Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/62

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58
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
THE ART OF BLEACHING AND DYEING AS APPLIED TO FOOD
By Professor E. H. S. BAILEY
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

AT last the time seems to have come when the public will have to choose between those food products which from their beauty of coloring or their superior whiteness appeal to the eye, although they may be of doubtful wholesomeness, and those foods which are in their natural state, and have not been "processed" to make them appear better or more desirable than they really are.

That we are becoming rapidly educated in matters that pertain to pure food there is no doubt, therefore those who are nearest the sources of information and who have the opportunity to study the action of foods upon the system may direct public opinion in the right channels. Thinking people always "want to know," even if they are not always quick to overcome prejudice and do what their judgment indicates is the best.

While we should be the last to attempt to retard the development of taste for the beautiful in coloring as well as in form, it is time to consider seriously what is to be the outcome of "carrying out the color scheme," in the parlance of the society reporter, in the domain of foods whose function is to nourish the human body.

For the past two or three years there has been a protest, in the more progressive journals devoted to hygiene and pure foods, against the bleaching of foods and the addition of color. This coloring has too often been practised to give the food a better appearance, and we regret to say, to simulate an article of better quality. We are now at a point where the people will have an opportunity to show by their support of existing legislation whether they are ready to take advanced ground against bleached and artificially colored foods.

While for hundreds of years bread made from a good quality of wheat was considered good enough, within the past few years a demand has arisen for white bread. If this notion is analyzed it will probably appear that it goes back to the time when a cheaper bread was made from rye flour or from badly milled wheat flour. Perhaps one reason for the dislike for a dark flour was that its use would indicate that the housewife could not afford a higher grade of flour. No doubt the beauty of the white loaf, with its rich brown crust and fine even tex-