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Granting that the increase from 1909, when this census was taken, to the present day is at approximately the same percentage as between the years 1899 and 1904 (or a five-year period, which shows an approximate increase of 47 per cent), this would make the annual valuation at present of the product of the bakers of the United States $560,000,000.
Mr. FORDNEY. What was that last figure?
Mr. Burns. According to the census figures of 1909, the Thirteenth Census, the volume of bakery products produced by commercial bakers was figured at $397,000,000. It had increased from 1904 to 1909 from $269,000,000 to $397,000,000. Granting that same increase from 1909 to 1915 would give to-day's approximate estimate at $560,000,000.
I also speak in behalf of 30,000,000 consumers of commercially baked bread, who have no organization to speak for them, and, incidentally, aside from my official capacity, I might have something to say about some 65,000,000 other consumers who perhaps do not eat commercially baked bread.
In the commercial baking business the baker is subjected to rather peculiar and somewhat unique conditions as to competition, in that he occupies only a portion of the field which would be dominated by the consumers of bread. If I were to engage in any other industry or any other mechandising business in this city or others, and sell boots or shoes or hats or clothing, or other commodities, I would have to divide with the other men engaged in that same line of business the entire purchasing capacity of the community served, while in the baking business I only divide a portion of it. If you go back to the elementary basis of trade, A at one time produced all the things that he consumed and B produced the things that he consumed, but A discovered that B could make shoes better than he could, and B discovered that A could make coats better than he could, so A and B began to exchange coats for shoes, and so on down to the present day, until we have come to specialize in all of these various lines of commerce and industry, so that the man who can produce an article to the best advantage to himself and the consumer, produces that particular article.
Apply that to the baking business or to the manufacture and sale of bread. No man in any line, or no set of men in any line have ever been able to displace home production until they reached the point when they could surpass the home producer in some particular, either in a better product or an equivalent product at a lower price, or a su
a perior service. So it is in the production and sale of bread that we will not be able to supply, as commercial bakers, that portion of the consumption of bread that is now in the hands of the housewife until we surpass her in some important particular, either in the particular of giving her a better article or rendering her superior service or relieving her of some of the onerous burdens that are now hers.
Hence we are vitally concerned. I am no philanthropist, and the men interested and associated with me here are not philanthropists. They are engaged in a commercial business. They are vitally interested in the profits of that business. So from no spirit of philanthropy, but absolutely from a commercial desire, they are dead opposed, first, last, and all the time, to any proposition which will in any way deteriorate the value of the product that they offer to the public.
Our only hope of growth as commercial bakers is not only to maintain but to improve the value of the commercial article which we offer to the consumer.
Now, apply that proposition to the question of mixing cornstarch with wheat flour. And I say cornstarch advisedly. I have been here a little over two days and listened to the arguments presented here, and there has been a great deal said about corn flour. Forget corn flour. It has no place in this argument. Corn flour has large elements of food value, and when they talk to you about corn flour they try to keep you away from the idea of cornstarch, because corn flour has a large protein content which cornstarch has not, and corn flour is not a product that can be mixed with wheat flour to advantage.
When you undertake to mix corn flour with wheat flour it is perfectly practical if it is used immediately, but you can not keep it because it will get rancid. It has the germ and fats in it which must be removed if you are going to have an article that will keep. So when they talk about mixing corn products with wheat flour they mean cornstarch; they do not mean corn flour. They mean cornstarch, and not corn flour. Let us never lose sight of that thing for a minute in this discussion.
In this little pamphlet to which my attention has been called, entitled “Fair Play for Corn," on page 54 are printed the results of some experiments made by the Columbus laboratory. There are three experiments or three analyses. The first is designated A, and in the paragraph following it is explained that A refers to a typical average soft winter wheat patent flour such as is produced in what is known as the soft winter wheat district. Then they say that A contains 8.8 per cent of gluten or protein, as it has been very commonly called here. B is a hard winter wheat patent flour such as is produced in the well-recognized hard winter wheat districts, and is shown to contain 11 per cent of gluten or protein. C is the admixture of 80 per cent of B with 11 per cent protein, and 20 per cent of cornstarch, with no protein, reducing the protein value of the mixture from 11 per cent to 8.8 per cent, or a loss in protein value of 20 per cent. In other words, 11 per cent of protein in a barrel of flour will produce practically 22 pounds of protein or gluten; 8.8 per cent in a barrel of flour of approximately 200 pounds will produce something over 17 pounds of gluten or protein. So that in the mixture of 11 per cent hard winter wheat and cornstarch at the ratio of 80 to 20 we have a reduction in the protein content of the mixed product of approximately 4 pounds, or a loss in food value of 20 per cent. Now, what is the effect of that? Flour on to-day's market is about $6.50 a barrel. Cornstarch at $2.40 a hundred, if applied to this mixture in the ratio of 80 and 20, will reduce the barrel cost of the finished product from $6.50 to about $6.25, if you allow any cost, say 10 cents a barrel for the mixture.
