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The meaning of toast

I love toast as much as the next breakfast eater but I don't have deep thoughts about it.

However, an academic named Arthur Asa Berger sees toast as a "miniature stage on which the homogenization and industrialization of the United States is played." He sees the toaster as a sign of the end days for American bread and even diversity.

"Since toasters only accept sliced bread, they perpetuate the downfall of bread 'touched by human hands'—the irregular, traditional loaves of different ethnic traditions."

How is this connected to industrialization? Bread you can just eat, toast requires a machine.

He also asks the question that I too wonder about: is toast bread or Something Else? His answer: "an entirely new product that somehow changes the status of its forbearer [sic]. If the change is upward, and upward mobility confers status, then perhaps toast can confer new status.”

Next: The meaning of cheese.
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