The real bread movement started in the UK in 2015 under the influence of the Scottish baker, Andrew Whitley. Europeans make a decent loaf but in Britain and America since the invention of the Chorleywood-process, the commercial offering has become tasteless, fattening and profoundly unsatisfying.
It also has become indigestible causing many people bloating and abdominal pain; and the emergence of gluten-intolerance from a condition that was once rare but is now common.
There are two issues at stake.
Bread has occupied a central part of our culture for thousands of years yet has latterly for good reasons fallen into bad repute. The staff of life, post-Chorleywood has become the source of very trying irritable bowels; and it's made us fat.
In particular it is the addition of transglutaminase that is the spoke in the wheel. It's a chemical that has been fingered as one of the ingredients that is causing abdominal pain; and an increasing prevalence of wheat-intolerance in the general population.
In addition commercial bread is laced with sugar and too much salt in an attempt to compensate for the loss taste after the extraction of the best parts. Coupled with the influence of the highly-refined flour on blood glucose, many nutritionists have started advising people to eat fewer slices every day; or even none.
The modern loaf is deemed to be one of the causes of the sharp increase in obesity, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Twenty-years after Americans began eating a diet high in refined carbs, the prevalence of diabetes began to rocket; and continues to do so.
1977 was the year when Americans were told to start eating much less fat and more carbohydrate; that sounded perfectly good in principle but in practice whole grains were and still are very difficult to get. So they turned instead to enjoying highly-refined baked products.
In a hallmark study in South Africa, eminent Dr George Campbell proposed his twenty year diabetes rule; he has been ignored but his theory has been profoundly vindicated.
Another unintended consequence is that fat provides satiety; turning away from butter, eggs and cheese means that people are constantly hungry and have started eating more sugary and refined baked-foods like bagels.
The real bread movement cuts right across all this baloney using whole grains and is not afraid of added fat.
The common loaf has become profoundly unsatisfying and worse very unhealthy. Into this environment of negativity the real bread movement was born. Small corner-shop bakers were encouraged and supported to once again produce nutritious, tasty slices that would promote wellbeing and that the general public actually enjoyed.
Personally I would like to see each baker having its own stone mill so that the flour like ours is really fresh.
If you read the literature you will find repeatedly that scientists are encouraging us to return to whole-grains, more fruit and vegetables; and less sugar, salt and animal fat. In fact they have found that type 2 diabetes can be completely brought into remission without the use of medication by these simple changes.
The problem of course is that the industry is putting a huge amount of energy into promoting food that is made using refined grains; that's where the profit is. It then becomes tasteless so they add large amounts of sugar, fat and salt; a triple whammy of poor health.
Unrefined grains are very hard to get; we have become hooked on cookies, cakes and the commercial loaf. Many people have become so accustomed to the industrial diet that they turn up their noses at what the real bread movement is trying to promote; nutritious, tasty slices that will not make us sick.
Educating the public is a fundamental part of the real bread movement; a great deal of energy has to come from the medical profession, departments of health and the media to unhook the public from the sugar and refined carbs that are robbing us of our wellbeing.
The real bread movement is calling for proper labeling of commercial loaves; bakers are reluctant to divulge what they are putting into our food and we have little idea what we are eating.
Bringing together the farmers who grow the wheat, the millers who grind it and the bakers who make our daily bread is an essential part of the movement.
That is the message that gladdens the heart of every home-baker. Half a ton of wheat will satisfy not only our own personal needs for unrefined flour but the growing number of people who are making their own artisan bread at Reko Hilton.
First the grain must be frozen to kill the weevils and then stored in air-tight buckets where it will be safe for a whole year from rodents and moisture. Storing wheat berries is quite a chore but foundational for those wanting to participate in the real bread movement.
And then to produce home bake bread flour one must have a grinder; or access to a local miller who does not separate the three streams that constitute a whole-grain.
The bran is where the fibre and many phytochemicals, for example the lignans are found; and some of the amino acids. The germ contains the rest of the protein, nutritious oils and the all-important vitamin E. The endosperm is the starch that in the context of 100pc wholemeal will supply energy to your body but not spike your blood glucose.
The real bread movement has been for us just one part of what we are calling a Cyan Zone. That means turning our home into a place that cares for both green issues, the wellbeing of the planet as well as the blue. We want to be counted amongst those who have a ten-times greater chance of reaching old age with all our marbles and joints intact.
A massive thanks must go to Andrew Whitley; his tireless determination to bring real bread back to the masses has been profoundly important for our own personal well-being but I think it true to say literally millions of others too.
If you have not read his inpirational book "Bread Matters," buy it; it's a keeper.
Thank you Andrew, you are a star in the firmament.
The real bread movement started in the United Kingdom. The influence of Scottish baker Andrew Whitley has been simply vast; his book is a gem.
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