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Dutch bread-fuel, bread stapled to trees, Aussies’ love for artisan breads

Toasted bread in bread basket

In Rotterdam they’ve started transforming bread into fuel. The social media network Reddit is seeing a resurgence of the popular meme that saw people stapling bread to trees. While Aussies are eating less bread in general, artisan bread is on the rise down under. And one Scottish bakery has donated an awesome £25,000 worth of cakes and bread to local charities. Things are looking good in our world, and we hope they are in yours, too. Here’s the latest news.

Dutch innovators turn bread into fuel

Rotterdam city council is keen to re-use old dough. They’re involved in a cool project to generate energy from recycled bread, an initiative that has already proved a success. They’ve placed 130 or so special containers around the city in which people put their waste bread. The bread goes to a plant where it’s turned into a bio-gas. The scheme is called MetdeStad and, in its test stage over the past three years, it ran alongside an information campaign showing people how to use the containers and what would happen to the bread. Apparently it was the information campaign that sealed the initiative’s success. As a spokesperson said, “You can’t just put down a container and expect it to go well. You need to invest a lot of energy at the beginning in talking to people and telling them what the bread bins are for.”

In the Netherlands about 22% of the 41kg of food that the average household chucks out every year is bread. The new scheme dovetails nicely with campaigns in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague designed to persuade people not to throw waste bread into the streets, instead installing bins and implementing fines.

Over the last 3 years they’ve collected 125,000 kilos of bread in Rotterdam, enough to light up 2,000 LED bulbs for a year or supply gas to fifty homes. The project is due to be expanded, ultimately employing local wardens to work with residents to collect more waste bread.

Reddit’s tree-stapling bread craze revives

Nothing should be stapled to a tree. Would you like something stapled to your skin? Probably not. Nor do trees. But in May this year a resident of Brisbane, Australia, shared a photo on Facebook of a slice of white attached to a tree trunk, wondering if it was a ‘thing’ or just a one-off.

He was surprised to discover an entire Reddit group called ‘BreadStapledToTrees’, which dates back to 2017 and now has more than 210,000 members. It might be a couple of years old but it has recently come back to life and is currently receiving lots more images of bread stapled to trees.

The obvious question is ‘why’, and we answer it at risk of creating one of the world’s worst ever puns… for which we apologise in advance: it’s probably because bread is a staple food. Boom, boom! You’ve got to love the internet…

Australians are eating less bread, but they love the artisan stuff

It’s a case in point. One Aussie baker, who was baking just 12 loaves a day a couple of years ago, is now baking an impressive 800 white seeded sourdough loaves every day thanks to soaring demand for the real deal. He’s also baking way more baguettes, focaccias, and fruit and nut loaves than ever before. What’s going on down under?

These days artisan breads account for just under 15% of the bread and bakery items Australians buy. At the same time the popularity of white supermarket breads is plummeting. It’s great to see the good word spreading across the ocean to our friends down there.

Methil baker donates £25,000 in bread and cakes to food charities

In the same way as nothing should be stapled to trees, nobody should be going hungry in the UK. We’re the fifth or sixth richest nation in the world after all, depending on which stats you read. So it’s great to see a Fife bakery saving over £25,000 worth of bread and cakes from landfill in just three months, re-thinking food waste to the benefit of local people who are struggling to make ends meet.

Stuarts of Buckhaven’s Dubbieside Bakery in Methil wanted to cut the amount of waste they scrapped. Now they’re donating 3-4 tonnes of baked goods to local charities every week. It works so well simply because baked products often have a strict one-day shelf life, even though the leftovers are perfectly fine to eat.

The bosses at the bakery were impressed by what they saw at local foodbanks and other charities, organisations that were making a big impact on people struggling to survive. Food standards legislation means the bakery can’t include pies and meat products but as for the rest? It all goes to good homes, and these days the bakery only empties its skips every two weeks instead of weekly. The scheme has only been on the go for 12 weeks, they’ve helped hundreds of people already, and that’s magic.

Do it like they do it Down Under

If you’d like to make like an Australian and change your end-customers’ life for the better, why not start supplying the best in artisan breads to your foodservice customers? We’ll send you a sample box full of irresistible breads to help make up your mind, no strings attached.