Bread as a Symbol of Biocultural Diversity
23rd July 2008
Go to any high street in the UK and what do you see? The same shops selling the same products. We seem to celebrate sameness: wherever we go we are confronted by the same kind of architecture, shopping centres, houses, food, clothes and culture, education and entertainment. Through our desire to consume more, individuality and cultural diversity have been discarded and replaced with mono-culture.
We have created a world where the concentration of economic and political power is in fewer and fewer hands. Dignity, equity and equality are sacrificed at the altar of global greed. The systems of industrialisation, globalisation and centralisation are proclaimed as symbols of progress and development.
But, one has to ask, where has this progress and development led us? What have the realists and pragmatists achieved? After 100 years of relentless destruction of Nature and culture, where are we now? How can we take satisfaction in so-called progress and development while global wars, global warming and global poverty rage? How can we rejoice in the wealth of the few while millions of men, women and children suffer in hunger and deprivation? How can we rest when biodiversity and cultural diversity are constantly and dangerously under threat?
As part of Resurgence Slow Sunday we are inviting people to bake their own bread as a symbol of environmentalism – it is also an important symbol of diversity. In each kitchen you may use a different recipe, a different flour or yeast. You may want to add nuts and seeds or herbs from the garden. This is a simple celebration of diversity that is far removed from the racks of plastic-wrapped, big brand bread lined up in your local supermarket.
We used take so much pride in regional variety and the knowledge that grain grown in the North of England would be genetically different to grain grown in the South. It would taste different too and we would have our own regional varieties of bread. Let’s honour biodiversity and cultural diversity by baking a rich variety of real bread in all shapes and sizes for the Resurgence Slow Sunday this weekend.
To find out more about Resurgence Slow Sunday go to www.resurgence.org/trust/slow-sunday.html
Special Offer. Buy a copy of Andrew Whitely's Bread Matters today for only £15 that's a 25% discount on the normal £20 retail price.