingredients is just crazy. I am not a chemist, but as a consumer, I find this list scary. Don’t forget that real sourdough bread has three ingredients: wheat flour, salt, and water.

Here goes:

Wheat flour
Wheat protein isolate
Diacetyl tartaric Esters of mono and diglycerides
Calcium sulfate
Malted barley flour
Vegetable oil shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed, soy and or canola oil)
Acetic Acid
Fumaric Acid
Lactic Acid

I believe it was Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma and other great books) who said that if something has more than five ingredients, it isn’t really good. It’s just an edible, food-like substance. I don’t think this is food.

And I’m curious. If this has partially hydrogenated oil shortening, how can it have zero trans fats?

My third impression is, clearly, that this isn’t something I would like to eat. Visually, neither the crust nor the crumb are all that appealing. I was thinking of putting it out to feed the birds, but I don’t think it would be good for them. So I just threw it away. I’m not really sure why I let supermarket bread bother me so much. After all, no one is forcing me to eat hit. haha. I guess I should think about that.


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