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Ban Bread!

picture of biohazard bread

Do you love bread? I do ... and I know I'm not alone. When the low-carb craze ("craze" looks almost like another word we know) was in its hayday here in the USA, people were swearing off bread completely. Fortunately there are now diets out there that are less extreme in their attitudes towards carbohydrates, an essential component to balanced diets. Many people are still careful about their carb intake, but attitudes have mellowed out a little.

Bread has been on my mind this week for several reasons. In my fourth semester French class we are reading a simplified version of Les Misérables. Those of you familiar with the story know that Jean Valjean spent 19 years in prison for stealing bread to feed his sister's seven starving children in the winter. Also quite a bit of my wife's work time on campus this week has been spent helping students with special dietary difficulties. Each year it seems as if there are more and more who struggle with gluten intolerance. These two things in our lives caused me to remember a tongue-in-cheek piece in my files.


According to a newspaper headline, the "Smell of baked bread may be health hazard." The article went on to describe the dangers of the smell of baking bread. The main danger, apparently, is that the organic components of this aroma may break down ozone. (I'm incapable of making up this kind of stuff!)

I was horrified. When are we going to do something about bread-induced global warming? Sure, we attack tobacco companies, but when is the government going to go after Big Bread?

Well, I've done a little research, and what I've discovered some things about bread that should make anyone think twice.

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread eaters.

2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever and influenza ravaged whole nations.

4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.

5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!

6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low occurrence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.

7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects given only bread and water for a week, then deprived of bread and given only water, begged for bread after only two days.

8. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.

9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.

10. Newborn babies can choke on bread.

11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.

12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.

In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions:

1. No sale of bread to minors.

2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete with TV spots and bumper stickers.

3. No advertising of bread within 1000 feet of a school.

4. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.

5. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.

6. Health hazard warning labels to be placed on all packages of bread.

7. A $4.2 bazillion fine on the three biggest bread manufacturers.

Remember: Think globally, act idiotically. What are your thoughts on bread?

Update on Nora: Nora is gaining strength and stamina — she even went to a Greenville Drive game on Labor Day! At her post-op check up yesterday, the doctor released her to go back to work. He even told her she could run on a treadmill if she would like to and suggested some exercises to strengthen her core muscles. She'll be glad to be able to start earning money to pay off her medical bills which have begun to trickle in. We are very thankful for the good progress she has made and for your prayers and well wishes for her recovery.


"God knows how to manage the load in our lives and knows exactly how much is too much." - Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?

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8 Comments on “Ban Bread!”

  1. #1 Vikki
    on Sep 9th, 2010 at 8:00 am

    An excellent example of our government at work! I love it!!!

    Rob adds: Isn’t that for sure?!

  2. #2 Laura
    on Sep 9th, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Since ground-level ozone is a health hazard (especially for people with chronic lung ailments, like asthma), maybe we should bake MORE bread to counteract it.

    But we’d better not use electric ovens . . . electrical motors produce ozone, so maybe other electrical appliances should be held suspect, too–not to mention the pollution produced at the plants that produce the electricity from so-called “fossil” fuels.

    Of course, if you use an oven that bakes by combustion, like gas (or an old-fashioned, brick wood-fired oven), you’re at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if you don’t provide adequate ventilation . . .

    You just can’t please everyone all the time!

    Rob adds: And don’t even try to please everyone, ‘cuz it ain’t gonna happen. 🙂

  3. #3 Michael
    on Sep 9th, 2010 at 9:06 am

    A beautiful example of how correlation does not equal causation. It’s also a good example of how it’s easy to make innocuous things sound like pure evil.

    Rob adds: It’s kind of like saying water causes cancer because 100% of the people who have cancer have drunk water. And “pure evil” is quite an oxymoron, Michael.

  4. #4 Vikki
    on Sep 9th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Rob, your’e right about water. Even those that just bathe in it die! Bad water – BAD – BAD!!!

    Rob adds: I’m glad to have such an insightful reader.

  5. #5 Terry Egolf
    on Sep 9th, 2010 at 1:21 pm


    I enjoyed the humorous slant to your article, but my first thought when I saw the title is, “Oh great! He’s going to do a piece on celiac disease.” Well, of course, it wasn’t.

    But my son is a celiac, and my daughter is gluten intolerant, so this is an important topic to our family. After studying this disease for several years, it seems that cultures like ours that depend heavily on gluten-containing products like wheat have a much higher incidence of celiac disease than cultures with a more Mediterranean or Oriental diet, based on rice or other non-wheat grains.

    So, in a way, your piece was right on for a lot of us.


    Rob adds: Thanks for your thoughts, Terry. My wife has discovered just how hard it is for gluten intolerant and celiac people in our culture. You find traces of it in the strangest places — foods you wouldn’t think would contain any wheat or gluten at all. Her task is to know what is in everything served in the Dining Common so that she can tell people what is safe for them to eat and what to avoid. Her years of teaching Nutrition are paying off for our students and staff who face these serious health hazards. Thanks for seeing the piece I posted for what it is. Even as much as she tries, if the cooks substitute one ingredient for another, it has the potential of doing great harm to those counting on the food as being all right for them to eat. Tricky business, indeed. I’m sure you all face things like that in restaurants, etc. 🙂

  6. #6 Steve Coon
    on Sep 9th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    The power of the written word!!! I honestly read your final quote from Drew Conley as “God knows how to manage the loaves in our lives and knows exactly how much is too much.”

    Rob adds: I think when it comes to the loaves and how much is too much, He leaves it up to us to make wise decisions. I loved your misread, Steve. LOL! 😀

  7. #7 Carrie
    on Sep 9th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    The irony of this piece is simply stunning.

    Rob adds: Especially ironic when you consider that whole grain bread is a good source of iron…

  8. #8 Cynthia Dufty
    on Sep 10th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    The ozone in the Troposhphere where we breathe is separate from the ozone in the ionosphere by the temperature inversion called the Tropopause. The exchange of air in the zones is mostly through thunderstorms. So bake your bread in sunny weather 🙂

    Rob adds: Thanks for the explanation. I also got one by e-mail from a reader who is a retired university science prof. I’m glad to have readers who know these things. The downside is that I really have to be on my toes. 🙂