In other words, you have reduced the cost of the mixed flour from $6.50 a barrel to $6.25 a barrel, or about 4 per cent, but you have reduced the food value 20 per cent.
Now, we heard a great deal here the other day about food value, or the calorific value of food. The highest chemical authority in
the world says that the average calorific value of vegetable protein is higher than the average calorific value of starch. He gives the average of protein at 5.71, and of starch, 4.19. So, in order to get this supposed increase of calorific value you displace an article that is higher in calorific value than the starch itself.
Mr. Moore. Will you give the name of that authority?
Mr. Burns. Or German. On page 333 of his textbook of physiological chemistry he goes on to describe what a calorie is, which I will not take your time to read, but he then gives the calorific value of a number or different articles. The average value for vegetable protein he gives as 5.71 and the average value for starch 4.19, or a lessened calorific value in starch under protein of about 40 per cent, and when you come to talk about calorific values—well, I am not a chemist, you know, and so I can only appreciate what these professional fellows say from a layman's standpoint. It sounds big. But do you know that sawdust has almost or quite as much calorific value as starch, and so has paper pulp, but you would hardly expect to feed your babies on sawdust or paper pulp, and you would hardly want to feed a grown man on that.
Mr. Sloan. You mean it would not have more calorific value when treated from a digestive standpoint!
Mr. Burns. I do not know that it could be treated in any other way.
Mr. SLOAN. It could be subjected to chemical action, such as fire, cr something of that kind, and it would have calorific value.
Mr. Burns. Well, calorific value is the heat-producing value.
Mr. FORDNEY. If you want to raise a wooden-legged baby you would feed him sawdust. (Laughter.]
Mr. Burns. It was said the other day in this discussion that it would be easy to supply the protein which was lost in this mixture of starch and wheat in other articles. That is very true. It might be easy for some of us. But that was said in connection with the proposition made that the use of cornstarch and flour as a mixture would reduce to the consumer the cost of the bread. Now, if by putting 20 per cent of cornstarch in a barrel of flour the consumer loses 4 pounds of protein, in order to maintain a balanced ration that must be made up elsewhere. It is just a little interesting to see what it would cost to make that up out of the various articles of food to which the consumer would naturally turn to find it. For instance, 25 cents a barrel is saved on her flour, and the consumer loses 4 pounds of protein. She goes down town to buy that 4 pounds of protein, and in beefsteak, at 25 cents a pound, it would cost $5.25; in lamb chops, at 20 cents a pound, $1.50; in pork chops, at 18 cents a pound, $1.30; in eggs (which, I believe, it was stated here yesterday, was the easiest place for her to get it), at 25 cents a dozen, $7.50; in milk, at 8 cents a quart, $3.75; in ham, at 22 cents a pound, $5.25; in fresh fish, at 25 cents a pound, $6.25; and in bacon, at 30 cents a pound, $12.60.
In other words, by the enormous saving of 25 cents in the purchase of a barrel of mixed flour and cornstarch she is compelled to pay all the way from $3.75 to $12.60 to replace the loss of protein in the most common articles of food that she would otherwise buy.
As was well stated by Dr. Wiley here yesterday—and I do not believe it could be controverted from any source or any authoritywheat and wheat flour furnishes the lowest-cost protein of any known article of food that is in consumption ordinarily in the family. You can get more protein value, you can get more food value for the money expended out of wheat flour than you can get out of any other cereal or any other known article of food.
Mr. HELVERING. I beg your pardon. I was not here when you gave your name and do not know just what you are. What is your business?
Mr. Burns. I am a baker at Omaha, Nebr., and I am president of the National Bakers' Association.
Mr. Sloan. You could not get much higher credentials than that. He is from Omaha, Nebr. (Laughter.]
Mr. Burns. I hail from the country where corn is king, too. You know my occupation is baking bread, and at speech making I am a little bit out of my line; you will have to pardon me if I am not at my best in this sort of a job.
