One Cancer Sandwich Coming Up



“Maybe we should switch to home-baked bread again,” I say.

“NO,” cried the husband and Sid in unison. I look up from the article on bromated flour bread surprised that some super-enthusiastic football fans had managed to take their eyes off for a punishing second and a half from the intense football game just to voice their opinion on a task that I have chosen to undertake.

“Why bother? We could easily buy a fresh loaf whenever you wish from the supermarket without you having to sweat it out in the kitchen,” said the husband covering up for his obvious worry that we might have home-baked bread for breakfast and maybe dinner too.

“Yes, right, why bother,” agreed Sid as they each eyed one other and then at me.

“But did you not read about bromated flour being used in bread?” I question not bothering to hide my rising irritation on their apprehensions on my baking.

“Don’t you worry, we are safe. Did you not read about the Municipality carrying out surprise inspections in bakeries forcing all bakeries to comply with the ban?” he questions.

“It does not hurt to be careful. Also, I could add oats, barley, wheat and millet to make it nutritious too!” I effervesce, gushing at the possibility of cooking up a healthy alternative. I look up just in time to see Sid cringe in repugnance.

“’Ma, maybe we should just stick to idlys, dosas (lentil and rice cakes and pancakes respectively) and as it is your pav bhajis and sausage rolls are simply amazing,” says Sid mustering all his charm.

“Is the bread I bake THAT bad?” I question fully intending to face their ideas on my baking abilities.

“Well, let’s face it. The last time you tried, the entire home reeked of yeast for three days, not to mention that we had to use a butcher’s knife to cut the loaf into slices,” he says trying to stifle a smile.

“Well I told you, I had the baking temperature wrong,” I explain defensively.

“The time before last the bread had turned out perfect but I remember you had served it  for breakfast and dinner, after which Sid had to miss two days of school due to an upset tummy?” he laughs and Sid is quick to join in.

“That was not my bread that did it, it could have been anything,” I blurt weakly.

I have the sudden urge to start baking a fresh loaf of bread and may be a batch of muffins just to challenge their thoughts on my ‘failing’ baking abilities.  I should refer to the Friday Magazine for Silvia Rowe’s baking tips and then go bake up a storm.

I am up from the recliner, on my way to the kitchen, my mind made up.

Sid is quick to come after me and give me a quick hug. Little Princess follows suit.

“You must sit down and catch up on your reading, allow us to take care of dinner,” says the husband behind me as I eye them suspiciously.

“We could always get Shawarma, Hummus, Kuboos and even your favorite salad – Funtoosh,” he says as my resolve weakens at the thought of crispy Arabic sandwiches and all its accompaniments.

“YES!!!” says Sid

“But….” I begin a little too late as they are already glued to the idiot box.

“Goal!!” screams the husband as Sid and Little Princess  jump up applauding followed by a little jig.

I sigh and take my place back in the recliner. Baking can take a raincheck, I decide, picking up my article on Cancer Sandwiches.

Priyanshi Lal from the Speaking Tree explains in her blog at

If you think you are taking all the precautions to avoid deadly diseases like Cancer, think again. However, do you know the bread you consume can increase the risk of cancer?

The daily bread we use contains cancer-causing chemicals, including Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate. CSE’s new study tested some of the bread sold in Delhi and found residues of Potassium Bromate and Iodate in commonly consumed varieties. As per reports, more than 84 per cent of bread and bakery across Delhi contain residues of these chemicals.

While one side people are horrified after this news broke, the other side people have started to look for alternatives. Not just bread, even your coffee, aloe vera, mobile phone radiation and products like your eye-liner contain these harmful chemicals. The content of Potassium bromate even in these products is at hazardous level.

Today most of us begin our day with bread (because it’s convenient, mostly), so to be told that our breakfast might just be causing cancer inside… sounds like a breach of trust. It’s petrifying news! Yes, now we must look out for some alternatives.

The butter flavoured popcorn that we love to munch on could contain diacetyl, an extremely harmful chemical flavouring agent, present in most bagged popcorns (yes it is not butter which gives you that delicious flavour but chemical). It can cause Alzheimer’s, damage the lungs and increase the risk of tumours.

It’s really disheartening to see that most of the product we munch with excitement contains harmful chemicals.”

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