NatureBake goes local with Oregon Grains Bread
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Inspired by the idea of the 100-mile diet, NatureBake launched Oregon Grains.
NatureBake's facility in Milwaukie, Ore., played host to Sen. Ron Wyden Tuesday showing off its new line of local bread called Oregon Grains.
The inspiration for the Oregon Grains local bread project came in 2009 when Shobi Dahl, NatureBake's vice president, read a Portland food blog post about the 100-mile diet. The idea behind the 100-mile diet is to support local agriculture by only eating foods that are sourced within 100 miles of your home.
Dahl saw an opportunity to partner with Willamette Valley farmers and reduce the carbon footprint of an average loaf of bread.
After months of research and dead-end discussions with suppliers, Dahl discovered Willamette Seed and Grain, a coalition of farmers form the Willamette Valley formed with the purpose of growing, processing and marketing grain, seeds and beans grown in the valley.
While the Willamette Vallely is known largely as the Grass Seed Capitol of the world, there's a small but growing trend of farms transitioning from grass seed to wheat and other cereal crops as a way to cut down on the amount of those foods that currently have to be imported.
Dahl signed on with the group to source wheat, flax and oats for the Oregon Grains Bread and turned to Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods for the milling.
“My grandpa started buying grain from Bob's stone mills in the 1970's, so they were the obvious choice to mill this grain for us," Dahl said in a press release.
The honey used in the bread comes from Olsen Honey Farms in Albany.
At the end of the baking process, NatureBake touts a bread with 95 percent of the ingredients sourced within 100 miles of the bakers. Only the salt, yeast and gluten travel to the bakery from further distances.
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