Archive for Wheat
www.telegraph.co.uk 30th March 2011
Quoted from source:
‘There is something reassuring in the thought that while we sleep through the early hours of the day, bread is being made. Cushions of dough slowly rising in their tins, radiating the most heavenly smells as they bake – the charms of this nocturnal craft have always been held very dear. Well wakey, wakey to the reality. That crusty loaf on sale at opening time in your local supermarket may not have been kneaded, shaped and proved by a real baker, but brought in deep-frozen from a plant hundreds of miles away, defrosted and “baked-off” by staff who only need to know how to throw a switch. As well as this, the vast majority of our loaves are made from imported flour – with grains being bought from locations as diverse as Russia, Canada and France. One thing you can be sure of is that very little of the wheat used in supermarket bread will be British.
Modern baking has all the romance of a North Korean multiple wedding. It seems that the stuff of life itself has entered the crazy world of cryonics. Part-baked dough is suspended at -19C for up to a year before being given a blast in an oven to crisp it up. It puts into question the whole commonly made claim of “freshly baked bread”, yet those seemingly informative labels on the wrapper reveal nothing of this time in the deep freeze. Like a desperate, ageing starlet, supermarket bread lies about its real age.
But not for much longer; European law is to change, and retailers will be soon forced to reveal all foods that have been previously frozen.’
Read the rest of the article here.
www.nytimes.com 8th February 2011
The latest severe drought to befall the world has hit China resulting in a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) alert warning of wheat shortages from the region. The drought is the worst for 60 years in the country, which is the largest wheat producer in the world. For Shandong province, one of the main provinces for wheat growing, the drought could be the worst in 200 years, unless substantial rain falls by the end of the month. The reduced crop yield could have wider implications for global wheat prices, which are already seen as being behind the popular protests in Madagascar, Tunisia and Egypt. The widespread droughts and wildfires in Russia last Summer, as well as the recent severe floods in Australia, have brought international attention to the wheat market as the two countries are also large exporters. However, China has previously been self-sufficient in wheat. The current droughts, which are affecting 5.16 million hectares of China’s 14 million hectares of wheat fields, will force the Chinese government to buy from abroad forcing up the cereal’s prices even further.