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Ties That Bind: The Power of Breaking Bread

2019, May 20 | A Practice For Spring

“How can a nation be called great when its bread tastes like Kleenex?” — Julia Child

Whilst tempted in the research of this blog to dine on hummus and Kleenex sticks, I opted to metaphorically consider the effect of said meal.  Whatever flavour the Kleenex might possess (aloe vera?) would likely be bland and certainly artificial with a mouthfeel like cotton wool. My underwhelmed stomach is left grumbling a few four-letter word quips of its own.

For the love of breaking bread

Bread has a story to tell about the power of bonds with all forms of life on earth

Processed, refined and chemically laden bread does nothing for our physical health, except detract from it. Yet, individual physical well-being is just the tip of the melting iceberg when it comes to the breaking of bonds that result from a broken bread culture.  The word companion originates from the Latin for “together with” (com) and “bread” (panis).  Bread has a story to tell about the power of bonds and the importance of sharing, with all forms of life on earth.

Humans have been eating grains for 100,000 years

The story of bread is our origin story as a species. We’ve been eating grains for 100,000 years, baking bread for at least 14,000 years, and settled into agriculture communities to grow grain for about 12,000 years. Our brains and resulting skill sets evolved in relationship to the grains that fed us, challenged us and needed us to enable its own growth as a species.  We have hands and feet, cunning grains needed to convince us to take them on our journey! The story of bread binds us to the development of human civilisation as we know it and that is a story that is impossible to tell without considering our relationship with all the rest of life on earth.

The story of bread is our origin story as humans

Every time we cut into a loaf or raise a craft beer with our mates, we can bond with biodiversity

Bread has the remarkable ability to make the invisible, visible.  Every second of every day as we breath, eat and burn energy we humans are in a dance of exchange with the rest of the natural world.  Bread was created by discovering and harnessing a relationship with yeast. Every time we cut into a loaf or raise a craft beer to bond with our mates, we have an opportunity to build our awareness of how our lives are made worth living because of all the other actors in the food web competing and collaborating.  The quality of our life will be richer, the richer the biodiversity of our environment.  There is no escaping it. 

At its core, the story of bread is about development of we the humans AS a part of nature.  I agree with Julia. If a nation self-destructively turns its back on the value of bread to create bonds with one another and the rest of the natural world, how on earth can it be considered great?  Good news alert, therein lies the opportunity! 

The Mindful Kitchen offers a path to developing personal and planetary well-being through practicing nature relatedness. Step one, getting reacquainted with the interdependence of human history on the rest of natural history.  Step two, after flipping the script on stories you think you know well (like your daily bread) asking new questions that fuel your creativity and intent to live life as nature.  Step three, transitioning thoughts into actions through daily rituals that gradually build sticky eco-friendly habits.  We use eating as our tool as it is a delicious, unavoidable daily ritual that reminds us that we too are a part of nature – even when we are in the big city.

Join us for Breaking Bread in London on Saturday 6 July for the first in a series of workshops brought to you by The Mindful Kitchen and Food at Heart. 

London is calling on 6 July.

I am THRILLED to be teaming up with the gorgeous human that is Meredith Whiteley. You may know her as the creative who brings you life enhancing meditations with chocolate through her business, Food at Heart.  Meredith and I have created an Urban Connectedness reTreat which over the course of the year, will help Londoners learn how to feel the good feels of nature in the heart of the city.  You will never see the streets of London in quite the same way after these sessions, promise! Our first urban foodie adventure, Breaking Bread, takes place on 6 July.  Starting, of course, on Bread Street.  Here´s what to expect: 

STORYTELLING: Nature related walk that flips the script on nature in the City as you discover how bread, literally, shaped London and its people.

BEGINNER´S MIND: Full sensory bread-related meditative tastings along the way to up your curiosity as you ask questions you never thought of with your city and daily bread – and we will even explore some age old recipes that are taking on new relevance as we work towards developing a more regenerative food system.

MAKING: We´ll finish our journey at the City joint known for its generosity, Canvas Café.  That is where we´ll get stuck into the power of food rituals to transition thoughts to calming eco-friendly habits as we make a lunch that seems simple, but is anything but! OF COURSE we wrap up by breaking bread!

Londoners, don´t miss out!  Book your tickets today.