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March 8, 2017

"Well, let me tell you, bread is not natural."

Bread is what I call a technique-driven food.
So it's become popular to use the word "natural" sort of as a synonym for "good," like, "Oh yes, it's natural." Well, let me tell you, bread is not natural. Bread looks nothing like grain — just compare the two — in the same way that cheese is really not just old milk, and wine is not just spoiled grapes. In all three cases, humans over a period of at least 10,000 years, maybe 100,000 years, carefully figured out all these techniques to utterly transform the grain into this amazing thing we love to eat. Can Nathan Myhrvold Change How the World Eats Bread? - Eater

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 8, 2017 11:56 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Cooking isn't natural, either. I doubt it took tens of thousands of years to figure out bread. Or cooking. Certainly not hundreds of thousands of years. It's what we do because we are humans.
The kinds of food we have now...not so natural, even the so-called organic...whatever that means. People really do have magical thinking. The whole grocery store is an exercise in not natural. No hunters or gatherers. The food, she just magickally appears! And if it isn't on the shelves, it is hiding in the back.

Posted by: Jewel at March 8, 2017 1:03 PM

I love all those grocery store farms. I wonder how they manage to grow all those foods in those hermetically sealed cans, cardboard and plastic containers.
I guess the seeds are impregnated in the containers and then the seeds germinate in the container as they absorb shelf life.

I heard a myth about how in olden times food was grown outdoors in DIRT! Disgusting thought.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at March 8, 2017 3:24 PM

Perhaps the neatest side item to the development of making bread was the attempt to take ruined mixes and turn them into something useful. Happened about five thousand years ago.
The result: Beer!

Posted by: ed in texas at March 8, 2017 4:30 PM

Nor is steel, gold, silver or copper natural. Include also on this list shake roofs, canned food, gasoline, penicillin and a host of other things we all use.

The fact is that mother nature truly is a bitch and she must usually be violently coerced into giving us a damn thing.

Posted by: Denny at March 8, 2017 4:51 PM

Grains 10,000+ years ago were NOT the GMO and adulterated grains we eat today. Best to avoid or strictly limit their ingestion these days, esp with all the additives to make it 'chewy'. Read the ingredients labels in all things.

Posted by: JoeDaddy at March 9, 2017 3:19 AM

At the price of those books, he is not going to have much impact, at all.

Posted by: Lindsey Kidd at March 9, 2017 8:08 AM

The eating of grain, because it kept well and was handy, was a Faustian bargain people made long ago that led to the loss of health in many ways, but also the leisure to do something besides hunt and gather. We don't have to eat the stuff and participate in that bargain.

Posted by: pbird at March 10, 2017 7:54 AM

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