Staff Picks

This week we thought we’d share some of the Loaf-related things we’ve been reading and watching and otherwise enjoying on the internet. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest below.

Food banking insights

This interview with the CEO of the Trussell Trust is a fascinating look into the scale of the food bank operation in this country and the conflict of being proud of achieving something that shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place.


Birds of Stirchley – A dad and his son are trying to photograph and identify all the different birds in and around Stirchley. There are more than you’d think.

Pavement Plants of Stirchley – You may have noticed a botanist has been chalking local pavements with the names of weeds and other unloved plants, drawing attention to the flora by our feet. No idea who this guerrilla taxonomist is but this is their Instagram, serving as a educational guide.

Podcast corner

Psychobiotics is an episode of always interesting Blindboy Podcast looking at the connection between food and our mental health. Particularly of interest is where they talk about fermented food, something Loaf is thinking of branching into alongside the bread. (It’s a podcast so there’s lots of chat before he gets to the subject!)

On the telly

We really enjoyed Cooked, a four-part series on Netflix where Michael Pollen looks at the four elements of food: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The Air episode in particular looks at the humble loaf of bread and the miracle of its emergence from a pile of wheat. “Air is mostly what you’re eating when you eat bread.”

Home improvement dept

Thatching & Thatch is a glorious deep-dive into the noble art of roofing your house with the bits of wheat you can’t make bread from. If you’ve ever wondered how a thatched roof works, or fancied having a go yourself, this delightfully handmade website has all the information you’ll ever need.

Policy podium

We are the re-builders – With the end of the pandemic hopefully in sight, there’s a lot of talk around “building back better”. Do we go back to the systems and ideologies of the last 40 years or do we use this relatively clean slate to try something else? As a worker co-operative we know co-ops are a great way to build sustainability and resilience into the economy, but do the our elected decision-makers know? This document from Co-ops UK makes the case in clear, policy-friendly language.

Bagel deep-dive

Everything you ever wanted to know about bagels is in this Twitter thread where you’ll learn to “make the kind of bagels that were brought by Polish Ashkenazi Jews as they emigrated to the United States in the late 19th century” and a whole lot of history along the way. We dabbled in bagels pre-pandemic and are keen to try them again!