Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The 100% Original Blog Post


Cool title, eh? Does this prepare you for something completely original? Well I should say mostly original as I've covered Post Consumer Waste paper in a past issue. Wait, since I'm just including web links of other people's ideas, it should be even less original than that. Okay, so before I dive into this, let's rename this post to The 10% Original Blog Post.

Sorry for my diatribe, but it is worth pointing out how often a name, title or label can deceive you into thinking you are getting something that you aren't. This is the case in printing and cooking. In printing you have terms like FSC, 100% recycled and Post Consumer Waste (PCW). However, this doesn't mean that you're making the most environmentally friendly choice. Breads do this too with labels like multi-grain and whole-grain. There are no guarantees that buying bread with those labels will give you the healthiest option.

FSC (Forest Stewardship Counsel) assures that a customers paper product comes from forests managed to conserve biodiversity and support local communities. However, FSC does not mean that a recycled stock was used. I equate FSC to multi-grain bread. Multi-grain sounds very healthy but that doesn't mean that it is. There is no requirement that says multi-grain bread must contain whole-grain. Click here to review the differences between multi-grain and whole-grain bread.

Recycled paper doesn't mean 100% recycled. It may only be 10% PCW which is common for many recycled coated stocks. With recycled paper, to find the most environmentally friendly option, look for high PCW percentages. PCW is recycled paper that has been recycled after it has already left the mill. Paper companies will tell you something is 100% recycled, (composed of pre-consumer mill waste) but if it hasn't even left the mill and been used at any point by the end user, does this really sound recycled and environmentally friendly? A similar misconception is also found with whole wheat bread. Many whole wheat breads still contain all purpose white flour with gluten. The reason for this is you need the gluten found in white bread flour to make the dough "doughy." (Click here for more information on the chemistry of bread). So in actuality the whole-grain bread you buy may only contain a small percentage of the whole-grains that you want. Also, just because a bread contains wheat flour does not make it a whole-grain bread. I found a blog that offers some useful tips for buying healthy bread that I recommend: http://blog.healthyeats.com/blog/2009/06/15/aisle-by-aisle-buying-healthy-bread/

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