Blog: salt - the devil's in the detail

30 August, 2013

Stop demonising our products. It’s so easy to openly criticise and demonise when you have no involvement – but when you are involved – that’s a different story.

I recently saw an article that made my blood boil on the subject of salt. It said: “In fact, there is salt in most baked or readily prepared goods. But in the UK, for instance, its existence in food is always. [sic]”

Newsflash: salt in UK baked bread has been reduced by over 40% since the mid-1980s and the UK has one of the lowest levels of salt in bread in the world.

The health mafia will have our bread tasting like Italian white rolls: totally tasteless – but hey – they’ll be healthy. It’s no wonder the Italians dip their bread into olive oil, and then sprinkle salt on top of it, to make it taste of something.

Or, let’s put it another way – what about the filling on the bread that turns it into a sandwich?

There has got to be some heart stoppers there that are worth a mention. How about the Sunday morning special, ‘The Bacon Butty’? Just two (yes a measly two) rashers of bacon contribute to more than half (six grams) of the daily recommended intake of salt, and some bacons contain more than three times the salt levels needed.

Even the lower-salt versions have a higher concentration of salt than the Atlantic Ocean. And, what about sausage on top of the bacon?

Sausages are an every Sunday treat in our house, even more so during the summer on the barbecue. Last year we, as a nation, ate just short of 190 tons of sausages, which equates to approx. £660m of revenue in the British economy. Yet again just two sausages equate to over half the daily recommended intake.

And, what about pizzas? Well according to a 2012 survey from Consensus Action on Salt and Health, as many as two in three pizzas are high in saturated fats. And takeaway pizzas contain between two and three times the levels of salt than their similar supermarket versions.

Yet whenever you hear about salt, and how bad it is for you, it’s always in bread.

We bakers, as a general trend, actually do recognise the changing salt level trends and, by default, will adjust to our customers’ needs. However, when we are singled out, again, and lambasted in the national press about unhealthy products without a “by your leave” on any other product group, we tend to get somewhat ruffled. Back off bread!





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