Bad Chemicals in Bread
especially certain 'dough conditioners'
(2014 Oct blog post)
! Preliminary ! I hope to add much more 'telling' info to this page.
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I have a friend who was having problems with a chronically upset stomach (in 2014), and he was talking about cutting down on bread.
Soon after that, I saw an article in the paper that mentioned Vani Hari, also known as 'the Food Babe'. The article said she 'pressed' Subway to remove a chemical in its bread. (By the way, Subway did it --- they say.)
I did a Google search on 'vani hari food babe subway bread chemical'.
The third Google-'hit' I saw was the page titled It's not just Subway. You're eating 500 other foods with 'yoga mat' chemical in them.
FIRST PARAGRAPH of that article:
"Earlier this month, Vani Hari of Food Babe called out Subway for using azodicarbonamide (ADA), a chemical found in yoga mats, shoe soles, and synthetic leather. The ingredient is used as a bleaching agent in flour and dough conditioner in North America, even though it's banned in many other countries."
(Unfortunately 'azodicarbonamide' is seven syllables. Not easy to remember. But the 'azo' and 'carb' and 'amide' stand out in my memory.)
Maybe ADA (azodicarbonamide) is what was upsetting my friend's stomach. It is certainly worth a try to avoid breads and other such flour products such as crackers --- especially if an ingredients list includes 'azodicarbonamide'. (See some example ingredients lists below.)
The ADA apologists (I say, Put your stomachs and lungs where your mouth is.)
There are several comments at the bottom of the "It's not just Subway" article calling the 'Food Babe' claims 'pseudo-scientific' etc.
One person (Dahliya Ni Briedis?) quoted Monica Reinagel, who claims to be a nutritionist. The quote is "it (ADA) breaks down into other compounds long before it reaches us".
She does not mention that those compounds are still in the bread. And that an FDA site says (in 2014) that it is reviewing the effects of at least one of those compounds.
Has Reinagel investigated why Europe and Australia and Singapore have outlawed use of ADA in foods?
I think Briedis and Reinagel should eat ADA-bread, at least 6 slices daily, for several months, and let us know how he/she fares.
I certainly would not want that nutritionist to be a nutritionist responsible for the diet of my kids.
Other products (non-Subway) containing ADA
Look at the following list, from the "It's not just Subway" article, of about 12 bread-like products that contain this 'yoga mat' chemical (ADA). "Most of the foods containing ADA are bread products, since it's primarily used in flour."
What to look for in food 'Ingredients' labels
Here are labels from some of the bread products that contain azodicarbanamide (link to Wikipedia article).
An example without ADA
Here are ingredients from a relatively healthy bread, that apparently (if we can believe the label) does not employ 'dough conditioners'.
Unfortunately, I have seen breads in Trader Joe's that had mold sprouting on the slices, within the clear wrapper.
Apparently, the bread manufacturers are going to continue to be motivated to put all kinds of chemicals in breads --- not only to make it easier and faster to manufacture the bread in huge quantities (like with ADA), but also to preserve the bread for long times on the store shelves.
One alternative is to go to breads like 'La Brea' breads --- whose dough is shipped to stores like Harris-Teeter and Costco, and the bread is baked locally. Hence, no long shipping times to stores, allowing mold and other degradation of the bread to start.
If you can trust the labels on 'La Brea' breads, in 2014, it looks like that brand does not use bread conditioners --- in particular, no azodicarbonamide.
Respiratory health issues
Note also this quote from the "It's not just Subway article" at 'food-hacks.wonderhowto.com'.
"ADA has been linked to respiratory issues by the World Health Organization and the U.K. Health and Safety Executive. It's banned in Europe and Australia, and according to several sources, its use is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $450,000 (about $350,000 USD) worth of fines in Singapore."
(My friend has suffered from respiratory issues for years. Perhaps he is particularly sensitive to compounds like ADA.)
For those with respiratory issues (asthma, etc.), maybe you don't need a drug to inhale --- maybe you just need to REMOVE something from your diet.
Of course, ADA (azodicarbonamide) may not be the culprit in respiratory health issues involving food products. The cause may be something else --- OR ADA-plus-something-else.
This may just be a start of other revelations like this about bread additives --- and additives to other foods in our environment.
Other additives of concern
Of course, there are other food additives of concern that have been reported over the past 100 years. But incidents are reported much more now as people can report their experiences on the internet --- by their own blogs and by various 'social media' outlets.
One example: 'carrageenan' in milk products --- as indicated in this article by the 'Food Babe': Major Company Removing Controversial Ingredient Carrageenan.
For another example: Check out the comments on page 4 of comments at the bottom of that article. Several people are warning of an ingredient --- 'sodium hexamaphosphate' (spelling?) --- in toothpaste that causes sloughing of skin from the inner cheek.
When we get into hygiene products and drugs as well as food products, the future revelations will no doubt boggle the mind --- given that we consumers are the guinea pigs being used to test the products --- rather than doing throrough studies involving years rather than weeks.
The book 'Worst Pills, Best Pills' strongly recommends using no drug that has been on the market less than 7 years. The pharmaceutical companies do not have the patience or time/money to do the proper studies.
FDA is blowing its believablity (and has been for many, many years)
It seems the FDA is not doing a good job of keeping dangerous crud out of our food and drugs and health products.
But this is not a surprise to me. I have noted this on pages like this Health and Food Books page --- in particular, the book 'Overdosed America'.
And I have had some first hand experiences with poorly reviewed (by the FDA) drugs and 'foods', which I plan to document on pages here.
I will be keeping an eye out for more info on these bread-chemicals issues --- especially since I seem to have a lot of problems with crud in my eyes --- and I recently realized it may be related to certain bread/cracker products.
For further information :
In case I do not return to update this page, here are a few Google searches you can use to provide updates.
We need a better FDA (Food and Drug Administration). We need a Singapore-like FDA. An FDA that is not so infiltrated with food and drug company sell-outs that the FDA never will issue a punishment such as 15 years in prison and fines of $350,000 USD --- to the executives of the offending companies.
It is no good to fine the companies. That is just fining the shareholders, who generally do not know these outrages are occurring. It is the executives who should PERSONALLY be fined (out of their own bloated salaries). And those executives should be subject to prison sentences --- yes, in pound-you-in-the-ass prisons. You have to scare the chemicals out of these anti-social bastards.
And, as I mentioned above, they should be required to eat their own dough, daily.
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Page was posted 2014 Oct 07.
The chemical structure of azodicarbonamide.
The answer is NO !
(Perhaps, with careful use, it can be used as an anti-bacterial agent.)