The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Eek! 5# bleached flour snuck into my cupboard! Should I use it for bread?

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Eek! 5# bleached flour snuck into my cupboard! Should I use it for bread?

I generally buy unbleached Gold Medal or Pillsbury AP flour for general and some bread use. My main use of flour is for sourdough based bread every weekend and most of it is organic wheat berries I grind myself.I use very little AP flour in my breads and when I do it's usually unbleached and unbromated.I'm not sure where this bag of bleached,bromated Pillsbury came from tho I recall someone gave me some flour when she was moving.

So, should I use it for bread? I tend towards untreated anything and actually don't use too much AP flour in my breads so it will be around for a while.

What's the concensus?

Martyn's picture
Martyn

If you'd rather not use it in baking you could always make salt dough for the kids to play with, then throw it away!

longhorn's picture
longhorn

The first observation is that it certainly won't damage you to eat bread made with bleached flour so...why not make bread and see what the difference is. Then, rather than speculating or accepting others opinions on the merit of beached vs. unbleached you will have first hand experience and a real basis for a preference. The difference may well be smaller than you expect!

Let us know what you do!

Thanks!

Jay

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Use it for making some cakes, pie crusts and stuff that's not that great for you anyway's!  ; )

Sylvia

Elagins's picture
Elagins

almost all AP flours, both professional and retail, and all cake flours (including King Arthur) are bleached. Bleaching, besides lightening the color, weakens the protein somewhat, creating a softer and more open crumb. when i first started baking i used bleached bread flour and got some pretty good results. as far as toxicity, there really is none, so i would suggest that you use your flour per usual and not worry too much about it. for myself, i like bleached AP for pancakes.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== and all cake flours (including King Arthur) are bleached ===

Five years ago I took the King Arthur Bakers' Tour class, and they mentioned that they (KA) had been working on an unbleached cake flour for 10 years and expected to have it ready "in the next few months".  Well, my spouse just found it on the shelf at Whole Foods this week:  UNbleached cake flour from King Arthur.  Good to have, but that was a long few months!

sPh

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Stan,

I have to disagree on the statement that bleaching is no big deal.  Bleaching is a big deal and I think it unwise to believe that the various toxic chemicals used to bleach flour, simply and magically disappear.  That is like the false story Monsanto would have us believe about the herbicides in Roundup.

Here is one article on the subject of bleached flour: 

http://www.womenfitness.net/ugly_truths.htm

If you already think that bleached flour is okay, that's fine, and I have no expectation of changing your mind.  For those who are just looking into the subject please take the time to take a good look.

I am not opposed to organically grown white flour that is unbleached and used with sourdough.

Jeff

Elagins's picture
Elagins

who and what you choose to believe. i agree that less treatment is better than more, and i also hasten to point out that the same article attributes significant negative nutritional consequences to the simple fact of using patent (white) flour, bleached or not. while i don't recommend (or use) a lot of bleached flour myself, i don't think that using 5# of the stuff will produce any of the severe consequences detailed in the article: it might be worthwhile finding out how much chlorine oxide would be required to combine with protein to produce enough alloxan to induce diabetes in one 80-gram lab mouse.

i'm not trying to minimize the problem -- nybakers doesn't sell bleached flours as a matter of principle -- but i am trying to put its use into some kind of context, especially given all of the other nasty things that Big Ag routinely puts in our food. frankly, i'm much more concerned about potassium bromate in flour than i am about bleaching, and yet bromating is something that a lot of folks here have been dismissive of. 

i still say that given the choice between a loaf of home-baked bread using bleached flour and a supermarket "artisan" loaf, i'd always choose the former.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

flournwater's picture
flournwater

A quote from the referenced page:

"Why is the color of white bread so white when the flour taken from wheat is not?  It's because the flour used to make white bread is chemically bleached, just like you bleach your clothes."

Common household bleaches used in laundry and other whitening/sanitizing tasks are made with chemicals like chlorine and bromates.

My studies reveal that, although during the nineteenth and first part of the twentieth century flour was being bleached using chlorine gas, bleaching is primarily done today using ascorbic acid, which is vitamin C. There was a period during which flour was bleached using bromates but I doubt that you could even find a flour processed with bromates today.

Freshly processed flour doesn't absorb water as well as aged flour so using it for baking can be a bit frustrating.  Bleaching the flour oxidizes it to produce a stronger gluten structure.

I've used bleached AP flour for over seven decades; still use it regularly.  It makes great bread; it ain't so good for cakes unless you like them dense.  It will also serve for preparing things like batters for deep frying but I prefer rice flour for those purposes.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Stan,

Your post really says it all.  5 pounds is going to do no one any real harm.  A lifetime of ingestion is a different story.

