Grain Wars

grainwars.jpeg The shelf must be graining under the weight of all that wholesome goodness. [Hat tip: Richard]


  1. Eventually there will just be a bag of grain, it’s as whole and natural as you can get.

  2. I was raised on Pepperidge Farm 15 Grain. Unless I go all the way to white bread, I can’t have fewer grains.

    1. I was raised on Pepperidge Farm 15 Grain. Unless I go all the way to white bread, I can’t have fewer grains.

      Mine was a Roman Meal boyhood. Seven-grain seems extravagant to me. White bread is for… well, I don’t know who white bread is for. The birds, maybe? If you don’t like birds?

      Doesn’t taste like donuts. I like donuts. Been eating them all my life. And you, Wonder Bread, are no donut.

      1. I’m not saying white bread tastes exactly like donuts. Their similarities are: stick to the roof of my mouth, are generally fluffy and sweet. I’m talking fresh baked donuts. My office is by a Krispy Kreme and I’ve occasionally succumbed to eating them in the morning if our boss brings them. I have no brain in the morning.

      2. White bread has two uses: soppin’ up Bar-B-Que sauce, or picking up those tiny little shards when a glass gets broken.

  3. Eventually it will just be a bag of grain. It’s as whole and natural as you can get.

  4. This is so last century, didn’t they learn anything from DR DOS 7, you have can’t keep using numbers, because it just gets silly, you have to give it a name with words, like Pepperidge Farm Millenium Edition, pity they missed the chance to have Nature’s Promise Rapture Edition.

  5. The bread I’m using right now is 9 grain. One of its 9 grains is triticale. I’m looking forward to quadrotriticale.

  6. It’s funny how they one up each other, but I love the stuff. The more crap you can throw on there, the better. I can’t taste the quinona from the spelt but it’s a heavy, hearty slice and that’s what I want from a sandwich.

  7. I buy that Arnold brand since it seems to be the only whole & multigrain bread under $2 a loaf. I am cheap. But not so cheap as to eat non-grainy bread. I was raised on whole grain wheat. White bread tastes like donuts to me. Which I also don’t like.

    1. I’m with you on the Arnold thing. Seems like its the most reasonably priced in most any store I go to.

      1. That made me actually check Kroger’s ad to see if it was on sale for any reason. Instead I see Oscar Mayer turkey dogs for BOGO. Sweet!

  8. i stopped buying bread in 2010, and i don’t miss it. not the taste of it, or lack thereof, not that it won’t really be very much satiating, nothing.


  9. I have no brain in the morning.

    Don’t beat yourself up. Stronger souls than we have succumbed to the siren song of the early-morning Krispy Kreme fragrance. They’re not my favorite donuts, but they are well-nigh irresistible.

    For actual enjoyment purposes, however, I’ll take your garden-variety Vietnamese family-owned donut shop. Bonus points for any combination of the following:

    1. Has the word “Palace” in the name.
    2. Has Capcom’s “1943: The Battle of Midway” standing in the corner, or at least “Time Pilot.”
    3. Also serves bubblegum ice cream.

    Wow, could I wander further OT on a multigrain bread thread?

  10. For an extra challenge, see if you can figure out which of these loaves contains no sugar or honey.

    1. The real challenge is finding which one doesn’t have calcium propionate.

      Spoiler Alert: they all do.

  11. The only real drawback with those super-dense grain-blasted slices of bread is they’ve got a hell of a lot calories in ’em. They do make for great sandwiches, tho.

  12. I’d just like to point out that that picture is fantastic! I fully expect to see it go for upwards of $4 mil at auction. And if you don’t agree, well, you’re just a rube who doesn’t understand “fine art”.

  13. Empty calories: now with gluten from 15 different sources!

    The grain lobby: making Americans fat and giving Americans mysterious autoimmune disorders for 50 years. Hooray for hearthealthywholegrains because they’re low in fat!

