Naturally Leavened Bread as a Harbinger of Activism

When naturally leavened bread bakes off as impressively as it did in my first attempt, it’s hard to imagine serving anything but home-baked bread.  The substance, texture and taste are far beyond anything I can buy, easily equaling the product of great bakeries. There must be time in my week to bake.

My first post was an adventure in the scientific mystery of starter and leaven, an absolute joy to watch and participate in.  Little by little, I can now muster the courage to experiment with the white-wheat percentage mix of my flour blend, and of the flour I use to bake the loaves.


                                             Laud the emptiness of holes

                                             A network of shocked gluten having its way                 

                                             Rawhide and custard, crust and crumb

                                             An olfactory delirium of rosemary


The quality and source of wheat flour is of equal importance to the choice about mix.  The subject will be gathering strength in the near future as we come to terms with genetically modified organisms (GMO) in all our basic foodstuffs, and whether we’re willing to accept it.

The issue of GMO labeling is on the ballot this fall in Oregon and in Colorado.  The issue was narrowly defeated in 2012 in California largely by the influence of pesticide corporations.  Michael Pollan:  “More than 50 million acres of American farmland [has] already been planted in genetically modified crops, most of it corn, soybeans, cotton and potatoes that have been engineered either to produce their own pesticide or to withstand herbicides.”

The significance of this subject cannot be overstated.  Our collective decisions about the American food system are either passive, in which case we subjugate ourselves to corporate feeding, or activist which simply means we decide what we’ll eat.

I luxuriate in the simple elegance of great food.  Each of us can feel the same satisfaction through our choices.



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