Potassium Bromate is most definitely a more significant hazard and I have pointed that out before in the same context of new TFL readers looking for answers on these issues.

Big ag puts all sorts of poisons in foods and therein lies the core of the problem.  The problem is not just bleached flour or  bromated flour, or high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners or chemical additives.  The problem is the cumulative effect of all of these on top of all the poisons used in the actual farming.

I have no desire to debate these subjects and as I have said previously, if you have already made up your mind about these issues, that is fine.  If you are newly looking into all of this then do yourself a favor and take a good long well informed look.

Jeff

blaisepascal's picture
blaisepascal

Yerffej,

You do realize that you and womenfitness.net are effectively accusing all major flour mills of poisoning their customers. The end result should be a massive public health crisis which clearly and definitively points to the flour industry -- especially if a single 5lb bag would be harmful.

I don't see that, nor do I consider womenfitness.net to be a reliable, unbiased source of scientific information.  Where are the published studies linking bleached flour to health issues?  Where are the chemical analyses showing that the various bleaching agents remain in store bought flour?  Where are the chemical analyses comparing the makeup of sore bought bleached and unbleached white flours?

I would appreciate an evidence-based approach, not a fear-based approach, in advice concerning food choices.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

As long the bleaching is done with oxygen or other food safe substance, it shouldn't hurt you (not saying it will make it any better for you, just not any worse). 

However, if the flour is bleached with potassium bromate ("bromated")  that's another story:  bromated flour has been banned in the EU for 20 years and in California for 10 due to serious concerns over carcinogenic effects.

sPh

Elagins's picture
Elagins

but CA is the only state in the US that requires disclosure of bromate content. also, i believe PB is used less as a bleaching agent than as a dough conditioner, but in any case, it's not the sort of stuff i'd be comfortable introducing into a body belonging to myself or others.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Sorry  -  preempted by my last post .....

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if it causes you grief.  Someone will be thankful for it.

jstreed1476's picture
jstreed1476

If I'm running short of other, more bread-friendly flours, I don't hesitate to mix in bleached AP. Up to about 50% of the flour volume, in one case.

This has worked especially well when making sandwich loaves with KA white whole wheat. There's enough protein content in the WWW, plus plenty of flavor from enrichments like egg yolks, buttermilk, sour cream, honey, or whatever else is going into the mix, that the results are usually very tasty.

Most recently, I made a sandwich loaf with about 25% bleached AP, 25% bread flour, and 50% WWW (the bottom of the barrel, in each case) and added some leftover cooked bulgar and mashed baked potato. Turned out great, especially toast-wise.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I wish I could donate it but I didn't discover it until I had poured it into my empty 5# bin and THEN looked at the package.The package was stored in a bucket with several other bags of AP and since I never buy the bleached, I never thought to read the label before I dumped it. I think I did get it from a friend who was moving and it just got put in with my stores.

I was raised in the chemical era and while I try to pay attention to what I eat these days, I'm sure it will be ok to integrate this into my current baking.I'll just make loaves for my co-workers-they eat EVERYTHING and really don't care.Junk foodies!

I am somewhat reassured by flournwater's post about modern bleaching being done by ascorbic acid.I won't be totally poisoning my co-workers.

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

By all means, do not take this lightly. Big Ag has added these toxic chemicals for the express purpose of killing all of their customers. Although this may seem odd, rest assured that bleached flour will kill, and Big Ag management really wants to go out of business so they can begin collecting welfare checks. Do not be influenced by the fact that hundreds of millions of bread eaters have consumed millions of tons of bleached flour over the last hundred years and lived to a ripe old age.

Evacuate your house immediately and go to the nearest emrgency room. Call the feds and have your house declared a disaster area. You might qualify as a Superfund Site.

Next call the lawyer who has the big ad on the back of your phone book and sue!

Hurry.

 

 

suave's picture
suave

n/t

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

"... it is no coincidence that all flour bleaches so far used convert the xanthine of flour (xanthine is one of the germ components that have vitamin value--it cooperates with vitamin E) into a highly potent poison, alloxan. the special characteristic of alloxan is that it destroys the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas, and specifically causes diabetes.

But now we know that one of the vitamin co-factors known as XANTHINE is capable of being oxidized by any oxidizing bleach chemical (and that is why they all act as bleaches) which converts it into ALLOXAN.

