The Sourdough School is a social enterprise that holds a core belief: by altering the way we bake and consume bread, we can significantly impact an individual’s well-being and ultimately enhance their overall life experience.
Baking bread is accessible, time-efficient, and cost-effective. Bread transcends cultures, uniting people across various backgrounds and fostering a sense of purpose. By promoting our bread protocol and disseminating knowledge about healthier bread-making practices, we have the potential to initiate substantial change in the realm of public health.
But it goes beyond just bread. Baking is about fostering connections – with oneself, engaging the senses of touch, breath, smell, taste, and familiarity. It connects us to the environment – the soil, sun, wind, fields, farmers, mills, and our own bread. Furthermore, it links us to our families and communities, creating a cyclical pattern of creation, transformation, nourishment, sharing, and repetition. This is the essence of what we teach.
Our Prescription Courses stand out as a unique social prescription. They not only provide evidence of how our approach positively influences gut and mental health but also offer a world-renowned teaching program that delves into the science behind the research and the transformative power of this knowledge. By implementing our bread-making practices, we can revolutionize the way we approach public health and well-being, ultimately benefiting medical professionals and the communities they serve.
How the prescription program came about.
Over many years Vanessa taught hundreds of people her approach of making and eating bread; time and time again students would report back changes in mood, sleeping patterns, digestion, weight management and mental health. Often when doctors and medical practitioners would attend the School to learn more about the impact of good bread on health, they would ask what evidence could Vanessa provide for tangible changes to health, and ask how they could share this knowledge with their patients.
It became clear that to really share this approach Vanessa needed to create something that had never been done before. She needed to:
- Formalise and prove that it was this approach to baking and eating bread that was transformative to health.
- Formally train doctors in Nutrition and Digestibility of Bread so that they could better understand the impact of bread on health.
- Find an affordable and practical way for doctors and healthcare practitioners to then share this knowledge with their patients
It has taken a decade of work to research, develop and launch a program to achieve this.
The Research Program
Vanessa researched and developed the bread protocol at The Sourdough School, investigating the impact of our bread protocol on the gut microbiome and mental health. This has been done as part of a Doctorate in Nutrition & Digestibility of Bread and expected to be finished this year. The research formalised the baking protocol, and the diethyl intervention studies have provided measurable positive changes in the gut and had positive impact on both physical and mental health of the participants who took part in her research. We teaches the case studies and protocol as core parts of the syllabus on the Diploma.
The Teaching Program
The Sourdough School Diploma in Nutrition and Digestibility of bread is currently being made ready to re accredit with the RCGP certification.
When we changed from in person teaching and brought the program to a e- learning platform from in person we have rebuilt the lectures and teaching to be delivered online.
The Prescription Courses
The Sourdough School Diploma and enable doctors and medical practitioners to apply for licence and prescribe the bread making techniques to there patients. Students who qualify (and are healthcare practitioners) may apply for a Practitioners Prescription, which will mean that you are able to prescribe your patients/clients a ‘3 Month Sourdough Bread Making Course’ as a lifestyle prescription free of charge. This means you can use your knowledge in your everyday work and deliver the benefits of our most nutritious bread to the people that need it most in your practice. A variety of Prescription Courses will be available.