Bad Stuff in Bread
At Stone House Bread, we take the scenic route. We bake our bread slowly, and never use any commercial additives. Other breads rely on chemicals and preservatives, here are some of the worst kinds:
Potassium bromate is a common oxidizing agent used to strengthen dough and improve rising. But the chemical has been linked to cancer, and is banned in many countries around the world. The state of California even listed the chemical as a known carcinogen, but the FDA still allows it to be used in food.
Azodicarbonamide improves dough texture and strength.
When this ingredient breaks down during the bread making process, it creates a new chemical that has been shown to create tumors in lab mice.
Even though there are many replacements for this ingredient, bakeries continue to use this harmful chemical.
Partially Hydrogenated Oil is used to make breads resistant to oxidation and spoilage. Theses oils can turn into trans fats in the baking process.
Trans fat increases the “bad” type of cholesterol and can damage arteries, increase inflammation, and potentially cause heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
!! Look for this ingredient on the label – if there are less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, companies can legally put 0 trans fat on the label – but this evil may still be lurking!
Butylated Hydroxyanisole is an antioxidant used to prevent fat in bread from turning rancid.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the ingredient is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
Nevertheless, it is still approved for use as a food additive by the FDA.
Vitamins E and C serve the same purpose as this ingredient and can be used instead.
Caramel Coloring is often added to wheat and rye breaks to darken the color of the loaf.
During the baking process, the additive creates harmful byproducts that have been linked to cancer.
In some states, it is required to put a warning label on products that have caramel coloring in them.
High-fructose corn syrup on a bread label is a bad sign. Other bakeries use the synthetic sweetener based from genetically modified corn because it’s cheaper than table sugar. But the ingredient contains a lot of fructose, which when consumed can put you at risk of heart disease, higher triglycerides and decreased insulin sensitivity. It also adds empty calories to bread.
Soy is commonly used in bread, either in soybean oil or soy lecithin forms.
On the surface, neither ingredient is cause for concern. The problem is that most soybeans in the United States are genetically engineered. The threat of GMO foods is hotly debated and many have cause for concern.