Politics and process
As it stands, the current food system is having a negative impact on our health and the planet. It is easy to criticise, but not so easy to provide a solution. It’s only when you take a look at each step of a process that you see the full picture. Industrial bread is cheap and addictive, and it starves your microbes of the raw material they need to function. The past decade has also seen the addition of nasty emulsifiers that further damage your gut. Then, of course, there’s the plastic packaging. Not only does such packaging take 1,000 years to biodegrade, but the plastics in the packaging can also interfere with our hormonal system. Ultimately, ultra-processed foods such as industrially produced white bread cause inflammation, which is associated with higher risks of obesity, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, frailty, depression and death.
Systems change is at the heart of everything we do
Systems change can’t happen overnight. First, we need to acknowledge that there is a problem with our current food system. Bread is a staple of almost all British households, with 96% of UK consumers having purchased bread within the past month. However, the majority of bread consumed in the UK is white processed bread. As I explained above, highly processed bread is damaging to our health. It has been shown to cause a blood-sugar spike, which can lead to erratic moods and eating habits, and can eventually contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity. In addition, industrially produced white bread is made with grains that have been heavily processed to make the bread lighter in texture and ensure it lasts longer on supermarket shelves. This processing involves stripping away the bran and the germ of the grain, which unfortunately also removes most of the fibre, vitamins and minerals.
So how does Bake 2, Give 1 help?
The idea behind Bake 2, Give 1 is built into all our recipes and is central to the way in which we bake, because we believe that sharing should be at the core of baking. As well as sharing bread, we have to share knowledge and understanding. This isn’t just about generosity. This is a moment of activism. Sharing bread is a beautiful act of defiance against a food system that is ruining our common health. It is also a wonderful way to connect to each other, and to remind ourselves of what we have in common. This is why sharing bread is a political statement. Sharing is the real meaning of what it is to be a baker.