We evolved with fermentation. Our language and cognitive function, our physiological and social structure, evolved around bread.
Fabienne and Sébastien opened the farm gates a long time ago. In fact, they make a point of visiting other farms, in order to respect different approaches. Their farm, Le Fournil de La Barre, is located in a vibrant territory in France’s Loire-Atlantique region.
Here in their on-farm bakery, between batches of bread, Sébastien and Fabienne share their views on life as farmer-bakers.
We want to preserve our sovereignty and credibility as food artisans. We want our craft
to be suitable for our grandchildren – a creative, meaningful cultural technique.
In food and agricultural systems, there will always be a place for measurement, but in knowledge-intensive terrain of agroecological grain production and artisanal baking there must also be space for reincorporating what we feel.
People are working hard, on the ground, in fields, mill houses, bakeries and kitchens to build better systems, from seed stock all the way through to gut health, creating a regenerating, whole system design on a person-to-person scale.
Like fresh air and clean water, nourishing bread is a basic right. Central to this is understanding is the impact that sourdough can have on our planet, health, and communities. This starts with the soil the grain is grown in and extends right through to the baking and sharing of our bread.
As Trevino highlights, the struggle to transform industrial grain is no small battle. If All Purpose Flour is a symptom of a sociopolitical logic determined to concentrate power and quash difference, then fixing the problem starts with reasserting the distinctive ecological and social fabric of diverse communities.
Most of us eat grains every day – in bread, cereals, biscuits or pasta. In recent years, with gluten intolerance on the rise, wheat has been getting bad press. But how much do you know about this grain that forms such a significant part of our diet, and how has the wheat we eat changed over the centuries?
As we at the Real Bread Campaign always say, not all loaves are created equal. We believe that there are ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet.
While it may sound old-fashioned, home milling could have the potential to redefine one of the world’s oldest processed foods—bread.
Andrew Whitley hopes to see “real bread within walking distance for everybody.”