Tag Archives: safeway.com

in defense of food

I was at Costco today and stumbled across a book by Michael Pollan called “In Defense of Food : Eat Food, Not to Much, Mostly Plants.”   The title struck me funny so I picked it up and flipped through it really quick.    The part I happened to flip to made me laugh out loud so I thought I would share.   

Pollan was writing about the overabundance of food additives and he used bread as an example.  I didn’t buy the book or write anything down, but basically he had an ingredient comparison of Sara Lee Soft and Smooth 100% Whole Wheat Bread to a Wheat Bread your Grandmother would make.   My Grandmother knew dinner was done when the smoke alarm went off; so I’m going to pretend by finding a normal Wheat Bread recipe available at Cooks.com. 

The fictitious Grandmothers ingredients are:

yeast, water, honey, olive oil, eggs, whole wheat flour and salt.

And now our friend Sara Lee’s version care of Safeway.com

Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Wheat Gluten, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Yeast. Contains 2% or Less of Each of the Following: Calcium Sulfate, Brown Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oils), Salt, Butter (Cream, Salt), Dough Conditioners (May Contain One or More of the Following: Mono and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Mono and Diglycerides, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Enzymes), Yeast Nutrients (Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Ammonium Sulfate), Corn Starch, Guar Gum, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Distilled Vinegar, Natural Flavor, Beta-Carotene (Color), Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour.
I guess Grandma was out of Ammonium Sulfate and Soy Lecithin when she made her version.  Also I had to chuckle when spell check kicked back seven of the words in the list as not exisiting.   My favorite though is the ingredient “Natural Flavor” if it is natural why do I need to add it?   I’m not picking on poor Sara, I’m sure most bread you find in the store has a similar list.   It does, however, make me pause and wonder if some of the health issues facing the population today are advanced due to this long list of ingredients for a fairly simple product.   I just might try and make bread this weekend.