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  • Writer's pictureAlison Bailey Vercruysse

Choose your pastry wisely

Updated: Feb 3

Enjoying your next baked good from an artisan bakery could help cool the planet.

With the opening of Krispy Kreme in Paris in December 2023 and a line of 500 people to get their first bite of an American donut, we have successfully outsourced our culture of pastries with empty carbohydrates and white refined sugar to even the French.

It could be a fad. It’s not that Krispy Kreme doughnuts are bad. It’s what they mean to propagating a food culture that has been a cause for the rise in diabetes and health issues for our youth. Enriched white flour bleached with benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide with added synthetic nutrients and white sugar is the base for most of American baked goods. A host of preservatives and hydrogenated soybean oil are the icing on the cake to round out the naughty ingredients.

Enough complaining, let’s instead create a pop culture built on ensuring a future for our food supply and the wellness of our children. How do you ask?

Changing up the foundation of our baked goods is one way. America can once again be a frontier for discovery. Visit one of the many artisan bakeries across the country that either mill locally grown grains into flour or using regenerative flours. Over the last few decades, many mills have popped up to revitalize ancient grains.

Diversifying flours gives ancient grains a chance to reawaken and support regenerative agriculture.  Instead of toxic brown fields, the lush green fields yield the crops. Farming needs to respect and rejuvenate the soil, a term called regenerative agriculture. Carbon is kept in the ground where it is needed and not released into the atmosphere where it does damage. Carbon in soil provides nutrients where it also increases water storage in the ground.  The microbes created then get to work fluffing the soil and building a holistic environment for growing crops.

All purpose flour a product of industrial agriculture relies on inputs (pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides) rather than the earth to regenerate itself, the carbon gets released into the atmosphere - erosion, tilling, mono crops and the use synthetic chemicals/pesticides have all led to the degradation of our food. Let’s take back our baked goods for good.

Here are a few bakeries using freshly milled or locally milled ancient grains for their pastries and breads. I have enjoyed pastries and bread at many of them.

Seylou Bakery - Washington, D.C.

Boulted Bread - Raleigh, North Carolina

Hole Doughnuts - Asheville, North Carolina

Abby Jane Bakeshop - Austin, Texas

The Mill - San Francisco, CA

Kantine SF - San Francisco, CA

Faria Bakery - Sacramento, CA

Mt. Tabor Breads - Portland, Oregon

Brewers Bread - Portland, Oregon

Babcia Bread (closes Jan 27, will re-open in own location)- Portland, Oregon

Top row: 1st picture Babcia Bread and the rest Seylou Bakery, middle row: Seylou Bakery and last pic Brewer’s Bread, last row: KantineSF, Babcia Bread and Gee Creek Mill (at the PSU Farmers’ Market)

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