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BREAD: Give Us Each Day Our Daily Bread!
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Bread: To Eat or not to eat
Beth Ley Knotts, Ph.D.
Crusty Bread

For those of you who have given up bread. Here is something to think about.

When the Israelites fled Egypt, after over 400 years of slavery, they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land. During this time, God provided substance for them to eat every day in the form of quail (meat) and manna (Exodus 16).

Psalm 78:24 says that Manna, is a bread-like substance that fell from heaven, and that tasted like honey. Numbers 11:8 describes what the Israelites did with this bread from heaven. They made it into cakes, boiled it, and ground it into flour.

There are other Biblical stories about bread - remember the loaves and the fishes, where Jesus fed the multitudes?

Bread is a universal food, with a form of bread found in every culture weather it be naan, tortillas, loaves, etc.

Communion celebrates the sacrifice of Jesus, His presence, and much more. He called Himself the Bread of Life and examining bread in the Bible gives a deeper significance to that statement and communion.

Consider the Lords prayer... "Give us each day our daily bread..."

Until about a century ago, bread was made daily. The flour was ground (most often at home) and made into bread. One can make flour using just wheat, barley or a variety of grains and even beans (like Ezekiel bread). There were no preservatives or refrigeration so after a day or so it would become hard and then moldy.

Milled flour did not become available until the 16 and 1700's. It was not bleached or contain the added ingredients like today. Early flours also contained the bran (fiber) and the germ (protein and essential fats). Eventually, these were sifted out to prolong shelf life.

In the early 1900's, bakeries began to commercially sell bread (whole leaves) (to the wealthy) while most people still made bread at home. For generations, white bread was the preferred bread of the rich while the poor ate dark (whole-grain) bread.

Commercial sliced bread was introduced in 1928. Soon after after that soft white bread (Wonder Bread) became all the rage with preservatives and dough conditioners added. Clever advertising and technical innovations propelled Wonder Bread to the top. In the 1960s, Americans got from 25 to 30% of their daily calories from Wonderbread, more than from any other single item in their diet.

There are only 4 ingredients in bread...flour, water, salt and yeast (unless it's flat bread). Egg and honey were added to make sweet bread or cake. You can still make bread like this at home.

Look at the ingredients labels of commercial bread today. You will find bromated flour, bleaching agents, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and a long list of chemicals.

Di Rienzo Sliced Italian Bread
Ingredients: Bleached Flour (Bromated Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Flour, Niacin, Iron, Potassium Bromate, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Base (Salt, Vegetable Oil, Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean, Cottonseed And/Or Canola Oil), Dextrose, Sugar, Soy Flour, Cornstarch, Dough Conditioners (Vegetable Mono And Diglycerides, Ascorbic Acid, L-Cysteine, Fungal Amylase), Yeast, Calcium Propionate, Sesame Seeds (When Apparent)].

That's 24 ingredients!!

I found another bread with 35 ingredients! Sunbeam Enriched Old Fashioned Bread

Today's breads may have a shelf life of 2 and 1/2 months.....!!!

Many of these ingredients are on the loosely-regulated GRAS list meaning they they have literally undergone no safety trials.

And.... many of these ingredients, especially soy, corn, cotton, sugar beets and wheat are now largely Genetically Modified and contain traces of glyphosate (Roundup), proven to be carcinogenic.

Bromated wheat disrupts the endocrine system by competing with iodine for absorption causing iodine deficiency. Here is another article with the dangers of many of the other ingredients

The bottom line is the problem is bread of today has largely been ruined. Unless you can find organic bread with the 4 ingredients it should contain, yes, by all means, skip it! However, all bread is NOT evil. It's easy to make at home. Use organic flour or better yet, grind your own grains!! It may not be as pretty as the commercial kind at first... give it a little practice.