    1. giving Americans mysterious autoimmune disorders for 50 years.

      I can’t eat these breads exactly for that reason…it triggers auto-immune inflammation. There are much better ways to get fiber and nutrients then blasting your intestines with grain shrapnel allowing all those different types of slow to digest bound up glutens into your bloodstream to play havoc with your immune system. Ironically, white bread or a simple whole wheat is easily broken down into starch and doesn’t cause any issues whatsoever.

      Thinking MORE = BETTER is soooo American.

      The easiest to digest for me is light rye sourdough breads, and they are very healthy for the body.

      1. There is no evidence that gluten causes auto-immune diseases in persons who don’t already have one.

        1. @gravytop – clarification: My doctor explained that I get auto immune flareups from those types of breads because the types of fiber in many of those grains can cause micro-lacerations, and the multiple types of gluten entering the blood directly triggers a strong autoimmune reaction in many people including myself. I don’t know if this was the initial cause of my autoimmune issues. The only other thing that riggers it is soy.

          @robulus – have there been studies that show that bread causes diabetes? I’ve heard of other simpler carbs being linked to contributing factors, but not bread, how much would you have to eat?

          I know that unsweetened whole grain breads are generally preferred by people with diabetes because of the slow release of carbohydrates due to being harder to digest.

          did you know that sourdough rye has almost the same glycemic index as unsweetened multigrain.

          also remember that many of the multi-grains are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or sugar and have a higher glycemic index then even white bread.

          We all have our own taste preferences, what bread you decide to eat isn’t just a health decision hopefully. Personally I prefer the local baked fresh sourdough rye, and slice it myself, I almost never buy presliced factory bread baked days ago. I also prefer grocery store baked french bread or baguettes or bagels to those prepackaged sliced breads.

          1. My doctor explained that I get auto immune flareups from those types of breads because the types of fiber in many of those grains can cause micro-lacerations

            Do you have any other factors, like a connective tissue disorder?

          2. Sounds a bit like both Celiac and diverticulitis. If you’ve got both, seedy bread could be tricky. Some debate on seeds and diverticulitis. Slightly simplified explanation.

            I generally don’t eat bread unless it’s good bread. American bread in general is a cross between real bread and twinkies.
            Will try the no-knead and the aogokbap, thanks for suggestions.

          3. @Snig – I have neither Celiac, Diverticulitis, or any other intestinal disorder (IBS, permeable gut, etc.), at least as far as all my test results show.

            My doctor tried to describe the difference between the fiber in these multi-grain breads and the fiber from other sources like vegetables, legumes, fruits, or some grains like oats/wheat/rye. I don’t remember what he said about that specifically alas. I’ll ask again next time i’m in, but it will be to late to post back here about it.

          4. White bread is high GI. Its highly refined carbs convert to sugars easily and cause an insulin spike, contributing to Type 2 Diabetes.

            Don’t have a source handy but I’m pretty sure about that, however I’ll go quietly if I’m proven wrong…

          5. @Antinous – No, I do not. When I have the autoimmune attacks I am laid up in bed for days, so I have to be careful around multi-grain and soy products. Rye, white, and regular whole wheat are fine and don’t cause any problems what-so-ever.

            @robulus – I know that many diabetics can’t have white bread, which does have a high GI, although not as high as many sweetened multi-grains. Most sweetened or refined breads can cause blood sugar spikes, I agree. I have never heard that normal bread consumption could spike your blood sugar enough to CAUSE diabetes.

            Even looking at how much sugar is in something like a super big gulp makes me ill. :-) High fructose corn syrup is the worst. I agree that too much simple carbs is a contributing factor, I just think that bread is a small, small, part of that equation.

            Since I mainly eat light sourdough rye I get all the benefits of eating one of the lowest GI breads plus it is very easy to digest (unlike the heavy ryes or multi-grains), easy on the intestines, easy on the taste buds, and less fattening (rye vs wheat).

