Today's vocabulary word

Azodicarbonamide. This word came up today first when Giles asked whether the "country potato" bread he was eating really had potatoes in it. So we looked at the ingredient list and in addition to high fructose corn syrup and potato flour, we find azodicarbonamide.

Here's what wikipedia says about it:

Azodicarbonamide, or azobisformamide, is an organic chemical, C2H4O2N4, with structural formula H2N-CO-N=N-CO-NH2. It is a yellow to orange red, odorless, crystalline powder. It is known as E number E927.

It is used in food industry as a food additive, a flour bleaching agent and improving agent.

It is also used in the production of foamed plastics and the manufacture of gaskets. Use of azodicarbonamide as a food additive is banned in Australia.

In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive has identified azodicarbonamide as a respiratory sensitiser (a possible cause of asthma) and determined that products should be labeled with "May cause sensitisation by inhalation."

This provided a wonderful teachable moment (or fatal where our health is concerned). Kids, did you know this bread that tastes so good can also make plastic. Or that it's banned in Australia, or that the British think it causes asthma?

It really did provide a good example of why Stan and I are trying and trying to reform our eating ways. I think the kids saw the light too, as evidenced by the mustard swathed bread bodies that remained on their lunch plates with the insides (organic egg and turkey) eaten up.

I've already noticed that it's getting harder and harder to buy anything at the grocery store. And it takes me hours to make a usual run and that's partly because I can't remember from one day to the next which brands of food have high fiber, low sodium and now, no azodicarbonamide.

We can't buy milk at the grocery anymore. So that's another stop to make to buy hormone free milk (until we give it up altogether). Meat scares me - hormones and antibiotics ... and the way the grow them up in their little feeder stalls. All processed foods contain so much sodium that Stan would be in a constant state of vertigo if we went back to our old ways, just buying the cheapest. Now bread. I have spent probably 30 minutes in the bread aisle before looking for a bread miracle, and looking in vain for any loaf that does not contain high fructose corn syrup.

Why does our bread need high fructose corn syrup in addition to other sweetening chemicals?

This all takes such a complete lifestyle change that my head spins (sorry Stan), but the evidence is piling up. And our health and the health of our extended family members who increasingly suffer from diabetes, headaches, allergies and low energy.

I know. I know. Everything in moderation. I'm not stressing about it (or should I?) but am committing to reformation, and to try harder to make bread.