Why we make our own bread
Nothing can compare to eating a fresh loaf of bread from the oven, but there is a more important reason why we make our own. The pesticides found in store bought bread can have a significant negative impact on the health of you and your family.
Pesticides are typically used to control weeds, insects and disease. They can also be used to dry down the grain prior to harvest, but most pesticide residues found on wheat are due to post harvest use and are applied during storage with the aim of protecting the grains from insects.
A government commissioned report on pesticides in fresh and frozen produce found that 38% of the samples of wheat analysed had levels of pesticides residues that were non-compliant with current acceptable levels. These included Glyphosate, Diazinon and Pirimiphos-methyl. Another similar study found pesticide residues in almost all samples of bread tested including the insecticide malathion.
So why should we be concerned?
Many of the pesticides noted above have been linked to significant negative health effects. It is particularly concerning given that flour and bread are a huge part of the average person's diet.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified glyphosate and the insecticides malathion and diazinon as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A).
The majority of pesticide found on wheat fall under the group know as Organophosphates.
Studies have shown the following adverse health effects related to Organophosphates:
The CDC reports that studies have shown a link between being exposed to these chemical and lymphoma and leukemia.
They have been found to be associated with neurobehavioral alterations, cognitive delays, as well as anxiety and depression in children.
They are known endocrine disruptors.
A 2010 study found that prenatal and early childhood exposure to organophosphates can increase the risks of neurological disorders such as attendance tion-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
Also think about the damaging effects these pesticides will be having on our environment and ecosystems.
What should you do?
If there is one thing that I would strongly recommend to buy organic is flour. Given the continuing growing body of evidence of the adverse health effects of the pesticides used on wheat I would avoid eating conventionally grown wheat products. Especially if you are pregnant or have children.
Due to the high cost of buying organic bread it has pushed me to start making our own. After a many failed attempts bread making has become part of our daily routine. We do not even use a bread maker due to all of the ones on the market using non stick coatings (find out more why we avoid non-stick here). Even with this once you get the swing of it is a really easy process and totally worth it for your families health.
Let me know if you would like me to share with you how we make our everyday bread.