      2. “Ironically, white bread or a simple whole wheat is easily broken down into starch and doesn’t cause any issues whatsoever.”

        Except of course Type 2 Diabetes, like you know, the major health epidemic sweeping the Western world.

  14. All these things still barely taste like bread to me. Why do they need to put so much sugar in them? The 12-grain Pepperidge Farm breads and Arnold breads have plenty of High-Fructose Corn Syrup. They all have 3-4 grams of sugar at least.

    What ever happened to just making bread out of flour, water, salt and yeast? Throw some oats and quinoa in it if you really want, but I’ll bet even without it’s still healthier than those things.

  15. “The shelf must be graining under the weight of all that wholesome goodness. ”


  16. I must have unusual taste buds. When more than one or two grains are eaten, I taste none. I enjoy rye bread, or wheat bread, and find oat bread to be delightful. But multigrain anything is bland mush, flavorless and unpleasant to me.

  17. I’m saddened that nobody here did the obvious yet:


  18. Most of these still contain a lot of sugar and preservatives (I assume not the organic ones for the latter at least) and much better choices can be found at Trader Joe’s that are actually made from what bread is supposed to be made from – flour (whole grain, etc..) , water, salt and yeast..

    1. don’t forget sugar. The yeast needs sugar or else the loaf won’t rise, unless of course you want flat bread.

      1. No it doesn’t. Ever looked at a bread recipe? Yeast eats flour. Sugar completely unnecessary in bread, and is what makes all those fake products above taste so gross compared with actual bread.

  19. This reminds me of the transistor wars of the 1960s. In the mid to late 1950s, when then-new transistors still cost several dollars each, you were lucky to get 4 of them in a radio. The cheap Japanese “Boy’s Radios,” sold as toys to evade import duties, had only 2 (and the performance to match).

    By the late 1950s and early 60s, lots of good pocket AM radios were made with 6 or even 8 transistors. But then the market became more saturated with radios, and massive Japanese production sent transistor prices into the pennies. It became a marketing ploy have a big number on the radio’s front panel. I remember simple AM radios boasting of 10, 12, 15 and 16 transistors.

    Initially manufacturers added more tuned RF, IF, and/or audio stages. But as the horsepower race heated up, things got silly. In some cases the extra transistors were literally doing nothing, just soldered into the circuit board with traces that went nowhere.

  20. I’m gonna have to go against the grain here and mention that the true war is in the tortilla aisle.

  21. I subscribe to Michael Pollan’s advice not to buy any food product that makes health claims.

  22. I put equal parts red river cereal and oatmeal in the food processor and grind to flour for my homemade multigrain bread a little buckwheat flour to up the complete proteins count and your done.

    1. I put equal parts red river cereal and oatmeal…

      You must be Canadian. Not only can you not purchase Red River in the US, nobody here knows what you’re talking aboot and looks at you like you’re nuts when you ask for it. It has to be smuggled over the border and consumed behind closed doors.

      I came up with quinoa, rye, wheat, rice, corn, spelt, buckwheat, millet, triticale, amaranth, oats and barley – that’s twelve…

      Let’s see there’s also kamut, flax, sesame, sunflower seeds, Job’s tears and sorghum. Which would give us eighteen!

    2. I make my own grains at home?

      *looks up* Oh, sorry, this is Boing Boing, not Consumerist…

      For real though, I make my own 100% whole wheat bread at home (in a bread machine). I like King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour — white wheat yields a softer and slightly less dense bread than red wheat. Most of these “Multi-Grain” breads are actually white bread with some other grains mixed in, and actually contain less fiber than 100% whole wheat bread.

      1. I’ll second the King Arthur shout out. We do not use anything other than unbleached, all-purpose for making pizza dough at our house (not so much bread eaters).

  23. When my wife had gestational diabetes, suddenly counting carbs and fiber became extremely important. One thing I discovered is that (n+1) grain bread NEVER has as much fiber per slice as regular whole wheat.