ALLOXAN is a very potent DIABETOGENIC POISON. This ALLOXAN is another dangerous synthetic substance created in the flour by CHEMICAL MEDDLING with a natural food product."            Dr. Royal Lee

http://www.doctornutritionist.com/articles/diabetes.html

 

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

Wow!

Pay no atttention to the fact that this website does not disclose any credentials, any owners or references, any physical location, any doctor's names or addresses, any scientific studies, or any other reference that would cause anyone to put any faith in their claims.

Now.....you can take this to the Bank! My second cousin's ex boy-friend's neighbor (three doors down) once talked to a retired welder's apprentice who knew a lady who said that she heard that it is ablolutely true that bleached flour produces  Alloxan, which, in addition to diabetes,  has also been linked to cellulite of the ring finger, sunspots, and Zits!

blaisepascal's picture
blaisepascal

The action of the enzyme xanthine oxydase is to oxydize xanthine as part of normal body function. The result of xanthine oxydase is to convert xanthine into uric acid.  So what you normally get from oxidizing xanthine is uric acid, not alloxan.

Xanthine is a purine derivative, alloxan is a pyrimidine derivative.  While purines and pyrimidines go together very well (Adenine and guanine are purines, and thymine and cytosine are pyrimidines, and they form the "rungs" in DNA.), they are not easy to convert one into the other.

It's true that the original method of synthesis of alloxan was to oxidize uric acid (a purine) with nitric acid, but that's totally unlike any process used to bleach flour.  If you were to use an oxidizer as powerful as nitric acid on flour, the conversion of existing uric acid to alloxan would be the least of your problems.

Besides, the vast majority of cases of diabetes in the US at least are caused by insulin resistance, not destruction of the Islets of Langerhans.  The issue cited by Dr. Lee, even if it made chemical sense, would not account for the diabetes problem in the US.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

blaisepascal

Are you relying on this Dr. Lee?
http://www.westonaprice.org/Royal-Lee-DDS-Father-of-Natural-Vitamins.html  an early twentieth century dentist with an interest in vitamin supplements?

You just gotta get a better source ...

blaisepascal's picture
blaisepascal

The poster I replied to was quoting Dr. Royal Lee.  I meant to say that Dr. Lee's hypothesis (about xanthine in flour being converted to alloxan by bleaching, turning flour into a potent diabetes causing agent) was implausible and unsupported by the evidence.

I have not really heard of Royal Lee, and he doesn't sound like the type of fellow who'd keep himself up to date on the advances in biochemistry and nutrition of the past 40 years.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Yerffej.

You might want to read these articles:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11356036

http://www.pnas.org/content/91/20/9253

David

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I you just love it when someone throws a bunch of facts into an good argument! Thanks for the info. Sounds like Dr. Lee didn't have the whole story.

 

allan

EvaB's picture
EvaB

But how do you explain the fact that I a diabetic ate practically no BREAD at all! I ate very little processed flour in any form, and certainly no pasta to speak of.

My big downfall was chips, french fries and candy ( which might explain the high carcinogenic chemicals in my hair analasis, but then again might not since 2 other people in my household had the same high chemicals and didn't eat candy)

I have had an aversion to bread, and pastas since childhood, have never really liked them and my mother thought I was unatural because I didn't like bread and butter (one of her favourite snacks) and wouldn't even try to eat bread and peanut butter.

Not allergic to the peanuts, since I can eat them whole, can eat the peanut butter in baked goods like cookies and cakes (although I eat very small amounts of those) just cannot eat the butter on bread or toast or...... Same thing with almond butter, which I tried from the health food store, its something about the texture and in my mouth with the bread.

So while I don't doubt that the research might be accurate, it might be like the sucryl research in the 60's, where I think it would take something like 100 pounds of the chemical in the artifical sweetner to actually cause the cancer, that's a 100 pounds per day intake, they force fed the mice in that study so no wonder it caused cancer! The amount was hundreds of times what any sane person would be using daily anyway!

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Love your sense of humor, Michael H.

Always fun to find a parody on the threads.  ;>}

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Bake something like cobbler, cookies or shortbread and give it to somebody who doesn't care what goes into their body. (like your coworkers) Put lots of organic wild blueberries in it for antioxidants to counteract any toxic effects of the bad flour.

I always bake with organic flours and try to use whole wheat or other whole grains as much as possible but who knows what we eat when we eat out? What was in that muffin I snagged from Einsteins today with chocolate chips that was OH SoGood? Probably shortened my life by 5 minutes with all the toxins!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Lighten up, all you serious folks. It's ok to disagree but let's be courteous.

