Can Baking Beat the Blues?

Kitchen Daily 8/14/13

A sad-looking baked good may just be the pick-me-up we all need.

A London-based pop-up called Depressed Cake Shop sells gray baked goods to increase awareness for mental health issues, with profits supporting mental health charities. The small shop in Brick Lane has grown into an international fundraising campaign with a U.K. tour planned through August and more than thirty locations popping up around the world.

Organized by PR specialist Emma Thomas, a.k.a. Miss Cakehead, the simple yet powerful campaign aims to promote discussion about a taboo subject. The gray color is meant to visually represent mental illness, and the unique treats work as an effective conversation starter.

Color is the only limiting factor, and volunteer bakers get creative with gray-colored cakes, sad-faced cookies and rainy-day macarons. Many baked goods are created by those with personal experiences of depression, and some use the project as a way to manage their illness, termed "baking therapy". The movement helps build a supportive community for them to help combat depression.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, millions of Americans, or about one in four people, suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives.

Check out the slideshow above to take a peek at these gray-colored creations.

Tags: Food Report, Dessert, Baking

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