Black Barley is now available in the UK.
The availability of black barley, as facilitated by Hodmedods, is a pivotal moment in British baking – by providing an inexpensive source of polyphenols. Listen to how Hodmedods is revolutionising the accessibility of highly nutritious grains.
In this podcast conversation introduced by Josiah Meldrum, one of the founders of Hodmedods, you learn about the introduction of black barley and the remarkable work of Hodmedods, and their collaboration with Vanessa Kimbell, who uses black barley in her bread when Baking as Lifestyle Medicine at The Sourdough School.
Josiah and Vanessa chat about being part of a community and connecting to farmers, encouraging and educating people on how to bake and use barley flour and grains – they have been key in bringing about a transformative change in the availability and utilisation of black barley in the baking community over many years.
Josiah Meldrum discusses how their mission to promote sustainable agriculture and ensure fair compensation for farmers practising regenerative farming techniques aligns perfectly with the introduction of black barley and Vanessa’s work on creating bread that nourishes the gut microbiome.
Vanessa Kimbell, renowned for her work at The Sourdough School, recognised the potential of black barley and actively collaborated with Hodmedods. In the podcast conversation, she shares her insights on the specific recipes developed to maximise the delivery of polyphenols and specifically here anthocyanins (a sub type polyphenol that give the colours of red, purple, blue or black to certain plants) in everyday diets. The inclusion of black barley and it’s nutritional value in bread making, especially through fermentation processes like sourdough, allows the process to acidify the bread and enhance the breakdown of the grain, and this has been shown in studies on wheat to increase the bioavailability of phenolic compounds.
Connections: farmer, to miller, to baker and beyond
This podcast captures the interaction between Hodmedods and The Sourdough School and the wonderful collaboration and dynamic between Josiah Meldrum and Vanessa Kimbell. Their friendship and combined efforts, with the two businesses and their teams, and the farmers who have worked so hard, have made black barley more accessible to bakers all over the UK, enabling them to participate in a movement for nourishing bread actively. By incorporating black barley into their baking, bakers can actively support the health of their customers, their families and the environment, while championing fairness in the agricultural industry.
The conversation underscores the significant impact of Hodmedods’ work in promoting biodiversity and supporting farmers through their cooperative and social agro-economic movement. Their commitment over the past 20 years has laid the foundation for positive social change in the bread-making community and beyond.
As you listen to Josiah and Vanessa chatting, you can pick up tips, knowledge and ways to use black barley in your baking at home or in a bakery, with ideas on flavour and how to get the best out of this grain and appreciate the transformative role played by Hodmedods in making black barley available. It showcases collaboration as the key to change, promoting a healthier and more sustainable approach to baking while supporting the well-being of their communities.