Scotland The Bread is a project to re-establish a Scottish grain and bread supply that is healthy, equitable, locally-controlled and sustainable. Combining participatory research and action, it links plant breeders, farmers, millers, bakers, public health nutritionists and citizens. It will develop better grain in Scotland, grow and process it for lowest environmental impact and maximum nutritional benefit and support local economies with more jobs per loaf.
Scotland’s bread is made almost entirely from imported wheat. Modern varieties, already less nutrient-dense and perhaps more allergenic than their ancestors, are milled, baked and traded on the basis of long distance, low price and ‘convenience’, with little concern for health or environmental impact. This in a country which prides itself on whisky exports while struggling with serious problems of alcohol abuse and diet-related ill health.
The first task is to evaluate heritage varieties for mineral density and resilience and then develop new crosses, landraces and populations, putting molecular science and organic husbandry at the service of healthy citizens – leaving commodity speculators in the casinos where they belong. Making the resulting flour into digestible bread is as important as ensuring that it reaches those who need it most.