Archive for January, 2012

I’ve recently been suffering from man-flu. But please don’t worry, I’m getting better now (if only very slowly) 😉

Whilst in the throes of suffering, I managed to add a comment to a blog, which on reflection, might have left the blog owner scratching her head. Sorry Liz.

Nevertheless, the subject is one close to my heart.

I’d written: “...when manufacturers say that bread is wholesome they are being disingenuous, as is not entirely true. The mass manufacture of bread has changed so much in my lifetime that it now contains twice the amount of fat that it used to – or needs.

To clarify – around 80% of all bread bought in Britain today is made using the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP). Compared to the more traditional bulk fermentation process CBP allows manufacturers to use cheaper wheat, bake the bread in half the time and reduce costs overall. The result is a much softer product. To work, CBP needs more yeast, more fat (solid fat, which until recently was hydrogenated vegetable fat) and chemical ‘improvers’. Don’t try to replicate this at home!

The research bakers at Chorleywood discovered that by adding hard fats, extra yeast and a number of chemicals and then mixing at high speed you got a dough that was ready to bake in a fraction of the time it normally took.BBC

So what’s the problem? Cheaper bread with a softer texture is always readily available and it lasts for over week!

Well, one thing is that the high speed steel milling of the wheat enables the resulting flour to take on more water, but it also removes much of the nutritive value. It is suggested that around half of a modern loaf is water. More worrying is the fact that hard fats are used to support the structure of the dough that would normally be supported by developed gluten strands in the traditional bulk fermentation process (do try this at home). Chemically, these are the same hard fats that are proven to cause heart disease.

The extra yeast is also thought to cause problems with the human body: thrush, irritable bowel syndrome and various yeast intolerances are cited.

Furthermore, I would concur with this opinion:

In fact, in my not-so-humble opinion, it more closely resembles expanded polystyrene than bread” by John Maidment

If the bread you eat forms a sticky ‘cack’ in the roof of your mouth – no matter how old the loaf is (it could be anything other than a loaf too) – you’re eating a Chorleywood product and it could be the reason you feel less well than you should.

Of course, there are counter arguments, which I acknowledge but pay little credence to.

If you like bread, bake your own or find a traditional baker. It makes taste sense and it make health sense. The local ‘traditional’ baker might seem more expensive, but a) you’ll need to eat less of it and b) what price do you put on your health?

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I’d initially thought that I’d call this short post ‘dirty bastards’ but I’m not sure that would have been exactly right. Lazy is a truer description of the dog owners who scoop up their dog poo into tiny plastic bags (so far so good – not too dirty then?) and then throw the plastic bags into the undergrowth.

Lazy, thoughtless bastards!!!!

This is something that has taxed me for a while. I go for a walk with John Rousell every Saturday I can (hence the blog title) and at other times, I walk whenever and as often as I can. I like walking and it helps to keep me fit. However, more and more, I see these tiny plastic parcels along my route.

My routes vary. Over the year, John and I will cover most of Kirklees and some of the surrounding areas; we have apple tree walks, canal walks, reminiscences walks (around areas we used to live) – pretty much all kinds of walk across a variety of terrains. And as we walk we see more and more of those little plastic bags of dog shit.

Surely it would be better to just let the dog crap and walk away? At least the canine faecal matter will degrade at some time – the plastic won’t!  Not that that’s the answer – I actually applaud those dog owners who have the care and commitment to carry shit collecting equipment with them and to take the dog poo away with them for proper disposal.

But those dog owners who just chuck the shitbags away are lazy, thoughtless, ignorant bastards.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/crustyscumbrothersontour/2065702929/ Thanks for using creative commons.


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