Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Sad Demise Of White Bread

Back in the fifties and sixties there were two types of bread: white and brown. White was the king: superior because it went with peanut butter and banana without adding an unnecessary third taste to the mix. Brown bread was okay (sometimes made brown with the addition of molasses) but not meant to be consumed daily. Then, things began to change. As things do.

Health freak revolutionaries began inventing things like organic foods and back to nature practices and things like our loved white bread were declared as bad for you. Fiber and bowel movement regularity was pronounced as necessary for a fully lived life. Almost overnight whole grain wheat moved in and took over. Or if white flour could afford it, they became enriched white bread (which we all know is just disguised whole wheat). Life, as we knew it, was over for traditional white bread.

So villanized did white bread become that it became synonymous with a bland and meaningless lifestyle. It denoted clean-cut, middle-of-the-road suburbanite breeders, somewhat reminiscent of the Cleavers from Leave It To Beaver. It became a dreaded white bread culture.

The term became representative of cultural naïvete, blind consumerism, and an unquestioning "follower" mindset. It seems white bread lifestyle traits include board games, Kenny G, SUVs and an irrational fixation on lawn fertilization, two car garages, church on Sunday, GAP clothing, moderate political affiliations, white wine served from boxes, instant coffee, cookie-cutter solutions, trendy advertized scented body washes, and recommended therapies to keep people from freaking out. In fact, people to this day find themselves shunned in social circles for being too white bread.

Having been brought up in an era when white bread was the better of two choices, it would have been nice if this one change hadn't taken place. It was a simpler time, when people didn't have to worry about locking their doors, there were like three channels on the television, the daily newspaper brought all the news you needed to read about, folks actually did math in their heads and didn't carry their phone/camera/computer in their pockets.

Seems like people talked a lot more back then. And got along better with their neighbors.

Life has become a lot more complicated since white bread was deemed a bad thing.



6 comments:

  1. Having been raised by health freaks who thought bread should taste roughly the same as licking gravel, I thought kids who got Wonder bread were spoiled and loved -- and I wanted Wonder bread too. It's a shame the rest of the world decided to agree with my parents instead. You're right, it was the ruination of everything.

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    1. Indeed. It all began with white bread. Hindsight is 20/20...

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  2. For the record, I love instant coffee!

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