I think I will make some items to take to work or give to neighbors. If they are folks that only eat "natural" or "organic", then they won't eat it, anyways. The people that will eat it are the ones that don't think about these things and will appreciate the product. I believe everyone needs to make their own choices on what they eat and what's important in regards to additives,etc.I would rather not eat it but I don't believe it's poisonous.

Wild blueberries are much too expensive but I make a great apple cake.And I just found a recipe for German Butterkuchen to try.Both are good ideas.

 

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

I baked this earlier in the week. Very nice, very different, easy.

Do it.

Michael

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Wow, I didn't expect such forceful and detailed comments from what seemed such a simple question!  I use unbleached flour for most of my baking and the one time I didn't was when I was showing the chef at a local restaurant how to use a sourdough ferment that I had given him.  I failed to notice that his bread flour was bleached, I used my usual recipe and the resultant dough was far too wet.  I went back the next day with some of my flour and the results were as I expected - a very workable dough that produced a decent - if somewhat overproofed - loaf (darn, that kitchen was hot!).

So, ignoring the chemical/health arguments on the basis that eating products made from a 5lb bag of bleached flour won't kill you, just bear in mind that you may need a bit less water than usual and make bread with it.  Waste not, want not!

drdobg's picture
drdobg

Not wanting to fall victim to all the hype surrounding the use of organic, artisan, unbleached , etc. flours, I conducted my own taste test.  I selected my favorite sourdough recipe from Peter Reinhart's Breadbaker's Apprentice and made identical batches using King Arthur, Hodgson's Mill, Bob's Red Mill, Gold Medal Unbleached and Sam's Club flour (a bleached and enriched bread flour).  I labeled the baguettes 1 to 5.  I then asked 8 of my family and friends to rank the breads on taste, crust and crumb.  Bob's Red Mill was the winner by a hair, but second place was the Sam's Club flour.  Since the Sam's Club was readily available for $14/50#, whereas the Bob's Red Mill and KA flours were $5.32/5# and $5.79/5# respectively, I felt I could do fine with the bleached product.  KA and Hodgson's Mill were the lowest ranked, but everyone acknowledged that all the breads were yummy.  I just think that sometimes we accept others' opinions without a rational reason.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Though I bake my breads almost completely with organic ingredients and buy a lot of organic products, I (as a physician) do not think you get killed by adding a little unhealthy flour to your healthy ones just to use it up. Like Stanley said, use it with pancakes or muffins etc.

I think it's good that Americans become more aware of GMO products and the yucky conditions of how beef, eggs and chicken meat are mass produced (as shown in the movie "Food, Inc.").

But I doubt that the little bleached flour will cause poor clazar123's untimely demise.

Drobg's taste test is very interesting - that's something I always wanted to do, thanks for sharing the results.

Karin

 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

First, I think it's unwise and perhaps naive to suggest that Americans are becoming more aware of their foods.  Especially if based on a conversation that has occurred here in a baking blog or on other social networking sites.   This discussion does not reflect the pulse of this country, particularly now in difficult economic times.  One only needs to hang around WalMart to observe what Americans are buying. 

The sad truth is, that most of us don't buy flour at all and I dare say we (as a collective) could give a rats a$$ about it being unbleached or bleached.  If you look in the shopping carts of most Americans what you'll find are end products that contain flour - a good example, loaves of Sara Lee bread or pancake mix.  You will find items that are economically priced, convenient and affordable. 

Just my opinion, but I do believe the army of home bakers is growing as is testimony to the sold out classes at many baking schools like King Arthur Flour, but we still have a long way to go to enlighten (notice I didn't say lecture) the public.

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

You know, BellesAZ, I absolutely agree with you - but I didn't want to appear as a righteous European who looks down her environmentally conscious nose on those poor naive Americans who still believe in the goodness of all what is offered cheap in supermarkets - with a little help of our friends at Monsanto and in Beijing.

But I do think environmental consciousness is on the rise - even if it's slow. For example about a year ago the diary company Hood dropped processing organic milk, leaving many farmers here in Maine facing bankruptcy.

Fortunately they were able to come up with a plan to establish an own organic milk brand ("MOOmilk") and a way to distribute their product with help of a local diary. And consumers are buying their milk, even though it's more expensive than the old Hood product.

Karin

 

 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Karin, yes I too think it's on the rise.  I am always heartened to see the "signs" of interest in cooking as well as baking.  It seems like two steps backward though when I step out in the "real world" and see what others are doing.  It's not even a matter of economy, but simply the lack of importance people put on their nutrition and complete oblivion to even wanting to learn about it.  They see nothing wrong with sodium laden frozen foods, or corn syrup in jars of sauces.  For all the criticism I might have of the current American administration, I sing high praises to the current campaign to raise nutritional awareness in our school children.

