Foodculture Research paper (Bread)
Breadis one of the staple foods for most people across the globe. Theresearch paper will primarily focus on establishing the history ofbread as well as its traditional importance. In addition, the studywill seek to determine the symbolic significance of bread in variouscultures and how it has been influenced by immigration/globalization.This will entail a comprehensive coverage on how people’s movementsfrom one part of the globe to another caused the spread of breadconsumption, also, how the immigration influenced other cultures.Equally important, the study will also discuss the importance ofbread in different cultures and some of the changes associated withits consumption. Apart from that, the restrictions on the use ofbread in various cultures will also be covered.
Withoutdoubt, bread is a food that is popular and commonly used by diversecommunities across the globe. It is one of the basic foodstuffsconsumed regardless of their race, tribe or cultural origin. Notably,bread is prepared through baking using different proportions of doughof flour, water, and other ingredients. Each and every community orsociety has its own unique traditional recipes which are usually usedas a guide to prepare the different modes of bread in terms of theirsizes, texture, shapes, and color(James, 2005).Therefore, the research paper will concentrate on the historical,traditional and symbolic significance of bread. On top of that, thestudy will also establish the impact or influence of immigration andglobalization as far as spreading its consumption in differentcultures is concerned as well the restrictions on its consumption(Singh,Devi, Naz & Fam, 2016).
Evidently,bread is one of the oldest food well known and prepared by mostcommunities. Its history can be traced back to approximately 30, 000years ago. The first form of bread was developed as a result ofeither a deliberate experimentation of water and grain flour or byaccidental cooking. The earliest bread produced was a combination ofcooked versions of grain paste which was made from roasted andgrounded cereal grains and water. Bread is an integral part of thebalanced diet because of its importance to the health of humanbeings. To begin with, bread is an essential source of carbohydrateswhich is very crucial in proving energy(Singhet al 2016). This ensures that the basic metabolism and properfunctioning of the human body. Also, bread is naturally low in fatthus forming part of a healthy balanced diet. Besides, bread is thethird biggest source of proteins .The proteins are very crucial tothe growth and development of the body. They also help in preparingdamaged tissues. It is also important to note that bread containsiron nutrients which are crucial for the formation of red body cellswhich facilitates the process of transporting oxygen within the bodyresulting in the proper functioning of the brain. Moreover, bakingflour is fortified with calcium which is vital in forming good teethand strong bones. Apart from that, calcium contained in bread plays asubstantial role in the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys,muscles and nerves (Singhet al 2016).
Traditionaluses in cultures
Differentcultures have got various ways in which they use bread.
Acombination of bread and beer was commonly used by the ancientEgyptians for nourishment purposes. Ordinarily, everyone consumedboth beer and bread at every meal. They believed that bread was avital source of nutrients because it provided starch and proteins.
Breadbaking by the Romans began as early as 300BC. However, the firstBakers Guild was formed in 168BC. (Fieldhouse,2013)Also,the Romans used sieves to produce finer flour. They added milk,butter, and eggs to improve the nutritional value of bread. However,the practice was common with the rich people. Usually, the Romansdipped bread in wine and consumed it with grapes, cheese, and olives.The Roman culture started consuming bread simply because it can beeasily digested. Also, their wealth compelled them to introduce moresophisticated meals with little emphasis given to their nutritionalvalue.
Theancient Indians used wheat flour to make a flat bread known aschapati. They never baked their bread, however, the wheat flour wastoasted over a griddle until it becomes freckled gold. The chapatiscould be eaten with vegetables, for instance, Indian curry or lentilsoup. The Indians used them because of their nutritional value andsignificant contribution to a balanced diet. They were considered tobe healthier compared to other flatbreads such as the parathas(Fieldhouse,2013)
Symbolicuses of bread in different cultures.
