This newspaper piece shocked me awake to what is being put in our daily bread. Coming from a country that has always thought of "itself as clean and Green" brought forward the realization that we have become too complacent and it is up to us as community to read labels and/or get proper labeling. Read on from the New Zealand Herald:
New Zealand Herald, July 21 2009 Letters to the Editor.
From R B Elliott Professor Emeritus, Child Health Research Remuera Auckland
The standard demanding the addition of micrograms of the B vitamin folate to bread to prevent neural tube defects and possibly many other diseases has been greeted in some quarters as heresy. To put this in perspective, we should look at what else is added to bread to increase the profit of wheat growers, millers and bakers without any health benefit whatsoever.
In the wheat field, any one or more of the pesticides listed in the 11 pages of the European Union data base for these agents are used. Pre- and post- emergent herbicides are also used, as well as toxic fungicides.
Millers use anti bacterial and anti fungal agents and add similar agents to the milled flour to prevent spoilage. Any folic acid in wheat is removed in milling.
At the bakery, 'improvers' are added to produce an airier loaf. These are usually a mix of chemicals, including a large amount of ascorbic acid - Vitamin C. Oxidised vitamin C is quite toxic. Wheat farmer Bill English, when Minister of Health for the National Government, asked "Why would we worry about a bit of B vitamin that will do some good? You should see what is added to wheat at the farm".