Everytime I get discouraged, however, I see light at the end of the tunnel.  Look at what shows such as the Cooking Channel and Food Network have done.  They have driven a whole new group of interested people into actually preparing meals from scratch, breads will catch up too.  I go to King Arthur Flour website to consider attending an artisan baking class and they are full throughout the winter months.  I even see this trend in Europe and elsewhere.  I believe there is a resurgence of interest in culinary arts - and in particular in baking.  In my area, there is one baking store that never seems to carry the flours, etc I need or want (I like Wheat Montana and they are the only ones I know that carry it locally).  Whenever I go there, they are busy, busy, busy.. and it's nice to be amongst other bakers. 

I still get the same stupid look from people.  Half condescending and half sincere puzzlement when they say, "Oh, you like to bake?"  I am never quite sure how to take that.  LOL 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

The Shatto Dairy outside of KC is a success story for marketing better quality product despite higher prices. Even though they bottle, yes, glass bottles requiring deposits, their milk, they continue to add accounts around the KC metropolitan area. They are also branching out into new products. Quality does sell and this farm has found its market.

Gourmand2go's picture
Gourmand2go

There's always a tradeoff when it comes to preservatives.  It's a matter of weighing the costs and benefits.  Without preservatives the risk of serious poisoning increases.

I've been using bleached flour since last November partly because it was a great price and partly because I've had unmistakable allergic reactions to unbleached flour.  I think that the unbleached has live mold spores that cause eye and lung irritation for someone who happens to be sensitive to those particular strains; during measuring the spores become airborne.  Of course the spores are usually killed during baking, but any toxins they've produced may not break down and some could be harmful.

My point is that it's more a matter of which risk you prefer to take than that a more "natural" product is always better than a treated one.

Nature is, after all, dangerous at times.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

If they are able to clean up their environmental mess, too, (like Singapore managed within a few years) they will be really ahead of us.

Karin

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Polysorbate should also not be in our food. 

How the heck this got past inspectors and regulators is beyond me!  Check it out, allows e-coli to pass thru the walls of the intestine!  (talk about leaky guts)  Read your labels, found in cottage cheese, whip cream, pickles...  and sneaking into all kinds of sauces and prepared foods.  Shampoos and cosmetics too, what is it letting into your skin?   This stuff can actually lead to allergies and illness because the body's defenses are compromised. 

Mini

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Riding my motorcycle is dangerous, but I do it anyway.  But that's a danger that I choose to expose myself to.  No one has the right to expose me to things that I'm unaware could cause me health issues.

Our FDA does a pretty crappy job of being the safety watchdog.  I think anything backed by our government is never going to be very efficient and I can't help but think the politicians that the FDA leadership answers to are snugly in the pockets of chemical and drug companies.  They are fat cats and chemical companies love making them fatter - without polysorbates or bromates, of course!

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

The US and much of the world share a very poisoned food supply.  It is almost impossible to eat at a restaurant and not be served hidden poisons in the form of MSG, aspartame, nitrates, various preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, antibiotics, pesticides and so on.  This is a list that could go on for a very long time.  Almost equally impossible is shopping at a supermarket and not buying those same poisons.  It is encouraging to see the subject discussed here and on other threads at TFL. 

No matter how corrupt the agencies are the are supposed to guard the food supply and no matter how greedy the likes of Monsanto and friends, you can always vote with your wallet.  Simply stop buyng any poisoned food item from any source.  This one act will eventually lead to the end of poisoned food.

Jeff

amolitor's picture
amolitor

That's charged language right there. Callng, for instance, high fructose corn syrup a "poison" goes over very well with the already-converted, but just chases away the people who might actually be interested in hearing what you have to say about it.

Just because something isn't very good for you does not make it a poison.

If you just want the accolades of like-minded people. carry on. If you actually want to educate, I suggest you temper your language.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej


"Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012601831.html

 

amolitor's picture
amolitor

So.. HFCS sometimes contains poison. Which, for the record, isn't the same this as being a poison. I don't actually care.

Apparently I wasn't really clear. Use whatever language you like, all I'm saying is that trotting out the "poison" line is just gonna get you dismissed by people you could instead be educating.

 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

This country needs to collect itself and learn alternatives to nutrition.  There are millions of kids that get nothing more nutritious than a peanut butter sandwich.  Like they are going to care about poly3%$()@CU)($ or whatever it is that is so bad to consume.  No, what they care about is eating and not feeling hungry.  Teach them how to sustain themselves and allow them to empower one another through knowledge.

