Friday, November 24, 2006

real bread


I knew there was something missing from Wonder Bread. Always have. I grew up on whole wheat, black bread, pumpernickel. When I was young we drank beer like Schlitz and Coors, but always respected zesty beer with body, like Molson Ale. Then when the microbrew revolution hit, we knew for sure beer had kind of lost its life-force through being brewed in the same old usual way w/ boring and lackluster varieties of hops and grains, as the microbreweries zipped up the taste and body of beer with fancy old fashioned hops and grains and yeast.

This story in the San Francisco Chronicle details grain as it used to be vs. grain as it is now. It reminds me of the beer Anchor Steam used to brew, based on a recipe found on Sumerian tablets from thousands of years ago.
A story of wild wheat seeds that began 10,000 years ago with Neolithic hunter-gatherers who harvested them on the shores of the Mediterranean sea is continuing today in California, a tale that underscores the new era of modern genomics.

The Stone Age people used wild wheat seed to bake their bread long, long ago, and now the seeds from current generations of wild wheat growing in Israel have yielded the gene that scientists at UC Davis are crossbreeding into modern wheat plants to increase their nutrients for an undernourished world.

Through many centuries of domestication by farmers and plant breeders, the wheat found in today's breads lost some of the vital protein and minerals, such as iron and zinc, that the genes in the ancient wild seeds carried. After cloning the major gene for those nutrients from current wild wheat, the UC Davis scientists have bred them back into new wheat strains without the need for more controversial genetic engineering.
For more information about gardening as it used to be, see the Native Seeds Search website. Native Seed Search has, among all kinds of other cool stuff, a seedbank where you can buy actual, not cloned, ancient varieties of chilis, beans, peas, melons, gourds, corn, even tobacco.

Skeptical? Try what is known as an heirloom tomato. Compare it to a regular tomato you buy at Safeway or Alberston's.

The same thing keeps happening again and again. "Am I losing my taste or does this bacon have no flavor?" my 80-something mom said when we were cooking Thanksgiving dinner. "The bacon has no flavor Mom," I said, crunching into a strip of the tasteless pseudo-meat. Try the organic stuff, i.e. bacon from farm where they don't dose their animals on poison, let them have some sun and fresh air. Similarly, in the book Fast Food Nation, you see the story of how McDonalds and the like have to douse their food w/ chemical flavor agents, so that their product smells and tastes like food rather than the lifeless industrial end-product filler that it is.

4 comments:

Turner Dupre said...

My mother once tried to smother me
with a loaf of pumpernickel. I was
35, and living in the basement at the time. From that moment on I've
rejected pumpernickel and suffocation. Have you ever tried to
butter bread with a screwdriver? Well I have, and let me tell you, it leads to mystical experiences.
But never mind that, I am Turner Dupre, journalist and provocateur,
and I know well the dangers of white bread and protease inhibitors! The vermin responsible for poisoning our food supply should be shown a lime ditch with bodies in it.

CW Spec Coll said...

Oh my god, I am honored the mysterious writer Turner Dupre has commented on my blog!!

Anonymous said...

That Turner Dupre once drove a Wonder Bread deivery truck is beside the point. He was fired for wearing a suit made from white bread
sliced singles.
Do NOT even try the word 'Pumpernickel'
around the man-I have a slow healing exit wound to prove it, and I didn't even get past saying 'Pumpernic...'
And yeast? Don't get him started!


-SHAKE

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, I've been living in Pripyet, Ukraine for the last 5 months because my parents kicked me out of the house after losing 4 jobs in row. As you know the firings were orhestrated by a zionist element controlling all print media.
Pripyet was nice and peaceful. And FREE. The radiation thing is way overblown, even laughable.
Anyway, Shake is working on starting up a new newspaper and said I was welcome.
Apparently, there is guy writing for the Bisbee Observer named Jim Dwyer who once hurled Shake down a flight of steps during a talk he was giving to a lot of really fat, really white, tourists.
Of course the Shake's rights were violating and the local cops just laughed when the Shake tried to press charges. Dwyer was seen sneering and laughing with cops as
he recounted the events.
Hopefully Shake's paper will get off the ground soon and with the Lord's help we'll be able to defeat vicious satanists like Jim Dwyer and the Bisbee Gestapo.

Turner Dupre