In defence of White Bread


In defence of White Bread

[1] Daily Telegraph, Thursday, April 27, 1972, the Homemaker Page with Cecily

Mrs Una Venn Brown is one of the few people brave enough to speak up in defence of white bread, now that the trend is firmly set towards unprocessed foods.

Mrs Venn Brown is a nutritionist with the Bread Research Institute of Australia (now AEGIC).She works all day, answering consumer inquiries to a background smell of freshly baked bread.

She points out that husks and outer casings of grain are indigestible for human beings, and that their only value is as roughage.“If we were cattle, of course, it would be a different matter,” she says.

“Processing,” she points out, “removes very little of the protein mineral and vitamin contained in bread.  It is only in recent years that people have believed white bread to be detrimental to the system.”

“White bread has been used in early periods of history.  The ancient Greeks made white bread, though it was expensive to produce.  Greeks doctors often recommended white bread for patients with digestive ailments.”

“Bread is not as fattening as many people suppose,” states Mrs Venn Brown happily.  She consumes a few slices a day, and looks none the worse for it.

“It is not so much the fault of the bread, but all the butter and flavourings people heap on it.  A slice of bread has about the same number of calories as a piece of fruit.”

If you are worried that “brown” bread is only dyed white bread, it may comfort you to know that there is at least 50 percent of wholemeal flour used in its manufacture.

A “wholemeal” bread must contain at least 90 percent wholemeal flour.  A “milk” loaf must contain at least four percent non-fat milk solids.

Many protagonists of health food make dreadful claims about the detrimental effects of baking powder on one’s constitution.  However, the rising agent of all Australian bread is yeast, not baking powder.

Another old wives’ tale kicking around is that very fresh bread causes digestive upsets, as the yeast is still swelling after you eat it.

“This story was probably invented so that the kids would not eat up all the fresh bread.  I was very interested in testing out this theory, but found no positive results.

“The action of the yeast is actually destroyed in the cooking,” says Mrs Venn Brown.

If you have any more enquiries about bread or bread substitutes, you are always welcome ring the Bread Research Institute, and perhaps in future you will be able to indulge in a little white bread with an easy conscience.