Let Us Break Bread

Bread. The staff of life. It’s a food humans have been eating for centuries.

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The bread aisle at the local WalMart

A simple food, right? Flour. Yeast. Water. Salt.

But wait! Do you know what is in that processed bread you’re buying? Some ingredients might surprise you.

Most bread purchased in the US includes sugar. And if it’s cane sugar, it was most likely filtered through the charred bones of animals to give it that lovely white color. Corn syrup has its own problems, but corn syrup is a vegan food product. Most non-organic sugars in the US are not.

Lecithin is usually obtained from eggs, though it can be obtained from other sources, most notably, from soy. Lecithin is used in bread to reduce the amount of fat needed, or to make it cheaper to produce.

Those enzymes added to your bread? The label will only say enzymes. But where those enzymes are obtained matters. For example, the enzyme phospholipase comes from the pancreatic tissue of pigs.

Dough conditioners are used to make your bread look pretty. Where do they come from? You probably won’t be able to tell from the label. But one conditioner, L-cysteine, is derived from duck feathers.

So what’s a person to do if he or she wants to enjoy cruelty-free bread?

Well, you could make your own. Bread is easy and inexpensive to make. And if you have a bread maker, it’s even easier.

If you don’t want to make bread, you’re not out of luck. There are some vegan options out there. PETA has a list of some brand name breads that are vegan.

Personally, I go for the Ezekiel 4:9 bread. You can find it in the frozen foods case of many grocery retailers. I buy it locally at Publix.

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Slather some margarine and jam on toasted Ezekiel for a yummy breakfast treat.

There are several varieties. Sesame is my favorite. It has a nutty taste that makes it a great choice for toast. It also makes a filling sandwich when you’re on the go like I am some days.

This bread is low-glycemic, organic, vegan, and delicious. This is not the spongy-type bread you’re used to buying by the loaf. Ezekiel breads are hearty, with each slice containing 80 calories, 4 grams of protein, iron, and naturally derived vitamins. Yep, they don’t have to enrich this bread to put back what they took out while processing.

Look- you can see the grains in this slice!
Look- you can see the grains in this slice!

Some folks are turned off by Ezekiel breads because of the cost- a loaf can cost over twice as much as the store brand white or wheat bread. But you have to ask yourself- if that bread is so much cheaper, what did they do to it to make it so cheap?

Next week I’m going to talk about baking vegan treats. It’s easier than you may think!

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I’d like to congratulation Kevin and Tracey Hattori of Animal Shelter Volunteer Life, this year’s winner of the Dogtime Petties Best Cause Blog! And thanks to each of you that helped make that happen!

Next year, Bernadette!

48 thoughts on “Let Us Break Bread

  1. Often when Rumpy’s claws scratch the keys, on the subject of diet, I add my non-Vegan 2 cents. So, in this case – yes, Ezekial 4:9 bread is a wonderful and healthful product. If your war is on carbs, like mine, you’ll make this bread a staple. Other commenters have mentioned baking your own bread. An even better idea. Making your own food is the first step in freeing yourself from the toxic packaged foods industry. When you make your own, you control not only the ingredients, but the process.

    You also mentioned corn syrup. There are numerous varieties of corn syrup, some less harmful than others, but all are sugars – and that’s the essential point. Cane, corn, rice, potato – sugar is sugar. Medical science is only just now beginning to realize how harmful sugar is, but I have long believed that sugar is an even more harmful agent than tobacco.

    Although, pseudo-Vegan (I have no idea how they make the stuff) High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS-55) is far and away the deadliest of all the sugars. This substance converts into 8 times as much glucose as table sugar. Although derived from corn, it is completely synthetic by the time it arrives in consumable products. Here’s the worst part though. HFCS-55 plays havoc with Grelin and Leptin, the two hormones that control appetite. Junk food, even those types that wouldn’t appear to contain sugars, such as McDonald’s Hamburgers, actually contain massive amounts of the stuff. Salt is used to cover up the taste. It is because of the HFCS in fast food, that people complain about being hungry again, an hour or so after eating an 1100 calorie meal.

    1. Two are exceptional – Udi’s (out of Colorado) and Kinnikinnick (out of Canada). Whole Foods and most health food stores will carry one or other other, or sometimes both. I order from Kinnikinnick as their loaf is full-size and very soft.

      1. We eat the Udi’s now. Love their bread. My son is very picky and when we had to switch his diet to GF, this was the one he thought tasted to closest to the bread he ate before that. 🙂

  2. It is good to see different changes on this site. A lot of good, hard work! I stopped buying “bought” bread ages ago. If I’m too busy to make it, as often happens, there are a couple of stores who either carry or make vegan bread. It pays to be informed and the impact of it is incredible. Well Done Rumpy! Sam Cat gives you two paws up today!

      1. That’s a shame. We have a tremendous community of vegan and vegetarians plus folks who while they eat meat, try to be resposible and um, “humane” about it. Two hours is a long way. Several years ago, I was given a bread making machine and it really helps and speeds things up. Keep up the good work on keeping us informed.

  3. I like fresh bread and buy whole grain at the Hot ‘n Crusty at my corner. They make the bread more than once each day. It maybe more expensive, but when you bite into it, it makes up for it.

    My family was in the restaurant business and Yetta shared the secret of soft few day old bread.
    Wrap the bread in silver foil..
    Sprinkle a few drops of cold water on the bread.
    Make a tent when you close the foil around the bread. Leave room for the steam that is created.
    Put it in the oven or broiler for a few minutes. I don’t know about a microwave. She never used one. Neither do I.
    Voila – warm fresh bread.

    Incidentally, if you ever get bread in a restaurant and it gets hard after a few minutes – it’s because they’ve done the above.

  4. I hadn’t pay any attention when I bought bread….but after reading this post, I was a kind of shocked to know how some bread are made…..scary, isn’t it? That Ezekiel looks quite delicious and I like having sesami and grains in it, too!

  5. I noticed that my stomach would be upset after eating a certain grocery store wheat bread. We have been eating Ezekiel bread lately and it’s really good with natural peanut butter..

  6. I wonder if the gluten-free bread that I eat has been filtered through the blood and bones of animals? I certainly hope not. Can’t eat that Ezekial bread. It would make me very sick. You are just bursting with new information with every post. Sorry I haven’t commented on the last few, but I was out of commission for a few days. Cheers!

  7. Thank you for this really important post, Rumpy and Jen. Knowledge really is a key to making good decisions, and you’ve given us some GREAT knowledge. Bread seems so innocuous, but it IS a business, and I guess I should not be surprised to learn that the manufacturers will try to cut costs and raise profits by any means available. 😦

    Thank you for the congratulations, for your friendship, and for believing in us! We are so lucky to be your friends, and know we would not have won a Petties Award without you and your awesome friends!

    Hugs!

  8. Wow I had no idea about the additives in the bread…duck feathers??? Poor ducks!
    I but Rye breads or Country Harvest but I think it is time to look for Ezekiel bread….thank you for such an informative blog!!!
    Sherri-Ellen

  9. I lived in Israel for 10 years. Bread went stale in about 4 hours. When I came back here, I waited for bread to get stale. It never did. It sometimes got moldy, but NEVER got really stale. That worries me.

      1. I got a 2nd hand bread maker from gumtree (a local trading web site) for $30 instead of about $300. It has a timer and every morning (as long as I remember) we wake up to lovely fresh bread. Didn’t want to splash out on a new one if this was going to a fad but it’s not. Now spend more $$ on good quality flour 🙂

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