Most of our kids like a bread roll to munch on at school. The trouble is, it’s slightly easier to find discarded money in the average supermarket than it is to find bread or bread rolls made without ‘Vegetable Oils’. It’s perfectly possible to make bread using Olive Oil or even (gasp – don’t even think it) animal fat. But nobody does.
When you decide you no longer wish to consume ‘Vegetable Oils’, bread presents a bit of a problem. Almost all breads sold in Australian supermarkets are made with canola oil, sunflower oil or soybean oil (or sometimes all three). And that even includes the ones in the Fresh Bakery bit of most of them.
So the cheap options are out straight away. But even before you reconcile yourself to going top shelf at the bakery you won’t find an abundance of options. Sure, you can get the fancy European bread range at Baker’s Delight (which doesn’t use any kind of fat). But if you’re buying for 6 kids, that gets really expensive, really fast. If you want ordinary old white bread there, at Brumby’s or at most bakeries, you’ll find ‘Vegetable Oils’ are the fat du jour.
As a result we had reconciled ourselves to buying outrageously expensive bread (we make our loaf bread at home) for the foreseeable future, until one day we had a bright idea. Why not just ask the local bakery if they could do a batch of bread rolls and use olive oil instead. To our complete and utter amazement, the Brumby’s we asked agreed to do it as long as we gave them a day’s notice and ordered at least 30. Figuring 30 was about a week’s worth and they probably freeze well, we immediately ordered a batch.
They were manna from heaven. Normal hamburger rolls that tasted exactly the way they should but without toxic oils. They froze perfectly and, if anything were better after being thawed than before. Our problems were solved – until we went to pick up our next batch. Brumby’s had decided in the interim that it was too much hassle to do a separate batch and point blank refused to do it again. Bugger.
Plan B was to approach Baker’s Delight and they were delightful indeed. Not only are they happy to do it, they’ll do it in whatever quantity we want as long as we give a day’s notice. Now we pick up our 30 hamburger rolls every Sunday and not a single canola flower was harmed in their manufacture. They cost exactly the same as the bog standard toxic variety but ours come with olive oil instead.
Now you might think I’m getting my undies in a twist over nothing. The average bread contains something less than 1g of omega-6 fat per 100g if it’s made with canola oil. But omega-6 fat consumption is an insidious thing and the effect is cumulative. It’s in everything and frankly there are some times when you can’t avoid it. So my theory is that if you can avoid it, even in the smallest way, they you should definitely take that option.
If you agree, then all you need to do is ask, you might be surprised at the answer.
All this does of course cause me to wonder why Bakers don’t just use Olive Oil all the time. Not even the most rabid supporter of vegetable oil, the National Heart Foundation has any problem with us consuming the old olive juice, so it can’t be for health reasons (not that I’ve ever seen a bakery make a health claim about the oil it uses anyway). So that just leaves cost.
According to my local catering supply shop, I can get a 20 Litre tin of Canola oil for $45.95, but that much dosh will only buy be 4 Litres of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming that’s what they’ll be using).
I can see that an ingredient costing 5 times as much might give pause for thought, but only if it were being used in significant quantities. A loaf of bread weighing 700 grams will contain about 15 grams (16 mls) of fat. If that fat is canola oil it will cost 4c. If it’s Olive Oil, it will cost 20c. Yes it’s more, but in the almost $4 price of a loaf of bread at the local bakery, it really is irrelevant. And if it is likely to break the bank, then, what the heck, add 16c to the price of the loaf for me.
Are we really being sold bread full of vegetable oil for the sake of 16c a loaf in oil? And the trade off for that is bread that (in combination with the rest of the processed food we eat) significantly increases our risk of cancer, macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis and life-threatening allergies. Come on bakeries of Australia, surely that’s not worth the 16c. Put the Olive Oil back in our bread.
Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net