The medical discovery of vitamins in the 1920s ushered in a new era in food consumption patterns. The food industry sought to capture the public’s concern for wholesome diets by marketing their products as rich in vitamins, normally with very little to no scientific evidence. With the Great Depression came new discussions about the relationship between food health and poverty. Providing healthy food for those most in need became a question of poor relief and social equity. Bread became one of the central food commodities in these discussions because bread carried both material and symbolic value as the principle foodstuff of the masses. Yet the highly refined white bread that had become so popular by the 1930s lacked any real nutritional value. While both the United States and Great Britain adopted a policy of enriching flour with synthetic vitamins and using bread as a delivery mechanism to address what many saw as vitamin deficiencies, Canada took a different route.

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