Activism through making knowledge more accessible
Educational Awards: The Sourdough School offers educational awards in the form of scholarships to healthcare professionals. These scholarships fund their training in the BALM protocol, thereby enabling them to prescribe this lifestyle medicine approach to their patients. This element of the program ensures that knowledge and expertise in this revolutionary approach to health and wellness is disseminated throughout the healthcare system.
This isn’t just food injustice; this is slow-motion genocide.
What if you knew that the food industry creates refined food that is more addictive than cocaine? And they are making foods specifically with bliss points to be so irresistible that it has hijacked our brain chemistry, and what if I tell you that they target the poorest people and minorities? And if you knew that we are starving and harming the microbes in our guts that produce the metabolites that our body’s brains need to function? The industrialisation of our food system is also one of the main drivers of climate change. This isn’t just food injustice; this is slow-motion genocide.
There are things we can’t change as individuals – but we can change bread, and it’s still our staple food.
Thirty years ago, in 1992, two events happened in the same week. I ate my very first Green and Blacks chocolate bar. I savoured and celebrated each piece of a farmer cooperative fairly produced chocolate. The same week I was part of a group helping to collect and analyse data in the psychology department for one of the largest food and beverage groups in the world. Our work was on decision-making at the point of sale. The purpose of the study was to provide evidence to how to manipulate human stress responses to elicit a favourable response to maximise profit. We ran focus groups and product tests to determine the most favourable outcomes. Witnessing first-hand the extensive research on how to influence free will was chilling and gave me a unique insight into how the global food giants were consciously subverting public health
…. and what if I told you that there is a simple, delicious cost effective solution that works, and that would benefit all, whilst supporting the environment?
I’m not claiming to have a total answer, but I do have a twenty years of researching and developing an approach to bread, and we have a pretty robust solution. The figures, although dire, are nevertheless promising. 70% of our bread is industrial refined white bread. It is about as processed as you can get. However, 99% of British households buy bread, and most of the fast food eaten in large chains involves bread in the form of buns and wraps.
Bread, although hugely adulterated, is still our staple food, and we know how to bake, eat and share bread that nourishes. But unless the knowledge is put to use, then the inequality and manipulation go unchallenged. That is where you come in.
BALM empowers us to challenge the threats from food inequality
When you enrol on one of our courses then, you become the change. Our students come to the Sourdough School not only to learn to make bread but also to understand how a change to our food systems can change the paradigm of bread.
We know that rebuilding a just food system is very complex. It is also urgent. The research shows that our gut microbiome is impacted in a very short time, and our climate is changing rapidly.
A beautiful way to stand up to invisible oppression
Baking is about connecting. It is impactful, and it is, as my dear friend Mott Green once said, “a form of delicious anarchy.”
Our approach isn’t just about berating the food system. We are optimistic that the BALM Protocol has already created some beautiful disruptions to the system, and we’ve seen some sizeable changes in industrial manufacturing from BALM already.
What we teach you on the courses is how you and the way you bake, eat and share bread is central to the changes that are needed. The Sourdough School courses are in-depth and require a great deal of commitment from our students, but we encourage them to share the knowledge they gain as widely as you can. Our students include healthcare practitioners and professional bakers, all of whom are committed to providing delicious, nutritious bread and access to vital health knowledge. Our students also share their knowledge through community groups or charities, as well as sharing the bread they bake with their friends, family and members of their community.