A few years back, I realized some very noticeable differences between the grocery store bread and the bread I was buying from the Farmer’s Market. I did a little research and I am done with the grocery store bread. Here’s what I observed:
- The grocery store bread was really light and airy while the Farmer’s Market bread was heavy and thick and hearty
- The grocery store bread was about half the price of the Farmer’s Market bread
- The grocery store bread had a really long shelf life…I’m talking weeks or even months. But the Farmer’s Market bread had to be eaten or frozen immediately. If it lasted more than a week then I was surprised.
- The grocery store bread has a laundry list of ingredients, some of which I’ve never heard of. The Farmer’s Market bread has simple organic ingredients that we all can identify; like organic flour, milk, yeast.
Some might say that the grocery store bread sounds like the bargain and the way to go. Cheap, light and fluffy, and it last long. But that’s only because of it’s preservatives. I have been on a mission to get my family off of preservatives and eat food the way it comes, even if that requires doing things the old fashion way. I always teach my son that if it doesn’t go bad, then you probably shouldn’t eat it very often or at all. Real food goes bad quickly and that’s just the way it is. I do see the usefulness of preservatives in a day in age where it isn’t always convenient to go buy your daily bread, but I also see the dangers. Cancer is linked to propyl gallate, which is a found in cosmetics and foods that contain fat. This preservative can cause tumors in the brain, thyroid and pancreas.
Preservatives can also cause hyperactivity in children, which has been an increasing issue in recent decades. This increase also coincides with the increase in use of preservatives. A few years back, I remember reading about a few mothers who were suing Nature Valley for saying that they used “natural” ingredients but indeed their products were laced with preservatives and artificial ingredients which was causing behavior changes in their autistic children. That’s also when I realized that the term “natural” was not regulated like “organic”. Anyone can slap the word “natural” on their products and put it on a shelf.
I remember when I stopped buying the individually sliced cheese for my family. It was when I slowed down in the grocery store and started reading labels and ingredients. Now, I’m no rocket scientist, but I just don’t think cheese should have 18 ingredients! It’s just cheese right? And when I started buying real block cheese from the Farmer’s Market, there’s a strong texture and taste difference. But anyway, back to the bread. The grocery store bread has the same issue. There are way too many ingredients for my liking. Perhaps some of those ingredients are to account for it’s light and fluffiness. But I will take hearty and heavy real food over soft bread any day.
Now some brands of bread do indeed have mostly identifiable ingredients. But I just can’t get over the shelf life. Try it for yourself. Buy some commercial grocery store bread and bake a loaf of real bread or buy some from the Farmer’s Market and see the difference as the bread ages. The commercial grocery store bread will outlast the preservative free bread by a long shot.
After coming to this realization, I started baking my own bread. At first, I thought I needed a fancy bread machine to make bread or even a big fancy mixer. A mixer might make like easier but it’s not impossible to do. My favorite recipe so far is Honey Oat Bread. My family LOVES this bread. It’s just something about fresh home made bread that makes you want to just slap some butter on it and chow down. This is my alternative to buying it from the Farmer’s Market. For one, buying enough bread to feed my family for a week can get a little pricey at the market. Two, I can’t always get to the market as often as I want. And three, it makes me look good *rips open shirt to show the ‘S’ on my chest* because my boys love eating the bread right out of the oven.
So many people are concerned about their bread intake and how many carbs they are consuming but the real enemy here isn’t carbs, we actually need good complex carbs. The enemies are the preservatives and artificial ingredients that our body doesn’t recognize. So carb up on some delicious home made bread and not the ever lasting grocery store bread.
No Time For Baking
I get it. Everyone doesn’t have time to bake fresh bread. So a better alternative is to by freshly baked bread from your local Farmer’s Market or buy the kind that you find in the freezer section. It comes frozen because of the lack of preservatives; the bread has to be frozen or eaten immediately.