Almosteach and every culture uses bread for symbolic purposes. Forinstance, in the Ukrainian culture, bread was used as a symbol ofwell-being and prosperity. People considered it to be a gift that wasgiven to them by God (Singhet al 2016). According to their culture, throwing away bread wasprohibited and in case a fell down accidentally, it should be pickedup. More importantly, bread to the Ukrainians was used to childbirthcelebrations, marriage ceremonies, funerals and in some situationswhere people moved to a new home to bring blessings. Whereas, breadis considered to be an integral part of Easter celebration to theItalian culture. It is usually baked and designed in a wreath shapeto represent the crown of thorns that was put on by Jesus Christ atthe time when He was crucified on the cross. Bread in the Italianculture is baked with baked with either white or colored eggs.Further, the three pieces of dough braided together during decorationis a symbol of the three elements of the Holy Trinity.
Restrictionson bread consumption
Despitethe fact that bread is a substantial source of carbohydrates to thehuman body, various studies have been conducted and established itsdiverse effects. That compels the consumers to be keen on monitoringtheir habit as far as bread usage is concerned. According to IndianExpress Limited, a report released by Centre for Science andEnvironment (CSE) indicates that bread, Pizzas, and burns containresiduals of either potassium iodate or potassium bromate which causecancer. The research was conducted based on samples of bread andbakery conducted across Delhi, India (The Indian Express (2016).Also,the whole grains in the bread are normally broken down into a moreredefined powder, this increases their absorption into the human bodythus resulting in increased sugar levels hence the need forrestrictions.
Changesin how bread is used.
Breadconsumption has witnessed a tremendous growth all over the years. Asit has been noted, bread is one of the most common staple foods usedcommunities. However, the consumption of bread has changed over time,the bread used today is totally different from the one used in thepast. For instance, today the grains are neither soaked, sprouted norfermented. In addition to that, the wheat flour is normally breachedand baked with quick rise yeast resulting to a decline in nutrientand subsequent increase in sugar levels (Singhet al 2016).
Impactof immigration/globalization to the consumption of bread
Immigrationhas a long term effect particularly in the United States which isexperiencing a huge influx of people from other countries across theworld. Immigrants to the US brought along foods such as pizza,sandwiches, bagels and bread. Currently, pizza is one of the foodsthat has created a lasting effect on the American culture(Vnuk, 2013).It began with a simple flat piece of bread with salt and oil with theItalian immigrants. Thereafter, tomatoes and onions were addedresulting to the pizza widely consumed in the US. Similarly,globalization has facilitated the movement of people from one countryto another hence making it easier for people to shares and exchangeideas as well as cultures on the various foods they consume.Companies have also been able to easily export and import foods dueto globalization. This has led to an exchange of knowledge on howvarious modes of bread can be baked and designed to increaseconsumption.
Toconclude, bread is widely used by various communities across theglobe. Its consumption began several decades ago. All over the years,its consumption has increased tremendously due to immigration andglobalization. However, the bread consumed today is totally differentfrom the one used in the past resulting to cancer and increase inblood sugar levels. Also, each and every community has got its uniqueway of baking and designing bread. Notably, bread has got also itssymbolic values in different cultures, for instance, the Ukrainianand Indian culture as discussed in the essay (Ennis,2013).
Ennis,L. (2013). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. 2ded. LibraryJournal, 138(5),128.
Fieldhouse,P. (2013). Foodand nutrition: customs and culture.Springer.
James,J. (2005). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink inAmerica. LibraryJournal, 130(3),160.
Singh,G., Devi, K. K., Naz, R., & Fam, K. (2016). An EmpiricalInvestigation into the Cultural Antecedents of Food Consumption:Study of Fijian Consumers. AmityGlobal Business Review, 1115-27.
TheIndian Express (2016) Breads,pavs, buns and pizza bases contain cancer-causing chemicals, sayslatest CSE report. Retrieved July 30, from:http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/breads-buns-pavs-contain-cancer-causing-chemicals-latest-cse-report-2815320/
Vnuk,R. (2013). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. 2nded. Booklist, 109(12),44.