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cedric Donating Member (291 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:58 PM
Original message
Bake your own bread and defy consumerism

It was not that long ago that Sunday was a day of rest, of spiritual renewal, a day for families to come together. Now Sunday is the same as any other - a day of shopping, flying and driving. We are consuming, spending and using up vast quantities of fossil fuels. If we are ever going to address climate change, we need to look at our own behaviour. We need a time to reflect on the choices that we as individuals make every single day, and how those choices affect our environment.

On July 27, the first Resurgence Slow Sunday will be held. The idea is that, if many people join in simple, symbolic actions at a local level, we can start to make a difference globally. The inspiration came from Mahatma Gandhi, who encouraged local communities in India to spin their own cloth. The purpose wasn't just the practical act of making cloth - it was also an important act of defiance against oppressive colonialism. Gandhi believed that change was possible, but that you had to "be the change you wish to see in the world".

As Gandhi made spinning a symbol of defiance, we are asking people to bake their own bread as an act of defiance against consumerism.

Why? Because bread is big business. Thirteen manufacturers control the UK bread market, worth more than 3bn a year. Every day they sell nearly 10m loaves, each one having travelled hundreds of miles. Only 4% of bread is baked in small, neighbourhood bakeries, and 86% is mass-produced.

What has happened to real bread? I do not believe that mass-produced bread is the "staff of life" - I believe it is the bitter bread of sorrow, because of the environmental devastation and health consequences it reaps.

Lorries full of factory bread rush up and down the country on our motorways, polluting the air so that they can provide the nation with cheap bread. But we have paid a very high price for this cheap bread in CO2 emissions and climate change.

This mass-produced bread is stale and sterile. It is so devoid of life that manufacturers have to add vitamins and minerals. They use enzyme-based "processing aids" that, by law, don't even have to appear on the label. Yet, with massive advertising campaigns, people have been fooled into believing that this bread is healthy.

One thing is certain: a loaf of bread contains more pollution than nutrition, more profit than nourishment, and more chemicals than taste.

We may face global environmental crises, but we have the power to address them locally. By coming together on July 27 and joining the Resurgence Slow Sunday to bake locally, people will be acting globally. By joining together, we turn the simple act of baking bread into a powerful symbol of defiance against commercialism and a move towards environmentalism.

Satish Kumar is editor of Resurgence magazine. More on Resurgence Slow Sunday at
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. Better yet choose to not buy non-essentials
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 02:02 PM by dmordue
of course I don't want to give up my ipod or tv or any of my books....or stop eating at a restaurant or getting take out.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. this idea has saved me a bundle!
Very recently I bought a small bread machine that makes a 1 lb. loaf of bread. I was paying as much as $4.00 a loaf for bread and got sick of it after the most recent price increase. I was told that $6.00 was right around the corner at the store.

I went to Costco and bought 20 lbs. of organic flour for $15.00. I can likely get at least 50+ loaves of bread out of this or more! How the stores justify charging up to $4.00 a loaf for plain bread these days is beyond me.

This little bread machine can knock out a baked loaf in 2 hrs. flat. I figure the machine has already paid for itself as the increased cost of flour sure doesn't account for the excessive amounts being charged for bread at the stores.

I never thought about it being "good" for the environment necessarily. However, it seems to be a win win situation I'd say (far fewer trips to the store = less gasoline being used) and all of the other factors you mention above make this an even better idea.

Kick & recommend!


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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. I've been baking for about six months now . . .
I refuse to pay $3.85 for store-bought bread, which is what anything decent costs these days, when I can make better myself.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. the loaves I've been getting are great!
I can add raisins, use different types of flours, etc. It takes very little time with the bread machine (it is called a Zojirushi bread machine). I'd recommend it to anyone that doesn't have the time or skill to knead out loaves and bake them.

Cost was about $150.00 for this machine. It paid for itself within 30 days of purchase! :)

I am glad to know you refuse as well! This is what we need, more people refusing to pay these outrageous prices. Where I live, the bakery is about 2 blocks from the store that sells it. I really don't get how they come up with this $4.00 a loaf crap. The same bread is sold nearby where I live and the price is close to $5.00 a loaf already!

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. THE book - "Baking With Julia"
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I used to make my own sourdough
I had gotten a starter going and it lived to be about 7 years old. However, I let it go and it died on me.

I have a book I just got used from on baking breads with a small machine. It has something like 400 recipes in it. I'll have to look for the books you mention.

I've found I've gotten pretty good with the machine thing and I don't really need recipes much anymore. You need 7 basic ingredients:

1. water
2. flour
3. dried milk/buttermilk
4. small amount of sugar/sweetener to activate the yeast
5. salt
6. 1 TBS. butter per loaf
7. 1 tsp. of yeast

and ...


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newfie11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. Nothing smell so good as bread baking
I just wish mine would RISE once in a while
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I bought a bunch of baker's yeast on eBay
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 02:21 PM by CountAllVotes
Fleishmann's nonetheless! Cost was only $3.89 (plus postage) for a lb. of it. I've got enough yeast to last me until 2010!

It seems to be foolproof with the bread machine I mentioned. I've never had a loaf fail on me yet! :)

on edit: my old kitty agrees w/you. She starts meowing like crazy as the bread is almost done baking. The smell is intoxicating! YUM. Guess who gets the first bite? :D

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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
9. Flour. Water. Salt. Yeast. Two hands. Baking sheet. Oven.
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 02:26 PM by kestrel91316
Anyone can bake fabulous bread. No machine need, nor bread pans. My best efforts use a sponge and rise a long time, repeatedly, and are baked on a cookie sheet.

I don't bake bread in air conditioning weather, but otherwise it's a very worthwhile endeavor.

I grind my own whole wheat flour when I remember to go to Whole Paycheck for hard red wheatberries.
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tech3149 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. I've been a dropout from the commercial economy for years
Baking my own bread is just the tip of the iceberg. I only buy staples and grow what I can. I am happy when I smell the results of my efforts. Whether it's baking bread or the smell that you get from trimming or harvesting your plants, it feels good to be connected to the earth and that which sustains you.
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BonnieJW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
11. I baked my own bread for 25 years
while I was raising a family. But I stopped because after the kids left, my husband and I don't need that many calories around anymore.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
12. Bread even a non baker can make, it's easy and fool proof. Honest!
Recipe: No-Knead Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1 hours plus 14 to 20 hours rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1-pound loaf.

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