Thursday, January 20, 2011
Love it Or Loaf It
I am a compulsive reader of stuff and that includes food packaging. I scrutinize item after item, checking for hydrogenated fat, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and the like. It slows down my shopping but I like the health benefits that come with a reasonable diet, so I take the time to read the labels.
But one product slipped through. The bread.
I really had to wrestle with my core values over this damn bread before I even bought it- usually I buy the day-old unsliced bread which is twice as flavorful as packaged bread and costs 50 cents as a sale item. But there wasn't any at the market so I went for the 2 for 1 sale on factory bread.
This bread isn't terrible and it has no bad fats or sugars, so I grabbed two loaves and checked out. It wasn't until I got home that my troubles began.
I popped a couple slices in the toaster and idly read the bread packaging while I waited. I encountered these words: "...baked the way nature intended".
What the hell does that mean? Like most feral children, I've spent a great amount of time living in the wilderness and scavenging for food and I have never, ever seen a loaf of nature-baked free-range bread. If there was such a thing as wild bread, I wouldn't have had to do all that goddamn dumpster diving when I was a kid and I bet I'd have a lot fewer possum scars.
So I got to thinking, which isn't always a good idea.
Nature never intended to bake loaves of bread. The circumstances required for nature to spontaneously create a loaf of sliced wheat bread would be pretty far-fetched indeed...I was picturing a wheat field in a valley , with giant millstones rolling downhill from the surrounding mountains and crushing the wheat, which is being partially devoured by insects that eat chaff and shit baking powder while it rains just enough to make dough but not enough to put out the fire in a nearby woods...then you need a small tornado to mix the ingredients and hurl the mass into the burning forest where it lands in a rectangular hole left by some sort of appendage-less burrowing creature.
I haven't figured out a plausible scenario for the natural slicing yet. Nor have I worked out the damage caused by such a concentration of localized natural disasters but I''m guessing that it would be a lot of damage. Perhaps a loaf of nature-baked bread is what killed the dinosaurs.
My next thought was : I'd be a happy and well-adjusted person if it weren't for this goddamn bread.
So I thought about taking it back to the store and asking for a refund on account of the label having bothersome nonsense printed on it, but I decided not to because by that time my toast was ready and toast always calms me down.