The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

It’s a fairly common expression.  Yet if one thinks about it too much(as I of course do about many topics), some interesting thought trains leave the station.

Bread, both the food and the musical group is fantastic(sorry carb haters and certain music snobs), but I’ll focus for now on the food.  In my imagination I’ve a little fantasy of what may have been the first mad scientist of early mankind.  Picture some outcast, firm in his or her desire to grind wheat into flour(and how even that idea came about), adding eggs, water, milk?  Yeast of all things(the madness)!!!  Letting it rise, kneading, the oven(fire) and later consuming this…thing?  The horror!  But the result was glorious, became accepted, adapted and improved upon(bananna…mmm) and evolved(cakes of all sorts).

Then, one day long ago(for some, still close for others), arose one who thought that tearing appart one’s bread was barbarism, and refused to take the time to find a knife, gague the proportion and cut the desired piece.  “How could it be,” the process began, “that a loaf is upon purchase, precut?”  So began the quest, and has become an enormous process by which the regular person is saved(a vague guess) about 10 to 30 seconds of labour.

I’m over simplifying(not to mention letting the mind add flourishes), but the advancement of bread technology was born of a want for convenience, as are many leaps forward in our daily bread.

Innovations, like all things have both positive and negative aspects, and for every step forward I sometimes wonder how many steps as a whole we lose.  I know I’d be hard pressed to make a loaf from scratch if need be(or to remember important phone numbers if I ever lost my cell phone).

We all stand on the shoulders of those who come before us(to badly paraphrase another saying), but at times it’s good to remember what is, or may be forgotten as life becomes more simply complex, due to the next big thing.


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