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August 30, 2008

Not touched by human hands

My sister pointed out something very strange in the supermarket. This seems to happen a lot, supermarkets are just getting stranger and stranger!

She saw loaf of bread with the words:
Not touched by human hands.
As an advertisement, as though that was a good thing. As though the human hand might dirty the bread and make it unfit for consumption. As though mechanical "hands" would do a lot better job of it!

In Ayurveda the process of kneading dough is a beautiful Sadhana, a service which enriches the life the person giving as well as the quality of the food itself, and therefore the person who eats the food. In the book Like Water for Chocolate (which you must read if you love food or books or both) a woman cries into the wedding cake batter and all the guests become miserable when they eat it.

These days extra yeast and sugar minimise the kneading process and rising time, preservatives make it last longer and mould inhibitors stop it going mouldy. Added gluten, canola oil, synthetic vitamins, emulsifiers... and it hardly resembles bread at all. At least not the way bread is made at home, or prior to the industrial revolution.

Let's put some love back into our diet and stop being so clinical about food. Touch it, taste it, love it, we ought not pay for a machine to do everything for us!


Anonymous said...

Excellent post! I've never seen that phrase on a loaf before - will keep my eyes open the next time I go to Coles (which would be tomorrow) :)

Julia said...

Yes, I saw this kind of advertising in India a lot, which I think is a hangover from the caste system. I was very surprised to see it in Australia though!