November 19, 2019


In this episode I talk with baker and horticulturist, Sarah Owens, during her book tour launch of her third book: Heirloom. A James Beard Award winner, Sarah specializes in sourdough cultures and other types of fermentation, as well as locally-grown and heirloom ingredients. 

We talk about why food preparation is so sacred and the beauty of making food with your hands. Hint: it transmits your own special essence to people who eat your food - through the microbiome (bacterial cultures) on your hands. We learn how working with unpredictable fermentation processes in food preparation can foster your own intuition -- helping you listen to and trust yourself more deeply. 

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We talk about:

  • Why food preparation is sacred
  • The importance of using your hands in baking and cooking & how it can make your food extra healing
  • How the industrial bread industry is wrought with issues like: glysophates/pesticides present in the wheat grains, and the fact that using only one lab-created strain of yeast as leavening increases gluten content in mass-made bread, creating gluten sensitivity for many people
  • Why heirloom and local ingredients are important
  • How the sourdough process pre-digests the grain, so there is less gluten and phytates (phytates prevent absorption of nutrients), making it more tolerable for people who have been gluten-intolerant
  • Unique grains from around the world, like teff
  • Where intuition and personal growth com into the bread-making process
  • Baking sourdough bread as a path to create culture (both bacterial and people across the globe)
  • How growing up in Appalachia, eating wild foods and running through the forests of Tennessee, formed Sarah’s upbringing and her approach to food
  • Her travels all over the world, both teaching and learning about traditional food ingredients and preparation styles
More about SARAH:

Sarah is a proponent of using fresh-milled flours and sourdough starters that she’s personally developed, and she walks her talk: she’s made over 50,000 loaves of bread in the last 10 years and over 30,000 fermented grain cookies in the last two years! 

Sarah talks about baking bread as one of her paths to self-awareness and self-care. We chat about the potential to gain personal insights during the alchemical process of baking bread, as well as the nature of fermentation, that it fosters cultures (both bacterial and people across the globe) and the spread of unique foods from around the world. 

She describes how she travels the world to places like Mexico, Moscow, Georgia, Italy and Lebanon, teaching and learning about the fine art of fermentation in baking and cooking. 


Follow her on Instagram: @sarah_c_owens
Visit her Website!
Shoot her an email at: info@ritualfinefoods.com
Explore her books: Sourdough + Toast and Jam + Heirloom


Follow her on Instagram: @iamkatiehess @lotuswei
LinkedIn: Katie Hess
Media Kit: Katie Hess, International

Happy listening,

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