The Deeper Meaning of Bread

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People usually have a specific item that identifies their personality. It may certainly be more than one item. Whatever the case may be, that item(s) represents in part or in whole that certain individual. In the same way, every culture has something that identifies them. The item could be either a tangible or an abstract object so as long as it calls to mind the culture as soon as one sees it or after it is explained to them. For this project however, I have chosen a tangible artifact. The artifact that I have chosen is bread.

Bread has fed man for thousands upon thousands of years. It goes back as far as the Neolithic era (Bread Online). Bread has evolved over the years. Wheat has been around since before recorded history. It is very likely that wheat was usually chewed at first (History of Bread Online). Then it was discovered that it could be crushed. Later it was discovered that when the crushed wheat was set over fire, it hardened and thus flat bread came to be. In Egypt around 1000 B.C. yeast was introduced into bread. The Greeks picked up after the Egyptians then it went to Europe where it became very popular for the Romans. Bread for the Romans was thought to be “more vital than meat” (History of Bread Online). Even a person’s social status could be identified with the type of bread they consumed. Since white flours were more expensive, the darker the bread the lower the social status. This is not the case today however. Now, darker breads are

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more expensive and highly valued for their flavor and their nutrition (History of Bread Online). Bread was also one of the foods that kept the poor from starvation (History of Bread Online). I find this fascinating because it links very well with my project.


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...e to stay with us because everything about bread is life.

The Downtown Chapel in Old Town, Portland becomes this bread for the homeless community there. It provides them with their daily needs both physical and non-physical. Bread, both in its literal and symbolic meaning, is what we humans need to live. Bread is what the homeless lack, but with the help of the Downtown Chapel they acquire that bread and thus the Downtown Chapel becomes for that homeless community their own personal staff of life.

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Works Cited

“Bread". Feb 20 2010 .

"Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Feb 20 2010>. Rayment, W.J.. "History of Bread". Feb 20 2010


The New American Bible. Iowa Falls: World Bible Publishers, Inc. 1987.
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