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In Context #11 (Spring, 2004, pp. 15-18); copyright 2004 by The Nature Institute

From Wonder Bread to GM Lettuce
Craig Holdrege

This article is, in part, based on a talk given at the Organic Trade Association's 2003 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas.


When I was a young boy we used to drive on the highway to Denver and I remember the lovely scent of baking bread wafting into the car. After a number of trips I discovered the source: a large Wonder Bread factory. I didn't really connect this sensual experience with my daily consumption of Wonder Bread. I consumed Wonder Bread in two ways. One was as the covering for my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The other was in advertisements: "Wonder Bread Helps Build Strong Bodies in 12 Ways!" I didn't know what this meant, but I sure loved squishing two or three slices into a little ball and popping it into my mouth. Only later did I learn that Wonder Bread had everything nutritious in wheat flour processed out of it, only to receive the wondrous 12-fold enrichment conceived by nutrition scientists and industry marketeers.


This Wonder Bread ad is from the 1950s. Only in the 1960s were four new ingre