Raw, fermented foods. Kombucha.
Traditional ginger ale.
Raw pickled beets.
Raw pickled carrots.
These living foods....
This is not a new thing. Not a new trend.
Almost all cultures throughout the world intentionally introduce bacteria and/or yeast into their food to transform it into a new food. Because of the Germ Theory of disease introduced by Louis Pasteur, all bacteria became labelled as “bad” and the practice of fermenting food has been almost lost in North America.
We are all scared of bacteria!
Even though we are constantly surrounded by it.... we fear it.
We are starting to see that we need to work with bacteria, instead of trying to always kill it all.
We are working to bring back the tradition and art of fermenting your own foods. In the last 50 years the government departments of agriculture, food, and health frowned upon traditional fermentation to the point that almost no publications instructed households how to use these fermentation methods. Instead we've learned to “put up” vegetables by adding white vinegar (really only suitable for household cleaning) and processing with heat.
This lack of cultured foods (accompanied by rampant use of antibiotics, and a high intake of chlorinated water, sugar and other toxins) has led to an imbalance of healthy bacteria in our intestines, leading to lower immune systems.
Lactic acid bacteria are microscopic organisms that are our allies in health.
"The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”
– Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions
They transform food and extend its usefulness.
They keep it safe.
Hundreds of medical and scientific studies confirm what folklore has always known - fermented foods help people stay healthy.
They are high in gut-friendly probiotic bacteria such as (but not limited to) lactobacillus. Our large intestines need this bacteria to maintain health, and for digestion, so that nutrients can be absorbed. Eating fermented food helps to create beneficial micro flora in the intestines of people that eat them.
Why else do they rock?
Fermented foods are more than the sum of their parts. Sauerkraut, for example, is simply cabbage and salt. Once fermented, and the enzyme activity is much more than that of just raw cabbage. These fermented foods also help with the manufacture of Vitamin K that happens naturally in healthy intestines. (Read our view on supplements here!)
Fermented vegetables and elixirs are “alive”. We need more raw, alive food in our diets.
Fermented foods are important for our food security. It is a method of food preservation that allows us to put fresh food away for the winter. This was the original
Fermented foods put us in more control, by processing and preserving our own local foods at home we decrease our dependency on unsustainable food systems and multi-national corporations.
Health - Tradition - Fun! So many reasons to get fermenting!
Join our fermentation group online - Fermenting the Okanagan is fun, local, brewing/bubbling and buzzing place to be for local fermenters on Facebook! Get weekly education and share your fermentation stories & troubleshooting!