White bread which was viewed as a representation of American innovation and development became trash due to its association with a number of discriminative aspects. Times when white bread was viewed as a representation many in the US, it was considered as a healthy food with no social connection or links. However, social reformers introduced social aspects into white bread. Bobrow-Strain reveals a different side of what people think of as a mere puffy loaf. Bobrow-Strain points out the fact that the puffy loaf reveals more about people’s character and their desires within a society. From the point, it is clear that white had already lost its healthy food aspects. The social discriminative elements of race, class, gender and immigration came to distinguish areas of production and manner of consumption. Based on this analysis, it is important to note that a healthy food which acted as a unifying factor to the society became a major divisive and discriminative factor to the society.
White’s shift from mere food element to a social analysis and divisive tool, taught the society that during moments that Americans debate on what people ought to feed on, they wrestle with larger questions beyond food matters. The debates battle heavy questions of racial issues, class problems, dealing with immigration problems in addition to gender issues. The history of bread as reflected by Bobrow-Strain indicates a process which began as champion for good food for the sake of a healthy society. From the bread factory, bread was a food element aimed at improving the livelihood people. At this time, it was accessible to all, from the same factory, price and quality without any social variance. The perception and social understanding of white bread transformed in the initial part of the 20th century when the fast factory-baked a loaf which ushered in a new era world history. This is the point when the element of dirty bakeries managed by the immigrants came in thus introducing the social discriminatory element of immigration into bread production. The other bread was fortified with William; it was a bread or brand considered to be a super food. Its marketing was done by a group that claimed to be more patriotic. On the other hand, food reformers depicted it as a representation of all the problems America was undergoing at the time. At this point bread had totally lost the important aspect of being food to the society turning into social divisive element, due to misinterpretation.
The social discrimination element associated with white bread changed how, who and where people bought white bread. Various bakeries like the ones described as dusty were managed by and only served immigrants who were considered too low in terms of social class. This went further in race factors where certain bakeries were only meant to serve various races within US (Bobrow-Strain 17-18). This created the element of inferiority from a commodity which ones acted like healthy food stuff to all on an equal basis. “I want to know where my bread comes from! I don’t want bread from some nameless basement bakery. I want my bread from a bakery that’s clean as my own kitchen….” Know where your bread is baked and how. Don’t take chance with the bread you buy. You can’t afford to” (Holsum bread advertisement, late 19203). Based on this quote, it is important to take note of the fact that white bread a lot of discrimination on the social front. Various classes of people identified with different bakeries on the basis of class, race as well as gender. In most cases as portrayed by the advertisement, some bakeries were described as dirty with low quality bread based on the gender, class or immigrants who operated such bakeries. The discrimination brought by bread was so open that even advertisement could not hide it.
- Bobrow-Strain, Aaron, White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought, Beacon PressLoafhttp://www.beacon.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=2230