    1. Agreed. My wife accompanied her mother to a course about avoiding diabetes. One of the suggestions was to only buy bread that has dietary fibre greater than 5 gm / 100 gm. Looking at the nutritional information on the backs of the packets, most fancy multigrain breads, although they look very grainy and fibrous, are actually under that magic 5 gm mark.

      The wheatmeal breads that look much more processed than the grainy breads are usually well over 5 gm (some as high as 7 or 8 gm).

  24. I came up with quinoa, rye, wheat, rice, corn, spelt, buckwheat, millet, triticale, amaranth, oats and barley – that’s twelve. But I assume when they say ‘twelve grain’, they don’t mean all of these but mostly several in the wheat family, and small amounts of the minor grains, like oats and barley.

    1. Your list already has three wheat-ish items – wheat, spelt (a type of wheat), and triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye). And you left out the silliest of the lot – Kamut ™ – which is just a silly trade name for red Polish wheat…

  25. I’m originally from England. That country is not exactly Home Of Great Bread, but after living here 20 years I continue to despair at American bread, which is far worse. I pick up a loaf of Walnut and Olive with Parmigiana Bread and weigh it (metaphorically) against a loaf of Garlic and Sunflower Seeds with Quinoa bread. Or I could go to the Nut Store and get Ezekiel 4:9â„¢ bread. Which do I want? It turns out I actually want bread made with flour, yeast, a tiny bit of cane sugar as a starter, and water. Only. You can’t get it.

    And don’t start me on Sourdough. That must have been a joke that somebody took seriously and accidentally perpetuated.

    1. Come to the coasts! We have lots of real bread here. Here in Boston, When Pigs Fly and Izzy’s are both good, proper, crusty brands, and Whole Foods and good sandwich stores make their own.

      Of course, none of it as good as the making your own. May I suggest the no-need recipe, which tasted, the very first time I made it, exactly as good as the most delicious fresh bread from the famous bakery near my house in Rome that I grew up with.

    2. Here now! Don’t diss the sourdough, pal! A nice fresh, crusty loaf is like manna from heaven…

      Perhaps you need to enjoy some properly: with hot cracked crab, or a dozen oysters, a big bowl of homemade clam chowder etc

      and a pint (or two) of Anchor Stream beer of course :)

  26. I saw some bread at the store that was a special bake from an ancient recipe, or so it claimed. It looked like bird feed embedded into bread, what with the ridiculous amount of seeds and unground whole grains it held suspended in its bread-like media. Each loaf was easily the weight of a brick. I think people are losing sight of what bread is and should be.

  27. Buy a kitchen aid and a pizza stone and make your own bread. Kneading by hand is fun too, but not that fun. When you make your own, you don’t have to eat a bunch of crap. You can keep it down to whole wheat flour, yeast, salt and water. Even throw in a little olive oil for flavor.

  28. Having recently moved to the US from Europe, I find bread here incredibly sweet. I’ve tried many different brands, from whole grains to white bread. Pretty much all of it has a ridiculous amount of sugar in it.

    Americans you don’t know what decent bread is, then again many of your foods also have way way too much sugar and salt in them. I think the food industry has recalibrated whole generations of American palates to not notice the over-powering amount of sweetness.

    BTW this isn’t a just me thing – I’ve chatted with lots of ex-Europeans about this. Many of them, including me, have resorted to making our own bread. Also, many of us regularly check the most basic foodstuffs for the amount of sugar and salt they contain.

    As has already been pointed out by others, the No-Kneading bread recipes are a good option for those who regularly want decent bread without too much effort (though it ain’t as simple as popping out to the shop for a loaf).

    I often wonder if the sweetness (and less so the saltiness) of American bread (and American food in general) is a modern development or is it the style of bread that has existed in American going back hundredths of years?

