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?