When I visited South Africa, I stayed at a lodge that promoted sustainable farming to the local community.  Fynbos is a plant who's flower is used to make beautiful soaps, lotions and creams and it grows wild along the South African coastline.  The locals created their own co-op gardens and learned sustainable farming practices as well as how to be business people - and while they were growing and harvesting fynbos, they learned to grow nutrient rich vegetables and fruits.  Nobody had to tell them that poly#!)%*! was bad for them, they learned it on their own and made better choices.

I prefer self empowerment to living in a paranoid nanny world where I'm told what to eat and how to eat it.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Here is but one of many valid studies done on HFCS and my final post on the subject as I whole heartedly support any adult who willingly wants to consume HFCS.

Jeff

"Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic,"

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

 

 

amolitor's picture
amolitor

There's no denying that HFCS is bad for you in the quantities Americans consume the stuff. There's also very little evidence, and no conclusive evidence, that it's any worse than consuming table sugar or honey in those quantities.

Fructose is terrible stuff. If you jammed two tablespoons of honey into every 12 ounces of water that you drank, you'd get pretty damn fat and unhealthy pretty damn fast, too. That's about what's happening when you drink a Coke.

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

are a legion. The person who thinks that peanut butter is a good food, had better think again, unless you buy organic peanut butter without fillers, you are buying sugar, and possibly corn syrup or corn starch! Same for pop, a gentleman in the store told me Minute Maid Lemonade (which I loved because it wasn't too sweet and didn't spike my sugar levels) had corn starch in it, I didn't really believe it until I read the ingredients listing. (Which is required by law here, along with carbs, and other lableling) He only found out because he was allergic to corn, and found out that and had to start reading lables, he didn't bother with the pop lable because why would corn be in pop? Surprise, its there, at least in that brand for a stabelizer to keep the lemon from separating from the water.

I didn't know sugar was in peanut butter until I started reading lables, its added to the peanut butter to keep the oils from separating out in storage. Its icing sugar which has a lot of corn starch to keep it from solidifying.

So the best thing to do is read lables, learn what emulsifiers (sometimes just that word is there not what they are) are used to stabelize, thicken etc, the product, and even better, stop using that product, and or learn to make it at home without said stabelizers, emulsifiers, and whatnots! But of course that takes time, and energy and people are to involved in their lives (read entertainment, or work etc) to take the time out to read lables, and make their own foods.

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

For a European coming to the US it is amazing, anyway, that American adults drink Cola and other overly sweet pops all day long - and that parents allow their kids to drink them all day long, too.

Most restaurants offer unlimited refills of unsweetened ice tea and water - I wish they would do that in Germany, too - therefore I do not understand this preference for candy sweet drinks.

My kids got at my home and at their friends' usually water or apple juice mixed with sparkling water (Apfelschorle) - Coke and other pops were considered as unhealthy and strictly limited to special occasions like birthday parties or (rare) McDonalds visits.

The sweetener aspartame, by the way, is used by European farmers as food additive to mast their pigs - the sweet taste enhances their appetite. Therefore it's no wonder that  people drinking diet pops instead of regular ones are no less overweight.

Karin

 

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

in the late 1950's (dated myself there) my whole family was into health food, we were not hippies, just not overly rich so spent our money more wisely than those who could afford the new and fancy packaged foods for the new life syle.

If given a choice between desert and the left over salad in the bowl, I would take the salad, generally made form nice fresh vegetables formt he garden, or as close to the fresh garden as possible. Desert was generally pie (an usually only served on Friday nights when we had company) which was made with hand picked berries, and was not as tasty as the salad.

I never saw pop until I was close to teenaged, we had the occasional bottle of Orange Crush, when one had the money to buy the 12 cent bottle which was very rarely. I tended to buy a bag of chips instead, or licorice babies and other 3 for a penny candies. I even as I grew up, didn't eat a lot of cake, cookies and pops, tended to go more for chips and fires etc, although I did eat candy, and candy bars, and do you ever read the ingredients for those, one of the largest is HFCS in almost all bars, and candy.

We used to have a recipe for peanut brittle which we made, with just regular sugar, no syrup of any kind, unfortunately we lost it, (moves are great for loosing things) and it took me the last 18 years to find another that doesn't start out, pour corn syrup ...... but I did it!

