STORY: 'Wonky' bakery box founder supports Real Bread Week

The university student founder of Earth & Wheat has put his weight behind Real Bread Week with the message that ‘real bread’ also means ‘wonky bread’.

Ahead of Real Bread Week – which starts on 19 February with the aim of getting people to support their local, independent bakeries, or bake their own – James Eid (pictured) wants to highlight the fact that ‘real bread’ comes in all shapes and sizes and is ‘not perfect’.

“There are very strict specifications for bread on what is allowed and what is not allowed to be packed, shops will not accept anything ‘wonky’ because they know it will not be bought by their customers," Eid says. 

"This means that if a tortilla is not a perfect circular shape, or it is too big or too small, it will be rejected, so the automated machinery in the bakery will immediately spot it and throw it in the bin.

“Crumpets can come out of the oven looking ‘too thin’ because there is not enough batter. This can sometimes happen at the beginning or at the end of production when the batter is filling the pipeline or has just been shut off. Unlike tortillas though, crumpets have to be individually hand-picked off the production line before being thrown away.

“What we’re trying to do at Earth & Wheat is change that mindset that ‘wonky’ or out of shape bread is a bad thing and educate people that real bread is not perfect – it’s not supposed to be and that’s ok! The amount of food we waste in this country, and indeed the world, is eye-watering as I saw with my very own eyes at our partner bakeries.

Around 16% of all food is wasted at the point of production and, the point of Earth & Wheat is it’s this invisible waste we want to stop. Our tortillas or crumpets might be wonky but probably taste fresher than the bread at the shops because it is rescued and shipped directly from UK bakeries.”

Fighting food waste

Earth & Wheat is a unique wonky bread delivery service which aims to fight food waste, created by Eid after witnessing the amount of bread which was thrown away at bakeries every day.

The start-up was launched last spring during the third UK lockdown, he is a fourth-generation baker at family-owned business Signature Flatbreads.

“Earth & Wheat is fully behind Real Bread Week because it’s really important that people support bakeries by helping them reduce food waste," adds Eid. 

"It helps create jobs and keeps bakeries at the heart of the community. With consumer support, bakeries will continue to innovate and find new ways to save real bread from going to waste, and we strongly support that.”

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