Despite my youthful reluctance, my mother routinely tried to steer me towards healthy dietary practices. It must've been tough to defeat the twin titans of colorful advertising and sugar-saturated junk food, but my mother fought it valiantly. Irrespective of my decade of protest, my mother held firm and forbade me from eating Cocoa Puffs and Trix unless I purchased them myself. Another piece of food that my mother placed an embargo on was white bread. Much like sugary cereals, I didn't ingest my first piece of Wonder Bread until I was in college.
For the longest time, I thought my mother exaggerated the deleterious effects of white bread, but as American bready buying trends began to reflect her preferences, I took a second look at the bread she loathed. Even though my mother's estimations weren't exactly correct, her opinions of the Wonder Bread brand were a microcosm of the growing shift in the country's perspective on white bread. In truth, the history of Wonder Bread is more complex and ultimately ironic than it would appear on the surface. In the video embedded above, the YouTube channel Weird Food History explains how Wonder Bread went from symbolizing American progress and affluence to being synonymous with poverty.