  29. There’s also an “Ancient Grains” bread, by Orowheat, I believe. Fortunately, my daughter has discovered the superior taste of Jewish Rye.

  30. Hmmm… the Hat Tip link to Richard up there goes to an error page that says:

    This content is currently unavailable
    The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.

  31. Two notes: Arnold is also known as Brownberry.

    And, the Brownberry Oatnut bread is extremely tasty. Bits of assorted non-grain items like sunflower seeds, no HFCS (which does not mean it’s not sweet, compared to simple “Italian” breads it is), and a pretty hearty texture. I’m always disappointed by others when I can’t get the Oatnut.

  32. When it comes to bread, it’s allll about the crust. Am i right? Oh, and I agree w/ Antinous — Millet = mealy bleah-ness.

    Really more of Swedish rye cracker type. ..Some thin-sliced sharp cheese, a tomata, and baby, you got a stew goin’.

  33. I LOVe Innkeeper brand grain bread from Costco. Really thick slices, I freeze it and it keeps for a month or more. Hungry now.

  34. I havent bought “slices in a bag” for years. Oversweetened bland and nasty. Since I’m one of those “wheat is murder” paleo types, when I do eat bread it had better be fresh, warm and crusty, contain only one type of grain (white wheat), and be covered with a source of fat like butter, oil or pate.

  35. I like the multigrains, but i buy mine from a small in-town bakery; they have a better density/texture product than the mass market stuff.

    My giant green parrot loves it. He greatly enjoys picking the grains out of the bread matrix. The waste goes into my scraps pile outside for the chipmunks.

    Delicious yuppie bread aside, i largely get my carbs from korean-style whole grain rice mix (ogokbap) which i amend with several additional whole grains and run through the pressure cooker.
    My current mix is probably ~10 grain, whole grain mix, I have about 4 gallons (many pounds) of it in a bucket in the pantry. Not as convenient as bread, but vastly vastly less expensive and with a virtually infinite shelf life, and arguably .002% healthier. Tastes good to me, kids at work like it too..

  36. I would be nice to see the ingredient list – a common trick from manufacturers to convey an image of wholesomeness is to add caramelised sugar into the dough – it makes a brown colour without any wholesome goddess. Other cheats are “yeast extract” which actually is a natural source for MSG (monosodium glutamate) … naughty!

  37. Nature’s Prides’ ingredient list: whole wheat flour, water, sugar, yeast, wheat gluten and cracked wheat. Also 2% or less of: wheat bran honey, cultured wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, soybearn oil, molasses, raisin juice concentrate vinegar, cultured corn solids, yeast extract, soy lecithin, soy flour, and whey.

    Nature’s Pride is not boasting X number of grains on their label. But if we looked on the label of those breads that do, would we see, say, nine separate grains or just ingredients like wheat in different forms? – whole wheat flour, wheat gluten, cracked wheat, and cultured wheat flour. Further, wheat is the seed of a grass, were they counting all seeds as a ‘grain’, like sunflower, flax and sesame?

    This is a bit sly and deceptive, which is why those with food allergies and intolerances must read labels very carefully.

  38. Ironic these multigrains considering the world now survives on 4 types of cereals. wheat corn rice and oats. What are those other 11 which are not being grown by the likes of Cargill and Monsanto.

  39. I don’t eat bread any more, well at least very, very rarely. However even when I did eat it more frequently I could never stomach the kind that came in a plastic bag and was probably mass produced in some warehouse/factory. Find a local bakery people!

  40. The jokes on them. I can’t be alone in being allergic to some of the grains they put on top (Sunflower seeds). If it has grains on top, I just don’t buy it.

  41. I gave up grains and switched to a largely meat-based diet 3 months ago. Thus far I’ve lost 30lbs and can finally do pullups. My stomach hurts less too.

  42. It’s all about Dave’s Killer Bread powerseed. The amount of grains on that shit… Yes.

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