Product development: Botanical Blend flour is systems change on multiple levels.
We create change through supporting gut health and equality in food and the environment. Our mission is to reform the bread-making process at every level, from soil to slice. The foundations of baking sourdough are flour, salt, water and fermentation. It’s simple, but there is a fundamental flaw in this principle: the flour. Most commercial flour is based on monoculture, so on a macro level, baking using Botanical Blend flour is a powerful act of delicious defiance against the global industrialisation of our most basic food. It is an absolute rejection of monoculture. It is also, however, a wonderful example to the food industry of what could be done to improve food systems.
Base Blend No. 2: Meadow Blend Flour is the foundation of our Systems Change Programme, and it’s also our signature blend at The Sourdough School. It was the very first Botanical Blend flour to be launched and made available for sale via Hodmedods, who produce it for us. This is our base blend, made with spelt, einkorn, emmer, barley, naked oats, poppy seeds, buckwheat, linseed, dried peas, dried edible meadow flowers, cornflower, mallow flower, rose petals and dried nettles. That means at least 14 different ingredients in every slice of bread you eat that is made with our diversity flour. Rethink flour: this is baking as activism.
Funding social equality from the proceeds of our flour.
There is no magical pill to reverse the damage created by eating a poor diet, which is linked to multiple adverse health conditions and mental health issues. Our graduate GPs and healthcare professionals are very limited in what they can do to combat poor diet when patients present with illnesses related to it. The Baking as Lifestyle Medicine (BALM) dietary interventions had such an amazing impact on participants in our dietary intervention studies that we realised that baking is a revolutionary way to support social change and support both physical and mental health. So, as part of our Systems Change Programme, our healthcare graduates are able to prescribe bread-making as a social prescription. To help support this, all the profits from the sale of Blend No. 2 are converted to vouchers that doctors may prescribe at their discretion for ingredients or kits to accompany the online Baking as Lifestyle Medicine Prescription Membership.
Supporting regenerative, sustainable agriculture.
The current system is complicated, and both farmers and millers are trapped in an industrial system. This flour an is an example of regenerative and cooperative agricultural practices, which can empower bakers and patients to bake as activism.
Flour that supports diversity in the gut microbiome.
Using just one ingredient goes against our core aim at The Sourdough School, which is to bake to nourish the gut microbiome. While there is still much to be discovered about the microbiome, all the research points over and over again to a simple fact: the wider the diversity of your gut microbiome, the more robust your health. This research is irrefutable; eating a diverse range of plants is one of the key factors affecting gut health. Therefore, achieving diversity in our most basic of foods, bread, is central to our research here at The Sourdough School. The Botanical Blend flour is central to the second principle of our BALM Protocol: increasing diversity in your diet. On a micro level, this is about nourishing and delivering the diversity of fibre to optimally nourish your gut microbiome.