The Real Bread Campaign aims to increase the enjoyment, production and consumption of bread made with natural ingredients, appropriate fermentation and no adulterants. We think good bread should play a larger part in the physical, mental and social wellbeing of the nation. And we want to see grain and bread production at the heart of a sustainable ecological food system.
Why is it needed?
In the UK, we eat less bread and more fats and sugars than we used to. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are rife. Yet there’s a consensus that cereals, especially whole grains, should be a major part of our diet. They may be all fluffed up, but factory loaves are letting us down: more and more people find them unappealing or just plain indigestible.
British bread is dominated by a few large industrial bakers who are notably reluctant to tell us what they put in their loaves. Small-scale neighbourhood bakers who use time and skill not additives are beginning to re-emerge and they need our support to restore bread to its rightful place as a key part of a balanced diet, made right in the heart of our neighbourhoods.
What does it do?
We campaign for proper labelling so at least we know what we’re eating. We want all the additives – declared and hidden – out of bread. We are helping to organise scientific research into why fast-made bread leaves so many people bloated. We work with other organisations to make real bread available in schools, hospitals and other public institutions. Our Lessons in Loaf initiative teams real bakers up with schools so that children get hands-on experience of making proper bread. And we work to bring farmers, millers, bakers, retailers and the rest of us closer to create more sustainable grain chains.
Andrew Whitley is the co-founder of the Real Bread Campaign. He started it because so many people, having heard his analysis of the state of British bread in places such as his DO lecture, said ‘let’s do something to make it better’. So, with the help of the tireless campaigners for better food at Sustain, he made it happen. However, he doesn’t take any responsibility for this (though he wishes he had):