Food Wars

Wheat Bread Dominates Shelves

Sayonara, Wonder Bread! So says America’s growing foodie culture, at least. In July, according to the Nielsen Company, 52-week dollar sales of packaged wheat bread beat out those of white bread in the nation’s supermarkets for the first time ever. This is, no doubt, a big deal. Since the time bread was practically invented, the preferred choice has been white over wheat—until now. Even in 77 A.D., Pliny said that Romans liked mixing Cyprus’ “swarthy” wheat with the “white wheat of Alexandria” to create a lighter loaf. But that’s changed slowly with time. In 1913 came the first major protest to white bread, published in a letter from a Parisian professor decrying its place in humans’ daily diets. Then, by the 1920s, whole-wheat-bread evangelists were spreading the gospel throughout the U.S.—a movement that’s only grown bigger with time. Which is why, these days, wheat bread is king.