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How/why did bread and milk become "evil" foods?

 
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 10:53 am
Let me set the scene:

A beautiful afternoon. I'm at a food cart waiting for my grilled cheese sandwich, chatting with the Worker. Another Woman approaches the cart and orders a Cuban bowl.

Woman: (to me) Have you tried their Cuban bowl? It's amazing. My kids would eat here every day. We're all addicted.

Worker: Who are your kids?

Woman: Tom and Joe. Do you know them?

Worker: Oh yeah! The extra bread kids! Nice kids.

Woman: What? Are you serious?

Worker: Huh?

Woman: Are you serious about the bread thing?

Worker: Oh yeah -- those kids always eat a ton of extra bread.

Woman: (turning red) Oh my god. They aren't supposed to eat bread. We don't eat bread. (Begins ranting about bread.)

Me: Well at least it isn't meth.

Worker: Thank god I can't get arrested for selling bread.

Worker and I suppress giggles. Woman continues to rant, ordering Worker to no longer serve her kids bread.

---------------------------------------------------

Ever since this happened I've been thinking about how bread and milk -- the "health" foods of my childhood have become to be considered so unhealthy. I've gotten into the habit of checking with parents every time Mo has a new friend over since half the kids I know seem to be on dairy-free, wheat-free family diets.

Why do you think milk and bread have such a bad reputation these days? What happened to change their status as wholesome foods?
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 10:56 am
@boomerang,
I think at least part of their status as 'healthy foods' has been pushed by their respective lobbies over the years. Milk in particular.

Cycloptichorn
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 11:06 am
@boomerang,
I drank mucho milk as a child. WHOLE milk. It's fortified with vitamin D. Never had ONE broken bone in my entire life.

Well, depends upon what kind of bread. Don't do much white bread any longer, but stick with cinamon and raisin swirl. Just had a sandwich with au natural peanut butter and jelly.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 11:15 am
I, too, wonder about the gluten and lactose allergies of people these days. Certainly for most of the history of Europeans (in which i include the "white" residents of North and South America) bread and dairy products have played are large part in their diets. The French revolution was set in train by a failure of the wheat crop due to bad weather in northern France in 1788, followed by hoarding of grain and flour by speculators. The Corn Laws of England effectively destroyed the agricultural laboring class, who could no longer afford their daily bread. Thomas Carlyle in his history of the French revolution describes the discontent of laborers in Paris in the 1830s who were reaching the point at which they could no longer afford the four and five pound loaves of bread with which they customarily fed themselves every day.

Bread, butter and cheese fed so much of the European world for centuries. The Royal Navy enshrined it with regulations which stipulated the amount, in pounds and ounces, of bread, butter and cheese which were to be issued on board ship each day. "Soft tack" was fresh baked (or relatively fresh baked) bread which was laid in at the start of a cruise, or purchased in port. Biscuit, or hard tack ("Old Weevil's wedding cake in the parlance of the sailors) was issued in so many pounds per mess (six men) per day, along with so many ounces of butter and so many pounds of cheese per week. The officers usually kept a nanny goat on board to provide milk for their coffee and tea.

So, i wonder, did children who were "lactose intolerant" or allergic to gluten simply die in childhood in centureis gone by? Or are these allergies and intolerances a product of our modern world? Certainly, well made bread contains valuable proteins as well as the starch for which it is condemned. It's one thing to condemn the "Wonder bread" type of airy glue, but well-baked breads can be a very healthy nutritional support.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 11:23 am
@boomerang,
I didn't know they were considered to be unhealthy or had come to be considered 'evil' foods. But I don't really keep up with all the fads.
We go through a loaf of bread a day and six pints of milk every two to three days.
Neither of my kids are overweight and both are almost never sick.

What do they advise people to drink instead of milk- in order to get their calcium, vitamin D and protein?

And if you don't have a gluten or wheat allergy - in what ways do 'they' (people today) consider bread to be detrimental to your health?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 11:29 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Worker: Oh yeah! The extra bread kids! Nice kids.

Woman: What? Are you serious?

Worker: Huh?

Woman: Are you serious about the bread thing?

Worker: Oh yeah -- those kids always eat a ton of extra bread.

Woman: (turning red) Oh my god. They aren't supposed to eat bread. We don't eat bread. (Begins ranting about bread.)


Man . . . you guys really screwed the pooch for those kids, didn't ya?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 11:32 am
Bread and milk are thought to be healthy here and "promoted " especially for children in kindergarten and (pre-) school (= visiting local bakeries, farms, making their own bread etc)

[You get in a normal bakery here at least one dozen different types of bread (besides that dozen of different rolls). The in-shop bakery in my local supermarkets bakes 18 different breads - more than once per day.]
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:00 pm
Like Aidan, I was not aware of this animus against bread and/or milk these days. I can think of no reason why bread should be proscribed. I don't know of a single culture where some form of a baked grain product isn't considered a staple. The most popular Christian prayer, the so-called Lord's Prayer, even uses bread as a symbol for sustenance in geeneral. "Give us this day our daily..." etc.

But as for milk -- and especially other dairy products -- that is strictly a culture-specific group of foods. Think about it. Only those cultures where cattle are commonly herded serve milk as a basic food. In other cultures, only mother's milk is consumed by infants and, because of this, the nursing period usually lasts much longer than in Western (i.e. European) societies. Once the child is weaned, that's it. No more milk for the rest of their lives. (Well, except among the Mongols where a very potent alcoholic drink called koumiss (Sp.?) is distilled from mare's milk.)

