Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Title: insert bread related pun here

Fuelled by organic muesli, Radio 4 musings and the copy of Guardian columnists they came to the Real Bread Campaign stand at the Real Food Festival. Actually, although of foodie persuasion, the crowd was a little more mixed than that.

At the kind invitation of the festival organisers, our mission there was to share with the assembled masses the delights of Real Bread over adulterated imitations. Even though this was very much a home match, the overwhelmingly positive response that we received was heartening.

My interview with Channel 4 news on the campaign in the can, the first morning continued with a steady stream of interest from press and other visitors. Lunchtime saw me sharing a mike with the likes of Henrietta Green, Trevor Gulliver and Simon Majumdar at the Rude Health stand for a short rant on the subjects of our choosing. Unsurprisingly, my “preaching to the converted” (it’s a fair cop, Sarahdotcom, quoted in Word of Mouth) was born of our belief that the use of unlabelled processing aids in factory bread is just plain wrong, whatever the labelling regs say.

Proof, if it were needed, that the festival goers were believers in our aims and the processing aids issue in particular came courtesy of our petition to the big bakers for labelling transparency. A few weeks before the show, the Real Bread Campaign had joined forces with the organisers in penning a letter to the Federation of Bakers. In it, we invited the federation’s members, which collectively account for around 80% of UK bread production, to confirm that they do not use hidden processing aids in the manufacture of their products or to own up and clean up. Sadly, they did neither.

Fast forward to the festival and people were falling over themselves to sign. It was a job for members of our team to get halfway through the story before the pen was flying. Saturday alone saw 200 signatures, with the weekend total approaching 400 names.

Added to this Thomasina Miers and Clodagh McKenna offering recipes to the campaign and Raymond Blanc asking for our services in finding a supplier of breadmaking flour milled from wheat grown in Oxford, my first time out on the Real Bread Campaign roadshow was highly rewarding. I look forward to the next.

Right. I’m off to the kitchen with the bread donated to decorate our stand by Flour Power City, de Gustibus and K & S Bakery to come up with the leftover recipes that Love Food, Hate Waste want for their website.

Chris Young

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