Sunday, October 16, 2011

Slow Food: A Baker In The Family

One of the great rewards of baking for yourself is knowing exactly what ingredients are in your food; you can choose organic, unbleached, whole-grain, and locally-grown flours. You can compensate for special dietary needs, like our household's need to be completely peanut- and nut-free. You can get adventurous and experiment with loaves usually not found at your local bakery.

rustic whole grain sourdough loaf
garlic and French onion ciabatta
whole wheat cheese and mustard loaf
green tea sweet buns

If you're as lucky as I am, you have a partner who does it for you, just for fun, every weekend, and the only drawback is the occasional need to clean sourdough snot starter out of the sink. My husband finds it relaxing and is becoming fairly accomplished as a baker, as you can see from the photos above of his work. He's particularly proud of his green tea sweet buns, which were inspired by the ones we ate on our trip to Japan and adapted from a regular bread roll recipe, and the pretzels, which took him forever to perfect. His beer pretzel recipe was posted on his blog a while back.
Today is Blog Action Day 2011, and the topic is food - not slow food, but hunger and famine. I'm not going to write extensively about it; I just wanted to express gratitude for how extraordinarily fortunate we are as North Americans when it comes to our food security. We are blessed to even be able to nitpick over where our food comes from. I also wanted to point out that the slow food movement isn't as divorced from food insecurity as you might think, and link out to a few great posts from today.

{Food insecurity is defined magnificently in the Red Cross UK video in this BAD11 post - please go watch it. 
Agencies like the Red Cross who are working to increase the resilience of at-risk communities need our unwavering support.} 

By growing and making your own food, and supporting local farmers and CSAs and farmers markets and grocery delivery services, and going to locally-owned restaurants where the chefs specialize in local ingredients, you actually help to ensure the food security of your community should hard times ever come. You help to control the global rise in food prices. Also, by reducing the amount of food you are importing from elsewhere, you reduce your food's carbon footprint. By supporting slow food projects in other communities - like the projects championed in this blog post - you bring those benefits to developing and at-risk nations. Choosing slow food is a small step in the right direction, but cumulatively our choices can make a huge difference.

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