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Page 8

Newsletter 88, Spring 2010 © Hampshire Mills Group

LOAFING ABOUT OVER NATIONAL MILLS WEEKEND 2010
 

THE REAL BREAD CAMPAIGN

 Launched in Oxford just over a year ago, (as reported in the HMG  2008 Winter Newsletter) The  Real Bread Campaign is now supported by Sustain, The Sheepdrove Trust and the Big Lottery Fundís Local Food Programme.  This year SPAB is joining forces with it to use the National Mills Weekend in May to promote the good cause and is asking us all to do our bit in celebrating Stoneground Flour and Real Bread encouraging mill visitors to bring evidence of their bread baking to the mills. 

 Amongst activities proposed by SPAB will be a competition for the Best Breadmaker Loaf.  Go on, give it a go.  Contact Simon Hudson at SPAB Mills Section for information packs.  More will be gleaned from the next SPAB magazine, Mill News.

Winchester City Mill News

Winchester City Mill has a new exhibition charting the story of bread from the wheat crop to the baked loaf using archive film, oral recollections and old photographs.  Visitors are invited to share their own memories.  There is no extra charge for the exhibition as it is included in the normal admission charge.   As it opens on 1st May until 31st October it will happily coincide with the National Mills Weekendís special message of Stoneground Flour and Real Bread.

 

THE GREAT FOLIC ACID DEBATE

Mandatory fortification of food with folic acid was agreed unanimously in May 2007 by the Food Standards Agency Board  and that this would be alongside controls on voluntary fortification and advice on the use of supplements. The term mandatory fortification means the compulsory  addition of folic acid to either bread or flour. 

 Why?  This action is seen as a counter measure against the rise in the number of neural tube defects causing children to be born with Spina Bifida. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) estimated that there are between 700 and 900 pregnancies affected by neural tube defects each year.  Those planning to have a baby are advised to take extra supplements of folic acid be taken at least three months before planned conception if you or your partner, or someone in you or your partner's family, have a neural tube defect such as spina bifida as you fall into a high risk group and are also at higher risk if you have had a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect, or if you have coeliac disease (or other malabsorption state), diabetes mellitus, sickle-cell anaemia, or are taking antiepileptic medicines.  On the other hand, research also suggests that babies born to women who have taken folic acid supplements during their pregnancy are up to 30% more likely than other children to develop asthma.  Further research is suggesting that folic acid (along with other B vitamins) may increase the risk of colorectal cancer: and cardiovascular disease.

 However, the Traditional Corn millers Guild presented the case for millers producing stone ground flour and the baking of traditionally made bread (i.e. without supplements or additives other than the basic traditional requirements) against this proposed mandatory requirement, and, thankfully, moves are now underway to omit such mills and bakeries from the mandatory obligations.  Three cheers for the TCG. 

 It would appear that a healthy diet and exercise, without excess in either is the best formula for most of us, as the FSA states that the majority of people get enough daily natural dosing of folic acid (aka Folate in its natural form).

 Sheila.
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