The real bread movement started in the UK in 2015 under the influence of Scottish baker Andrew Whitley. Europeans make a decent loaf but in Britain and America, under the influence of the Chorleywood-process, the commercial offering had become tasteless, fattening and profoundly unsatisfying.
It also became indigestible causing many people bloating and abdominal pain and the emergence of gluten-intolerance.
There were two issues at stake.
Bread has been a very 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, became the source of very trying irritable bowel syndrome, largely an intolerance to gluten.
In particular the added chemical, transglutaminase, has been fingered as one of the ingredients that was causing abdominal pain and increasing prevalence of gluten-intolerance in the general population.
In addition the commercial loaf today is laced with sugar and too much salt in an attempt to improve the taste; coupled with the influence of the highly refined flour used to bake the modern loaf on blood-glucose, many nutritionists started advising people to eat fewer slices every day; or even none.
The modern loaf was deemed to be one of the causes of the sharp increase in obesity, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Twenty-years after eating a diet high in refined carbs, the prevalence of diabetes began to rocket; and continues to do so.
2077 was the year when Americans were told to start eating much less fat and more carbohydrate; that sounds fine in principle but in practice whole grains are very difficult to get so they turned to highly refined baked products.
Another unintended consequence is that fat provides satiety; turning away from butter, eggs and cheese meant that people were constantly hungry and started eating more sugary and refined baked-foods.
"When I break your staff of bread, you shall eat but not be satisfied."
- paraphrased from Lev 26.26
It would seem once again that the common loaf has become profoundly unsatisfying and worse very unhealthy. Into this environment of negativity the real bread movement was born. Small corner shops were encouraged and supported to once again produce a nutritious loaf that would promote well-being and that the general public actually enjoyed.
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 fat.
The problem of course is that food companies are putting a huge amount of energy into promoting food that is made with refined grains and is very high in sugar, fat and salt.
Unrefined grains are very hard to get, and we have become so accustomed to cookies, cakes and the commercial loaf that many people 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 refined carbs and sugar that have destroyed our wellness.
The real bread movement is calling for proper labelling 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.
All 10 bags are sieved, packed and ready. I will deliver as soon as things slow down a bit.
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 food.
The bran is where the fibre and many phytochemicals, for example the lignans are found. The germ contains 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; turning our home into a place that cares for both green issues, the well-being of the planet as well as the blue; wanting to be countered 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 haven't read Bread Matters, his inspirational book, buy it; it's a keeper. Thank you, Andrew.
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