There has been some talk here about the relative food values, the effect on the human system of these various foods, particularly something said about the disastrous effects to the human system of a ration carrying too high a proportion of carbohydrates. In the Journal of the American Medical Association issued January 29, 1916, there is an article entitled “The carbohydrate factor in the causation and treatment of hyperacidity and ulcer,” by Williard J. Stone, M. D., of Toledo, Ohio, in which he treats at length of the remarkable growth of this character of stomach diseases due almost entirely to hyperacidity and its kindred causes. In that article he attributes that very largely to the large consumption of carbohydrates in sugar, showing, for instance, that the increase per capita consumption of sugar in this country has been enormous in a period of 40 years. For instance, in 1871, it was 36 pounds per capita. It has steadily increased until in 1912 it is 82.4 pounds per capita.
I think it would be generally accepted by food experts that the thing we are most commonly exposed to, in our selections of foods is an excess of carbohydrates. The thing we are most troubled about is to get a sufficient percentage of protein. You know we are going a whole lot further in taking care of our stock and animals than in taking care of human beings. Our Agricultural Department provides for the American farmer raising stock elaborate instructions with reference to balanced rations for animals, but the poor devil who is unfortunate enough to be a human being is left out entirely.
I want to say that there is no class of men in the United States engaged in manufacture or commerce who are more uniformly jealous of their opportunity to improve and better the product that they are making than the bakers. That is not from any philanthropic standpoint either. They know and feel that the only opportunity for them to enlarge their business (which can only be done by persuading the housewife not to bake but instead to buy commercially baked bread), is to give to the housewife a better and
improved product; and I know of no food article on the American continent to-day that has as little adulteration in it as wheat bread.
To return to this article of Dr. Stone's. I will not undertake to read it. It is long and is couched, a great deal of it, in technical terms. But the article can be read by any of you gentlemen, and I have given you the citation. His entire problem there is the problem of treating diseases produced by an excess of carbohydrate diet.
In this connection, there were some other things that I desire to call your attention to from a commercial baker's standpoint. There are some other things in this proposition that are a little peculiar. For instance, at the hearing before the subcommittee on mixed flour of the Ways and Means Committee in 1915, February 18, there was submitted by Mr. Thomas E. Lannen a statement by Mr. William Jago, of England. Prof. Jago is, I believe, conceded to be the highest authority on baking technology in the world. He evidently conducted a set of experiments. These experiments were conducted with three classes of flour. The first he describes, his No. 1, as Canadian patent flour of good strength, containing 16.1 per cent gluten; the second, as a London milled household of fair strength, containing 11.85 per cent gluten; the third, a cheap, low grade of flour of fair strength, containing 12.2 per cent of gluten. He evidently has just treated his experiment from the point of view of the effect on the admixture of corn flour on the mechanical art of making bread, and has given results in this experiment as to volume only.
The first experiment was made with No. 1, which is Canadian patent wheat alone. The second mixes 5 per cent of cornstarch, the the third 10 per cent, the fourth 15 per cent, and the fifth 20 per cent. He goes on to tell about the characteristics of the dough as he increased the cornstarch, and says as he increased the cornstarch it becomes more difficult to handle, the primary characteristic being that it is sticky, but when he comes to an analysis of the bread baked from Che shows that with 15 per cent cornstarch mixed, the volume of the loaf has shrunk 11 per cent; with 20 per cent cornstarch mixed, the volume of the loaf has shrunk 17 per cent. The best that you could do if you have added 20 per cent of cornstarch is to get a reduction in cost of 4 per cent. If we were to mix 20 per cent of cornstarch we would get a reduction in loaf volume of 17 per cent.
Assuming that 60 per cent of the dough that went into that loaf was flour, we would have to use, to maintain the same loaf volume, 9 per cent more mixed flour than we would of the unmixed. We would save, as a commercial proposition, 4 per cent of the cost by using mixed flour, but we would have to use 9 per cent more of it to get the same size loaf of bread.
Mr. GREEN. The baker would hardly use it, then?
Mr. Burns. He certainly would not. And I make bold to say that there is not a baker on the American Continent, of any size or magnitude, that uses a pound of cornstarch, or would use or could be prevailed upon to use a pound if they sold it to him at $2 a barrel less, because he knows what it will do. The only fellow that will buy it is the poor devil that doesn't know what it will do.
Prof. Jago goes on to say, as to the character and quality of the bread, judged by ordinary standards, “Starch up to 10 per cent makes very little difference”-speaking of the volume now-“ 15 per