My interests have diversified lately. I mentioned in my last post that I had bought the book "The Art of Fermentation" by Sandor Ellix Katz. I took a couple of days of reading at the beginning of the book, and then flipping around and just checking out what all types of things can be fermented. Turns out, almost anything can be fermented. This quote, taken from the Weston A. Price Foundation website, and copied there from Nourishing Traditions: the Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, by Sally Fallon with Mary Enig, PhD, copyright 1999, explains:
"The fermentation process is accomplished by lacto-fermentation. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria. Starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by the many species of lactic acid bacteria. These lactobacilli are ubiquitous, present on the surface of all living things and especially numerous on leaves and roots of plants growing in or near the ground. Man needs only to learn the techniques for controlling and encouraging their proliferation to put them to his own use, just as he has learned to put certain yeasts to use in converting the sugars in grape juice to alcohol in wine."After taking time to read a lot of the new book, I am convinced that here is one very good example of why the American diet in particular is so poor; why there is such rampant obesity; why there is so much succumbing to auto-immune disorders, so many allergies, so much wrong in our gut. While some of these views I am expressing are also expressed in one book, website or other, they are also my own feelings on the subject. Thoroughly hopping onto my own little bandwagon here, I think that in a society where healthy fruits and vegetables are so very expensive, yet over processed foods, filled with every health-threatening additive (yet tasting so good!) are very inexpensive, this explains a large portion of our dietary and health problems. If one cannot afford to buy the fruits and vegetables, then settling for the processed foods that are cheap, high in empty carbs and sugars regardless of the threat to overall health, is the only alternative. And rampant health issues abound.
Having dealt with yeast/candida issues pretty much all my adult life, I am very conversant with the effects of too much bad yeast in the gut. How does one get an overgrowth of candida in the gut? Well:
- Eating a diet in highly refined carbohydrates and sugar
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Oral contraceptives
- Chloride and fluoride in your water
|Sauerkraut ferment: Day 1, top; Day 5, below|
You may say that you like sauerkraut and eat it all the time. Yes, but. . . is it from a can? Has it been heat processed? Unless the sauerkraut has been raw-fermented, and without being heat treated for stability, killing off all the good, beneficial bacteria, then you are missing out, both on flavor and nutritional and health benefits. Some of the benefits of raw, fermented sauerkraut:
- High levels of glucosinolates, shown to produce anti cancer activity. Not a cancer cure, but certainly worthwhile to have in the diet.
- Natural probiotic bacteria. Naturally fermented sauerkraut contains no vinegar; lacto-fermentation gives it the characteristic sour flavor. Its raw state means live, active cultures.
- Healthy bowel flora: fermented sauerkraut helps cleanse the bowel, adding in helpful lacto bacteria; aiding in whole body health
- High sulfur content in the cabbage is invaluable in skin cleansing, from the inside out. Think acne!
- Fermented sauerkraut juice is a strong stimulant for the body to produce acid, helpful in Acid Reflux, where contrary to what it sounds like, means there is insufficient acid to digest foods.
- Sheer diversity of probiotics in fermented foods offer a fighting chance against the bad yeasts in the gut.
- Fermented foods are potent detoxifiers, helping out in such things as obesity, mood, diabetes, heart health, acne and many other things.
My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.