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