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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 12 January 2013
in Earth Blog

The Bread Industry Made Me Do It!

Label reading at the grocery store has become for many shoppers a good habit. However, when we are in a rush andbread-basket-smann-mfile need to make snap decisions we only have time to look at the front packaging which is why companies slap easy to understand phrases and symbols on their products: “Low Fat!,” “0 Trans Fat,” and “No HFCS.” 

Stores, for example Walmart, have created in-house symbols to direct us to the healthiest products they sell but as we have all heard a million times before packaging phrasing is not always accurate or standardized.

A study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health looked at foods that are “whole grain" because even though we know we should eat whole grains that are nutritionally better for us than say a sweet, delicious vending machine honey bun, “no single standard exists for defining any product as a ‘whole grain.’

Some of the products- breads, bagels, crackers, chips etc.- they examined met the USDA or American Heart Association guidelines for what can be considered healthy whole grain food and others were labeled with a stamp that was developed by the Whole Grain Council. Their stamp has two versions: “the basic stamp” is found on products that contain at least 8 grams of whole grains and “the 100% Stamp” means the product has a minimum of 16 grams and all the grain ingredients are whole grains.

The Whole Grain Council is a non-governmental organization supported with funding from the bread and grain industry or people like Poppin’ Fresh aka the Pillsbury Doughboy and Uncle Ben.

sandwich-diner-mfileThe researchers found that grain products bearing the Whole Grain Stamp were higher in fiber and lower in trans fats but also contained significantly more sugar and calories when compared to products without the stamp. The USDA’s criteria had a “mixed performance” when it came to identifying healthy products but the American Heart Association's standard was the one that suggested the healthiest grain items.

I (or my husband because he’s the better baker) sporadically bake loaves of wheat bread but I do happen to have a store-bought loaf on hand. It’s called “Whole Grain Bread” but it does not bear either one of the council’s stamps. So what does that mean according to this study? It means I could have bought a box Little Debbie snack cakes to use as sandwich bread and then claimed the grain industry’s lack of consistent classification forced me to buy them.

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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