Food fads exist everywhere. Surely, you've heard of trends like avocado toast and açaí bowls. As millennials create new means to consume their food, they're also becoming more environmentally conscious. The perfect marriage between keeping trendy, yet upholding awareness, is located at the corner of artisanal goods and baked bread. Artisan bread isn't just a millennial fad, but it proves environmentally-friendly and healthy for your body. 

What is Artisan Bread?

chicken, bread
Alex Frank

Artisan bakers are defined as those who are trained to bake bread, paying special attention to aspects like fermentation, baking and the chemical reactions of the process in order to get the most ideal outcome. Artisanal bakers’ goal is to create goods the way they were made centuries ago, without the harmful preservatives included in mass-produced bread.

flour, dough, bread, dairy product, milk, wheat
Rica Beltran

Artisanal bread, if it’s true artisanal bread, should be made with nothing but flour, water, yeast and salt. Because of this, it is difficult to mass produce artisanal bread, as every baker must be professionally trained to understand the process. Alternately, this is also why mass produced bread commonly contains additives and chemicals.

Store-Bought Bread

bread, toast, wheat, cereal, sweet, sandwich
Christin Urso

In addition to unnecessary additives for taste or appearance, many manufacturers spice up their breads with toxic conditioners, preservatives and GMO products like corn starch or soy lecithin that harm your body and the environment. There's more to your typical batch of store-bought bread than you thought. 

Going Local

While it benefits our bodies to steer clear of chemicals added to many store-bought breads, it’s also better for the environment to use local, organic ingredients. While these factors aren’t defining in artisanal breads, many artisanal bakers practice such environmental sustainability.

Hewn, an Illinois bakery, uses local and organic ingredients to reduce fossil fuels and preserve the environment. Artisan bread isn’t just a millennial fad, but it has the potential to play a role in bettering the world around us. 

Don’t Fear Fermentation

french bread, baguette, dough, pastry, toast, bun, cereal, flour, wheat, bread
Caroline Ingalls

Additionally, Hewn ferments its bread without yeast, which “allows a richer, more complex flavor to develop. It also allows the gluten proteins to slowly and naturally break down over time.” Because of this, many people who have gluten allergies or sensitivities can indulge in artisanal breads without consequence.

This is often the case with breads that have had at least 24 hours to ferment, a relatively long fermentation process. Because foods typically last longer if they have a lengthier production process, foods like artisanal breads don’t go bad immediately, like many store-bought items do.

The Growth of Corporate Food

While homemade bread is better for you than store-bought, there are several places you can buy artisanal bread to help your body and the earth. Additionally, many food companies, including Hewn, have come to practice environmentally sustainable means of production while simultaneously creating good food.

Being aware of how your food is made and where it comes from shows how artisan bread isn’t just a millennial fad, but is integral in improving your health and the health of the earth around you. Artisanal bread is both environmentally sustainable and better for your body than your usual store-bought bread.