ICB: Is white bread the worst thing since sliced bread?
Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit column. It’s a regular column that looks at skulduggery and balderdash, spurious reasoning and bunkum. This week we’re look at the humble loaf of white bread and its apparent demise.
White bread. It’s now seen not only as the dieter’s worst enemy, but as an insult to our heightened sense of the gourmet. It’s… vulgar.
Health experts decry its sodium content, its high GI, its nutritional vacuum. “The whiter the bread, the quicker you’re dead”, they say. Yes, they really do.
It has been blamed for causing diabetes, obesity, gut problems, headaches, bloating, farting, and relationship breakdowns. Which may or may not be related to the farting.
This demonisation of the humble loaf has coincided with the Mastercheffing of the nation. Specialty breads are taking over.
You’re not well-bred unless you’re artisan. It has to be sourdough or spelt, Tibetan flatbreads or Turkish pide, organic baguettes or heart-healthy gluten-free sperm-increasing cholesterol-lowering muscle-building seed-infested fertility-enhancing wholemeal. With extra seeds.
People think white bread is both evil and bogan. I Call Bullshit.
The vast majority of people can eat white bread without clagging up or erupting like Eyjafjallajökull. It’s not a health food, granted, but on the scale from chia seeds to chocolate it’s not the nail in the coffin it is made out to be.
There’s no point jumping on chairs and squealing at the sight of some starchy white carbs if you’re going to stuff your biodynamic rye sandwich with paté and cheese.
As for it being the bread of the unwashed masses – that may well be true, but buying into such snobbery excludes one from many culinary delights.
A sausage sizzle with yeast-free sourdough would be a crime against humanity.
A cheesy toastie made with pumpernickel would leech some of the joy from the world.
And fairy bread made with multigrains? Tantamount to child abuse.
There is a place in this world for sublime specialty breads, and for the ‘spinach’ of the bread world, the health breads. There is a place (oh, yes) for chilli and olive paninis and warm ciabattas. There is room for bread that resembles birdseed.
But in a world worth living in, there is also room for cheap, crappy, nutritionally iffy white bread.
A twit: @ToryShepherd
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