I’ll try to refrain from posting too much about this even though I think it’s an important topic. I want to have a few ‘red alert’ posts on this blog, covering such bases as it were, but then mainly focus on making bread, ingredient and technique issues, maybe some positive reports about farmers markets and suchlike.
It’s a Catch 22. On the one hand, I don’t really want this to be about geopolitics. On the other hand, running even this extremely modest and simple brick oven bakery confronts these larger issues every day. The reason, for example, it is and pretty much has to be such a very small operation is because supermarkets basically don’t want the real thing (which I produce) on their shelves. I can only imagine why, but I walked around the two best supermarkets in my small town yesterday to compare prices and find that, by and large, they are charging pretty much $1.00 per 100grams from the ‘artisan-style’ loaves. The typical ‘white bread sandwich’ loaf is much less.
So maybe it’s just profit – if they are charging pretty much the same as I am for products that are not organic and so presumably cost considerably less to make, in theory they are making more. But I don’t know how much they pay for such things including labelling, transportation, marketing, employee salaries and so forth and suspect that indeed they make less per loaf.
Still – in theory a small operation in town with 4-10 employees could make super high quality, bona fide real good bread and they could make the same profit. I suspect this. But it won’t happen. And this is not just about me, of course, but the same thing is duplicated by the same situation with thousands of small operators like me throughout the developed world, hundreds of thousands, if not millions. It’s a huge, systemic ‘elephant-in-the-living-room’ type situation.
I have considered having a parallel blog which floats all these types of articles not directly related to baking called: ‘What’s wrong with this picture?’. Maybe I should do it, now I know how easy it is to set up a WordPress blog and choose which one to post in.
Anyway. This GM business is bad. I read Smith’s book a few years ago (one of them). It is very well researched and he presents the actual scientific studies which you can read for yourself and make your own judgment call about. In other words, he doesn’t just try to smother-bomb you with his own opinion, a few choice quotes, doctored data, like most so-called ‘scientific’ books out there, including nearly every single one toting this diet or that, gluten-free, paleolithic, protein-only, carb-free, carb-only, sugar is poison, honey is poison, honey is medicine etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.