The good food is out there, and while I agree that one needs to temper the rehtoric against things like HFCS, it doesn't hurt to read lables and avoid it if possible. And I personally don't like aspartame, and have read enough about it, to avoid it whenever possible, to the point of not eating or drinking if I can't find out what is in the food, and to hear that European farmer's use it to increase their pigs appatites, is enough for me to totally ban it, let alone the fact that if I drink a pop with it in, or eat food with it, I get a killer migraine. that is a good enough sign for me to not eat it!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

A few nerves got touched and a lot of interesting discussion has taken place. Such diversity of opinion! Wonderful to have the ability to have such an open and opinionated discussion.

Thank you for this wonderful forum!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

longer schooldays with meals provided were a good thing to relieve working single mothers, like me, and wished we would have that in Germany. But after coming to the US in 2001 I changed my mind.

When I heard what choices there were in my daughter's High School cafeteria I was absolutely horrified! Nothing fresh and certainly nothing healthy. I was amazed that there was no uproar among parents, that their kids had to eat that stuff.

My husband and I worked full time, so my extremely picky daughter had to eat at school, or wait for our dinner. She ressolved this problem by starting to cook at age 14 (and later became a chef).

Whenever we had her friends over on weekends and invited them to share our dinner, they loved it, and appeared to be quite astonished that we would actually cook nice meals at home!!

Karin

copyu's picture
copyu

...and I think that's a really great thing. I wish this lovely place, TFL, had a 'survey section' [maybe it does and I just don't know about it, yet!] because...

I'm wondering how many of you folks with strong opinions on food/diet/nutrition have ever read Michael Pollan's books: "The Omnivore's Dilemma", "In Defense of Food", "Food Rules", etc...

Although I am very PRO-science and research, I believe almost NOTHING about what scientists/nutritionists/journalists say on TV or in magazines or newspapers about what is good or bad for humans to eat. I know that such questions were all answered long, long before I was born. It's logical! Here's why:

If our ancestors hadn't already known what was good to eat, they would've all died of malnurition or poisoning and, therefore, we wouldn't be here, now, spending our time reading these (sometimes over-emotional) posts on the internet...Do you understand what I mean? They knew something to get us here and we know enough to still be here today...but it SEEMS we all have a lot of allergies (many real, some imagined!) increasing obesity, increasing Type 2 Diabetes mellitus, more chronic heart disease and more cancers than earlier generations.

Pollan's books are aimed not against nutrition science, but against the ideology of "nutritionism" (You know, '_isms'—"belief-based" systems such as 'Communism' or 'Buddhism', or 'Catholicism'...non-scientific pronouncements of what is good and bad, correct or incorrect...Nutritionism is 100% dependent on Scientific research, but is 99.9% 'unscientific'...EXAMPLES:

"Polyphenols are good...red wine contains polyphenols, so (drink more red wine?")..."Tannins in red wine suspected of causing cancers"..."Beta-carotenes kill cancer, so take beta-carotene supplements"..."Beta-carotene supplements linked to cancer deaths"..."Dairy foods prevent Osteo-porosis"..."Study shows milk products cause breast cancer"..."Eating fish makes you live longer and healthier life"..."Mercury levels in fish danger to brain function and unborn babies..." and so on and on and on.

This is the typical TV fodder to which everyone is exposed. You can't escape it, because even if you don't watch TV or read the newspapers, someone in your family or workplace will be exposed to all of this non-sense and pass it on, or you'll be intrigued by a headline you see at the train station or bus-stop...

FOOD is good, but these days, everyone seems to care only about NUTRIENTS in their food. Has anyone ever seen a scientific study of an eggplant? or a carrot? or an apple? No, of course not, because you can't do real, verifiable "scientific tests" on a carrot...only on some of the 'components', ie, nutrients or toxins.

It's probably good to remember that half of all "chemicals" ever tested are carcinogenic in massive doses in animal tests. ["Chemical" includes every naturally occurring ingredient in everything you've ever eaten, breathed and drunk...although so far, only a tiny percentage of naturally occurring chemicals in our food have ever been isolated and tested.] The law doesn't require it for a carrot, only for newly-synthesized medical or dietary or agricultural chemicals...we KNOW carrots are good food...our ancestors knew it, too!

Eating carrots and broccoli and cabbage (in moderation) will NOT kill you, despite the many natural toxins and carcinogens we know that they contain; neither will eating mercury-rich fish a couple of times a week actually hurt you and it may help you...white flour is technically "junk food" but I'm not prepared to eliminate it from my diet, since there is no need...my immediate ancestors all ate it, but they preferred whole-grain flours, mostly rye, which I also prefer...but sometimes it HAS to be white flour and I never used to check whether it was bleached or not...now I care a little bit more, but I still don't worry over-much about it

Following "traditional culture" is much better for health than modern info-tainment  and "TV culture", I'm sure you'd all agree...

