Bread – what’s left unsaid

Look, if you are not in the mood for cooking (a state I know) then make sure basics, such as bread, are doing you good.

Bread gets messed-around with. This sticky label, from the 2009 Real Food Festival, lists ingredients that might be found on bread – but are never listed.

The label said:



This ‘bread’ may be made using the following:

Amylase, hemicellulase, phospholipase, peptidase, xylanase, protease, oxidase and other enzymes, some of animal or GM origin.

The law says bakers don’t need to declare them.


These stickers are only for use in your own home. The Real Bread Campaign, Sustain and The Real Food Festival take no responsibility for any consequences, legal or otherwise, of you using them elsewhere such as wrappers of factory bread, supermarket shelves or advertising posters.”


As Michael Pollan says: if they are more than five ingredients on a label, avoid.

The long list of enzymes above are “processing aids”. In other words they are used to make the bread rise faster, look nicer, last longer.

But because these processing aids are not classified as food ingredients then – by law – they do not need to be listed on the label.

Whaaat? You eat them but they are not food ingredients?

It reminds me of adulterated food sold to the Victorian poor

My real bread came from the Better Food Company in St Werburgh’s, Bristol where I also got marmalade made by their chef (as good as homemade…hey, it’s January, time for marmalade-making again) and organic butter from Nature’s Genius in Fishponds, Bristol.

Yes, the bread cost more than supermarket bread but I got more food for my cash. My grandmother would say money spent on un-nutritious food is money wasted. And I agree. Do you?

13 responses to “Bread – what’s left unsaid

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Bread – what’s left unsaid | Real Food Lover --

  2. Oh I do agree. You might as well by-pass the middle-woman and just throw the bread in the loo for all the good it will do you! Adele Davis, famous author of healthy eating cookbooks (“Let’s Eat Right to Stay Fit”, etc.) calls the soulless bread you describe as an ‘edible napkin’ because of it’s lack of nutrition. Why bother?!!


  3. Oooh, absolutely love Adelle Davis – thank you so much for mentioning her. An inspiration, and according to the Adelle Davis Foundation (check its great website), the US’s “first lady of nutrition”.

    Quote from Adelle: “To say that obesity is caused by merely consuming too many calories is like saying that the only cause of the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Party.”

    Lovely to hear from you, Jody, and happy 2011.


  4. I agrre, I hate floppy, fake bread. Actually I hardly eat any bread anymore unless I can afford really good stuff (preferably Hobbs House) Or stuff from that lovely stand in St Nics Market – think it is called The Sourdough Bread Company or something. Mmmm sourdough toast with butter is heaven.


  5. Very interesting and so close to my heart! It boggles the mind what goes into bread these days and I do find the supermarket stuff hard to stomach. The Italian bakery next to our home has loves baked by the brothers who own it. Guitt free bread eating… here’s to a wonderful 2011!


  6. We’re fortunate enough to have a couple of bakeries in North Street including Mark’s excellent artisan loaves. Oh and the Deli sells Herbert’s and the Tobacco Factory Sunday market sells Bordeaux Quay’s. Lucky us! There really is no comparison with the plastic varieties.


  7. HI there – came across your lovely blog via your ‘like’ on mine. Thanks! Rubbish bread is the bane of my life. Even though Herberts is round the corner, and we get delicious Hobb’s house stuff from Better Food and the Olive shop on the Gloucester Road, I really feel I ought to be making it myself. I used to, but somehow fell out of the habit. Any thoughts on bread makers?

    PS St Stephen’s cafe is one of my favourite secret places in Bristol – I am planning to write about it soon – what is your connection?


  8. I was so delighted to discover Mark’s Bread in Bristol last week. I felt like a kid ‘in a candy shop’! I loved everything about it: from the witty welcoming message on their blackboard outside; to their selection, to the proximity of their ovens with those glorious freshly baked aromas; to the sense of community felt whilst there. The bakery emitted a healthy, happy, welcoming environment!

    Another delight are the breads, cakes and biscuits made by the Common Loaf Bakery based near Dunkeswell, Devon who attend a weekly Bristol market. Their baking is very moorish, as I continually eat just one more…! I can never resist!


  9. Hi Pam

    Thanks so much for the introduction to Mark’s Bread in Bristol.

    I loved the quote on the website:

    No booksellers, no books
    No books, no learning
    No learning, no knowledge
    No knowledge, no wisdom
    No wisdom, no ethics
    No ethics, no conscience
    No conscience, no community
    No community, no bread
    (The Talmud)

    I must check ’em out Mark’s Bread next time I am that way!

    Yes, know and love Common Loaf Bakery at Bristol Farmers’ Market. Love. Amazing bread, filled with goodness, using spelt to for easy-digestion. Spelt, an ancient crop, has escaped being messed around unlike…

    …Wheat – hybridised to grow fast with extra protein/gluten…

    I wonder whether the gluten content in wheat is a factor in food allergies? Wheat is in so much junk food too. I just read there is diagnosis rates for coeliacs has risen over the last few years – from 1 in 300 to 1 in 70 – according to Foods Matter and organisers of FreeFrom Food Awards.


  10. What’s left unsaid, indeed. I knew we were eating napkins, but I didn’t realise quite how chemically they were. Yeuk!


  11. Excellent post and can’t agree more with your points. I try to campaign for real bread over here and having published several baking book did help, but still, the message is hard to get through!


  12. Thank you, Gregoire.

    The truth about bread is hard to get through to the mainstream public because we are up against huge vested interests with no interest in health but mega-million marketing budgets to create illusion!

    …”but at the length truth will out.” – Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice.

    So keep up the good work, fellow pioneer!

    Another world is possible….


What do YOU think? Do tell...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s