Tag Archives: Exeter farmers market

Our Daily Bread blog competition

Bread is one of the most messed-up foods on the planet. Made from hybridised wheat, grown for quick-machinability (forget taste, nutrition and digestion), modern bread is subjected to chemical processes you know nothing about.

If you want to freak yourself out, read the list of gunk in an ordinary loaf of sliced bread in Bread Matters by baker Andrew Whitley. Classified as non-nutritive processing aids, their job is not to feed you but to add texture, quickly. Hence the additives (including animal or GM-derived enzymes) do not legally need to be listed on the label.

In real food-world, you need four ingredients:  flour, water, a raising agent. The fourth is time. And the result, such as Emma’s bread (see above at Exeter’s farmers’ market), is tasty and sustaining.

Emma is teaching these skills at a breadmaking day at Occombe farm in Devon. If you join the Soil Association the day is free.

Or use a book to learn – I like Warren Lee Cohen’s Baking bread with children. And check the coming campaign for real bread.

Now for the competition. Food bloggers, what’s your favourite real food? Its tastes are enticing but not from a laboratory and it nourishes as nature intended.

The winning blogger (more details below) gets a copy of the new DVD, Our Daily Bread. Released on the 8 September 2008, this award-winning documentary observes without judgement and with an eye for beauty the world of intensive food production. Do we really know how food is made? Our Daily Bread shows what is usually hidden.

Here are the competition guidelines, and good luck, fellow food bloggers.

1. Write a blog on real food (it does not have to be about bread). One ingredient or a dish. Usually factory-made, but you eat the real thing. Baked beans, mashed potato, fresh fish and chicken Kiev come to mind. What’s yours? And extra points for local and organic ingredients.

2. Link it to this blog.

3. Post a comment on this (Our Daily Bread) blog displaying a link to your blog entry.

4. The deadline is October 8 2008 at midnight.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Celebrity to market


I had to set an organic challenge for Hardeep Singh Kohli of Celebrity Masterchef fame: become 100% organic in two weeks. See how the comedian fared in olive, on sale now. It was a tall order because, in truth, going organic happens gradually.

I was mad-keen for Hardeep to visit a farmers’ market but he stuck to supermarkets. Farmers’ markets only set up stall once a week (or less), so I can see why they are not convenient. But the difference in quality between local organic food grown, made – or reared – within 50 miles, and the much-travelled organic food in supermarkets, is beyond compare.

Buying organic food from the person who grew it (from farmers’ markets or veg box delivery) adds a new dimension to shopping – you know where your food is from. Price-wise, buying direct is cheaper than supermarkets – no middleman to add costs.

Last Thursday at noon, catching a lift with Mike to Exeter train station, we unexpectedly passed Exeter’s farmers’ market.

“Stop the car,” I said. I had ten minutes to gather dinner (see above). Everything was organic apart from the fish, which was wild. With only a short season, the sprats, caught in Dorset , are special. And cheap. I got six portions-worth for £5. Sprats are sustainable to fish and healthy to eat. Grill without oil – they are naturally rich in must-have omega-3.

I fried the above darlings, eating them with Rod and Ben’s salad and Emma’s homemade bread, fresh from Exeter’s Farmer’s Market.

As well as shallow-frying the fish, I slathered oil on the salad and butter on my bread – what am I like?

The next day my pal and child came round. We ate the fried sprats whole, crunchy heads and all. I was surprised a four-year old would enjoy them but he did.

This time I served them with organic mash potatoes grown at Radford Mill Farm 30 miles away, and sold at its inner-city organic farm shop luckily on my flight-path.

How do you access local organic produce? Do you find it hard like Hardeep?