Bread is ‘overlooked and not seen as cool’, warns baker

Ben making bread at the E5 Bakery. Photo Mónica R. Goya

Ben making bread at the E5 Bakery. Photo Mónica R. Goya - Credit: Archant

The nation’s bread industry is in toil and set to decline if consumers do not change their perspective was the message at a conference designed to get people thinking about its importance.

E5 Bakehouse in London Fields held the Farm to Loaf conference to allow speakers from across the bread industry to share their ideas on the problems they face and to promote what makes a good loaf of bread.

“We need to establish organic methods of food production so that our children do not starve” warned John Clohsey, crop production lecturer at BMC for 30 years.

“As it stands, bread is lacking in nutritional content and farming methods are destroying the soils organic content.

“When the soil organic matter depletes, civilisation will die”.

Ben Mackinnon, owner of E5 Bakehouse organised the conference to get people thinking about the importance of bread.

He thinks bread is often overlooked and given a ‘bad press’ because the industry is not seen as ‘cool’.

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“Bakers need to do their part and find the solution to good bread, and market it to consumers,” he said.

“We need to combat supermarkets encouraging consumers to buy cheaply, and fancy bakeries luring consumers into buying ‘sexy loafs, that are aesthetically pleasing with their big holes and have thick crusts.

“The industry of bread is ageing. I am trying to engage young people, and different members of the community who need help to learn the trades of baking, whilst making bread fun. Baking is an engaging science that can change the world.”

E5 is trying to latch into the global ‘new food’ movement, where consumers react to the big organisations that exploit food production systems.

“The idea of a food chain embodies bondage. We need to lose this notion and promote the idea of a sustainable food web,” said Andrew Whitley, founder of the Bread Matters Campaign.

“Each person within the production of food is important.”

The Bakehouse was decorated in the style of a farm for the day, with haystacks used as seats, and the warm comforting smell of bread from the bakery next door.

“Bread has been an important part of British culture for the past 200 years, providing us with ample jobs and food” added Jojo Tulloh, former food editor of The Week.