The memory of bread – for dVerse

Smell of supermarket bread –
evokes a memory inside
that market research indicate
will make us buy — thirteen point nine
more food we cannot eat.
Half of what we buy is sent away
maybe molding, but often not.
into dumpsters, garbage cans.

Probably much better for our health,
but how can we avert
the empty eyes of children
lacking our memories and bread.

From Wikimedia Commons

From Wikimedia Commons

Today Grace wants us to write poetry of bread at dVerse poetics. My offering is a little bit sketchy.. but bread has to me a great symbolism in terms of food and what we eat. Pub opens at 3 PM EST.

December 16, 2014

45 responses to “The memory of bread – for dVerse

  1. I’ve read recently that over 30% of the food in the US is discarded – an amount exceeding 133 billion pounds (60 billion kilos). Astonishing, with hunger – what is now termed “food insecurity” – rampant everywhere, including here ~

  2. Buy better bread less often (or make it) and don’t waste it. Discouragingly, I’ve heard that the wheat now used has much less protein and that there is no protein-rich wheat even available anymore. I’ve only heard that from one source and haven’t looked into it, but how depressing if true. This person also said that’s why so many more people seem to be gluten-intolerant.


    • Actually protein we want to make bread is to a large extent gluten, and most of that goes to the making of industrial bread. In industrial baking processes with intense mechanical treatment we need lots of gluten. Manual processing require less gluten, and therefore the flour we can buy are usually low on gluten (and probably protein too).. In Sweden we can buy high-gluten flour that require more intense kneading, but also raise differently. Maybe what has been done for this reason is that the sorts we have today have been optimized for higher gluten and less other proteins…

    • The challenge will come up at dVerse later today.. (3PM EST) it is entirely open. I know that Claudia’s, Grace, Abhra and Anthony’s are already up.. I have a draft version on email..
      Our challenge is to write about bread, either as a subject (making or sharing the bread or the lack of bread) or as a metaphor (peace, forgiveness, love, etc).

  3. Here, there’s a lot of bread, all kinds, and just too much ~ I am very aware that there’s a lack of bread and water on the other parts of the world ~ The contrast pains me so I carefully eat all of my bread and food ~ Thanks for reminding us to be grateful for our bread and blessings ~

  4. Wow, a whirlwind of Bread data already; grew up with my mother baking bread weekly, and eating sandwiches as meal of choice; main reason SUBWAY does so well; conditioned responses, like with chocolate; but waste, yes, when so many are hungry; a damned shame.

  5. In my school canteen the administration used to show how much bread had been wasted the day before so as to encourage the students to be more thoughtful when they helped themselves to bread. Sadly it had the reverse effect and bread was wasted even more. So they stopped giving the information…

  6. def a heart tug at the thought of children without bread….and how much we choose to waste as well….so much to the trash when others go hungry….there is def a harsh reality in the middle there somewhere….

  7. heartbreaking honestly… we waste so much food.. ya know, I watched a documentary on hunger and some restaurants would purposely cut open packs of raw chicken to spill over the unsold food they throw out every night so the homeless couldn’t eat it… people, I swear, no hearts some of em….

  8. we def. have more than we can ever eat in our supermarkets – i try not go shopping when i’m hungry cause then i tend to buy too much… we should learn to share our bread with those in need..

  9. This sparked a memory for me–we had (still have) a supermarket bread, white, unhealthy called Wonderbread here. Going to visit my grandma we used to drive through an area where their main bakery spewed forth the smell of freshly baked bread. I still remember that stretch of the Pasadena freeway in the L.A. area–one of the first, if not the first freeways in SoCal.

  10. Oh those statistics on waste are staggering, kids……wow. In some places grocery stores and restaurants team up with organizations to collect unused food and get it to the homeless. Too bad this isnt normal practice everywhere.

  11. This made me ache for those that are hungry. Some local bakeries around here donate their bread at the end of the day to food kitchen to feed the homeless.

  12. What a rich take on the prompt! It digs into the reality of the streets, especially with the last lines –
    “but how can we avert
    the empty eyes of children
    lacking our memories and bread.”

  13. Our daily bread, how and with what it is made, tells truths about our society. I buy my bread from a Community Supported Baker who delivers to neighborhood schools and farmers’ markets. The connectedness to the earth and community returns!

  14. Criminal that our society wastes food when others have none. I remember standing in line with food coupons as a child after WW2 in the early fifties. There was little to go round and NOTHING was wasted. Stale bread was made into breadcrumbs and added to minced meat leftovers.

  15. So much disparity between the have and the have nots. In many cultures, bread is a traditional house warming gift to symbolize a blessing that the house will never know hunger. Bread, I think, is a deeply rooted metaphor for nourishment and I cannot imagine a stronger means of expressing and contrasting the global imbalance between waste and hunger.

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