Best wishes to all,

copyu

 

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

My favorite Zwiebelkuchen recipe is very easy to do - and very tasty. The crust is made with puff pastry (frozen) and the recipe can be used as well for a great leek tarte.

Karin

EvaB's picture
EvaB

do it for both, as I am now totally curious as to what the Zwiebelkuchen is??? But could use the leek pie recipe for sure. The farmer's market has lovley leeks right now!

ronhol's picture
ronhol

Wow is right! LOL

Great thread, altho it went a bit far afield, it was entertaining and enlightening as well.

I am new to baking bread, about 6 months now, and as someone mentioned the time it takes, I can say I would not have the time to indulge in wonderful homemade bread, were it not for the 5 Minute's a Day Bread book.

I know I probably sound like a shill, but trust me, I never heard of Zoe or Jeff before stumbling onto an article about no knead bread on the net somewhere, which led me to their website, and got me started baking bread in my spare time.

I've since bought both their books, and make bread several times a week.

I keep 2 buckets full of dough in the frig, and sever nights a week, pop a loaf in the oven while I read on the net.

Actual prep time is 5 minutes per loaf, plus 40 minutes waiting for it to rise, and 25 minutes in the oven. I love it!

I've just finished eating my freshly baked bagutte, spread withrealbutter and jiff peanut butter. Yep, probably has HFCS, hope I don't pass tonight. lol

So, anyway, it's all led me here, to expand on my knowledge of bread making, and ingredients.

I must confess. Most all the breads I've always liked contained bleached white flour.

I tried baking my baguttes with KA Unbleached Flour, but they just were not quite what I like.

So I tried a blend of approx 50-50 bleached Sams Club white with KA unbleached, and it's turned out to be my favorite yet.

A nice chewy crust, and a little chew to the crumb as well. I favor larger holes in my crumb, and with 100% KA Unbleached, I got a very fine crumb, very small holes.

It was a delicate crumb, somewhat custard like, unique and delightful in it's own right, but not what I've come to like in an Italian or French loaf.

As far as health concerns? Well, look around us. The majority of Americans have eaten tons of refined flour and sugar in their lives, and the average life expectancy is still what? 70-75 years?

I try to incorporate some fresh fruits and veggies into my diet, and to keep an eye on what I eat, but I'm not convinced it's going to make a major impact on us.

We are living longer, and healthier than any time in history, so we can't be doing all that bad now, can we?

Off topic, can someone tell me how you get those attractive round loaves with the concentric circular patterns on them?

 

ronhol's picture
ronhol

Dilbert, good points, all, you might have forgotten one of the biggest examples, city water.

All public water supplies must be treated with chlorine, mandated by the EPA.

The other additive, which I find more dubious, is floride.

I'm not convinced it actually promotes dental health, and I secrectly wonder if it does in fact dummy people down.

But that's a whole nother topic.

Daisy, thanks for the info, soon after you posted, I saw the Baking Bread video, and saw them in use.

Very good video.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Daisy, Dillbert and Eva: I'll post the recipes when I'm back home on Sunday. I bake one or the other quite often, they are so easy to make and taste so good!

Karin

EvaB's picture
EvaB

to that as well, they do look good from the recipe site that I think it was Dilbert posted, and can always use a yummy savoury pie. I made ripe tomato pie last year which was a big hit. Everyone ate it and wanted more. I also have a recipe for green tomato pie, but that one I think is sugared more like a desert.

One of my favourite pies is quich Lorraine. Took a semester of cooking in school, and that was one of the recipes that was done. Yummy, and I really hated eggs when I was that age, but hey it was pie!

nhtom's picture
nhtom

Give it to a food pantry.

Many grocery stores have a box as you walk out for donations.

Better to give it now than after it gets old.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Everybody who wants to try the Zwiebelkuchen or its leek variety - here's the link to the recipe!

Guten Appetit,

Karin

  http://hanseata.blogspot.com/2010/09/zwiebelkuchen-onion-or-leek-tarte.html

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I shall have to try it for supper tomorrow, have all the stuff including the pastry!

EvaB

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Daisy and Eva, the baking temperature depends a bit on your oven, I would try the lower heat first (350 F/175 C).

For the ham you can use all kinds of different ones - the original recipe my friend gave me said: "Rohschinken" ( raw ham), that means cured ham. But I did it with cooked and smoked ham, with domestic prosciutto, speck, etc., even with bacon.

Let me know how it turned out,

Karin