The reason we Americans think so highly of milk and milk products is strictly due to the valiant p.r. efforts of the American Dairy Association which, over the years, has convinced most of us that milk is, somehow, the perfect food. This is a country mile from the truth. Milk, for example, has no iron whatever and provides only a limited spectrum of the needed vitamins. No "C", for example. And for many cultures cheese is strictly an acquired taste. During World War II, it was discovered that the diet for Japanese-American soldiers serving in the 142d RCT or the 100th Infantry Battalion had to be modified to largely exclude cheese dishes. Most of the Nisei were not familiar with cheese in their diets and many hated the taste. And, of course, American aborigines (Indians) never had milk until the white men brought domesticated cattle to the North and South American continents.

But, again, this is the first time I've become aware that these two products are now, somehow, considered "evil" by the food fanatics among us.

0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:00 pm
Oh God, don't get me started...

Every time I'm at the grocery store, I seem to see more gluten free products.
I too have to wonder at the allergies people say they have, or the severity of these allergies.

That said, I was fine with milk until well into my adult years, now the mere thought of drinking a glass of milk makes me double over in cramps. Fortunately, I have really come to enjoy the taste of soy milk. In fact, as I've said before here, cow's milk is for baby cows.

How do kids (or anyone) get enough calcium if not through milk?
Beans, cornmeal, collards (or any greens, including spinach), sardines, almonds...etc. etc.

There's lots of places in the world that don't rely on milk.

But I digress, most people aren't allergic to milk. If you drink and enjoy it, God bless.


My boss is terrified of carbohydrates, thinks of them as an evil plot to destroy mankind and make everyone obese.

I once told her to go to Italy or China, and count the number of fat people who eat pasta, noodles and rice on a daily basis.
Joeblow
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:16 pm
@chai2,
Too right.

I know more than a few low carbohydrate adherents and they totally eschew bread and milk.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:17 pm
I'm skeptical of the allergy thing too.

I mean, Tom and Joe had been going to the food cart and stuffing their faces with bread and obviously hadn't had some allergic reation or Woman would have figured out something was up without having to be told.

Most of the pizzerias around here now off gluten free crust but they don't offer cheese free pizza despite the big Asian population.

I know a few people who really are lactose intollerant and I know a few people who don't like dairy but it seems to be exclusively people who have kids that yammer on about allergies to wheat and dairy.

I think it has something to do with the cult of I'm A Better Parent Than You Because I Control Everything.

I wonder what kind of bizarre food fixations these kids will have when they grow up.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:21 pm
Prolly become grilled cheese sammich addicts . . .


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . grilled cheese sammich . . . 'scuse me . . .
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:26 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I'm A Better Parent Than You Because I Control Everything


I abhor this cult. <as I drink my millk and eat my turkey and cheese sandwich>
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 01:54 pm
@mismi,
mismi wrote:

Quote:
I'm A Better Parent Than You Because I Control Everything


I abhor this cult. <as I drink my millk and eat my turkey and cheese sandwich>


My next door neighbor is about 7 months pregnant with her 1st child, and she's already A Better Parent than ANY of you will ever be. Rolling Eyes

I already feel sorry for the kid.

Actually, I hope the kid is the most strong willed rascal that was ever born. I have fabulous season ticket seats to watch the show.
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:06 pm
@chai2,
If she has any sense Chai she will fall out of it fast. When I was first pregnant with the twins there was a whole lot of "I will always blah blah blah" and " I will never blah blah blah". I did not "always" and certainly did the "never". I learned pretty quick those statements couldn't be made...at least by me. Smile

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:20 pm
My opinions lined up in a row -

Some gluten allergies are apparently real, but gluten avoidance has grown into popular fad stage by leaps and bounds.

Some milk allergies are real, especially for certain populations.
My cousin was telling me how back sixty years ago she always used to be sick after having her routine family bowl of ice cream - I remember those bowls of ice cream, as I always wished they were chocolate - anyway, she figured out she should be spare with the drinking of cow' s milk at some point, and the "digestive" problems stopped. As it happens, she was adopted, and her genetic background didn't match her ice cream eating parents'; probably it included lactose intolerance.

There are many possible calcium and vitamin D alternatives, including as Chai mentioned, food sources. Soy milk and almond milk and rice milk are out there on the grocer's shelves for that milky substance in your coffee.

On carbs, too many fast digested carbs are probably part of the obesity problem, and a lot of folks look at the glycemic index lists for the different kinds of carbs out there to get a clue which are better. I think in general total avoidance of the fast digested carbs is sillyness, but that some avoidance isn't silly. This avoidance seems to matter much more for people who are diabetic or pre-diabetic, relative to their insulin metabolism.

Me, I love bread and dairy products - and eat them.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:26 pm
@mismi,
mismi wrote:

If she has any sense Chai she will fall out of it fast. When I was first pregnant with the twins there was a whole lot of "I will always blah blah blah" and " I will never blah blah blah". I did not "always" and certainly did the "never". I learned pretty quick those statements couldn't be made...at least by me. Smile


Oh no, you don't understand Mismi.

That is not going to happen to her.

I know this because she told me.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:35 pm
@ossobuco,
Glycemic index is it. White bread is way high. Sourdough much lower, but much denser per slice. For anyone even close to having diabetes, Mr. Milk is not your friend. Read the label for sugar content, and it doesn't get any better with low or skim milk.

Sometimes, I ignore the whole thing.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:37 pm
@chai2,
Quote:

I know this because she told me


Then you really will have a good front row seat - her kids will probably be a pain in your ass though. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
George
 
  4  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 02:40 pm
My my wife is Chinese and she is most definitely sensitive to lactose and
gluten. She can (and does) have some, but she feels it when she has too
much. I'm of Irish stock. The only aspect of food we are sensitive to is
originality.
 

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