When white bread isn’t really white bread

A Yahoo news item this week caught my eye. Sara Lee Corp. is promoting its new “Soft and Smooth” bread, featuring ConAgra’s “Ultragrain.” The product appears white but is reportedly 30% whole grain. Is white bread making a comeback?


Appealing to children who just can’t get past that brown color and realistic un-spongy texture, Sara Lee and others are hoping to sneak some fiber into our families’ whole grain-poor diets.

As noted in the Yahoo story, “It’s the business of balancing kids’ finicky tastes with the government’s nutritional guidelines that’s attracting people like Tammy Yarmon, director of nutrition services for Omaha Public Schools. Products that pack extra fiber or other nutrients make the balancing act easier as she tries to average out nutritional requirements — guidelines recommend at least three daily servings of whole grain — over a week. ‘The hardest thing is to get a kid to eat something that’s brown or anything that looks like it has seeds in it,’ Yarmon said.”

There’s no data yet on whether or not this new specially-bred, apparently non-GMO whole grain has the same nutritional value as other well-known whole grains, but if it’s as good as promised (and few things rarely are), maybe they’re on to something.


  1. Deborah R. Glazer says:

    I hadn’t heard of this. The reasoning is sound, and seems like it has its “heart in the right place” – but I find it a bit disheartening. Too bad we can’t just teach kids to eat whole grain bread from the start. If there wasn’t any “white” bread, they would never know the difference.
    And I don’t look forward to the day when my child realizes that I have only been feeding him the full-grain, filled with seeds variety – and he has another choice!

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