Fermented Foods: Top 8 Reasons to Eat Them

by Ann Marie Michaels on July 30, 2009

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It’s very recent that fermented foods have begun to disappear from our plate. Modern pickles and sauerkraut are made with vinegar instead of the traditional method of lacto-fermentation using salt. Bread and pasta are made with commercial yeast instead of being naturally leavened with wild yeast (sourdough). Wine, beer and cheeses are being pasteurized — killing off all the good bacteria we so desperately need to maintain health.

But there are many advantages to going back to the traditional ways of our ancestors, and eating more fermented foods.

Humans all over the world have been fermenting food since ancient times. The earliest evidence of winemaking dates back to eight thousand years ago in the Caucasus area of Georgia. Seven-thousand-year-old jars which once contained wine were excavated in the Zagros Mountains in Iran. There is evidence that people were making fermenting beverages in Babylon around 5000 BC, ancient Egypt circa 3150 BC, pre-Hispanic Mexico circa 2000 BC, and Sudan circa 1500 BC. There is also evidence of leavened bread in ancient Egypt dating back to 1500 BC and of milk fermentation in Babylon circa 3000 BC.

“In the normal scheme of things, we’d never have to think twice about replenishing the bacteria that allow us to digest food. But since we’re living with antibiotic drugs and chlorinated water and antibacterial soap and all these factors in our contemporary lives that I’d group together as a ‘war on bacteria,’ if we fail to replenish [good bacteria], we won’t effectively get nutrients out of the food we’re eating.” – Sandor Katz

8 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods

1. Fermented foods improve digestion.

Fermenting our foods before we eat them is like partially digesting them before we consume them. According to Joanne Slavin, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, “…sometimes people who cannot tolerate milk can eat yogurt. That’s because the lactose (which is usually the part people can’t tolerate) in milk is broken down as the milk is fermented and turns into yogurt.”

2. Fermented foods restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut.

Do you suffer from lactose intolerance? Gluten intolerance? Constipation? Irritable bowel syndrome? Yeast infections? Allergies? Asthma? All of these conditions have been linked to a lack of good bacteria in the gut.

3. Raw, fermented foods are rich in enzymes.

Your body needs [enzymes] to adequately digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients in your food. As you age, your body’s supply of enzymes goes down.

4. Fermenting food actually increases the vitamin content.

Fermented dairy products show an increased level of folic acid which is critical to producing healthy babies as well as pyroxidine, B vitamins, riboflavin and biotin depending on the strains of bacteria present. [1. Vitamin Profiles of Kefirs Made from Milk of Different Species. International Journal of Food Science & Technology. 1991. Kneifel et al]“

5. Eating fermented food helps us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming.

You can ingest huge amounts of nutrients, but unless you actually absorb them, they’re useless to you. When you improve digestion, you improve absorption.

6. Fermenting food helps to preserve it for longer periods of time.

Milk will go bad in the fridge but kefir and yogurt last a lot longer. Sauerkraut, pickles and salsa will keep for months. And if you’ve got a huge batch of produce in your garden that you don’t know how to use up — ferment it!

7. Fermenting food is inexpensive.

There’s nothing fancy required for this hobby. And many of the foods required to make these recipes are very cheap. You can use inexpensive cabbage to make sauerkraut, or get yourself a kombucha scoby and with just pennies’ worth of water, sugar and tea, you’ve got a health elixir slash soda pop.

8. Fermenting food increases the flavor.

There’s a reason humans enjoy drinking wine and eating stinky cheese. There’s a reason we like sauerkraut on our hot dogs and salsa on our tortilla chips. It tastes good!

How to Incorporate More Fermented Foods Into Your Diet

Look for sourdough bread instead of bread made with commercial yeast. (Trader Joe’s has a few real sourdough breads, and I love the real naturally fermented bread at the chain bakery, Le Pain Quotidien. Or you can make your own.

Drink fermented beverages.

Kefir and kombucha are available at many health food stores. They’re also very easy to make at home.

Serve food with pickles, sauerkraut, salsa, ketchup, sour cream, kim chi, mayonnaise and other naturally fermented condiments.

You can buy naturally fermented condiments at health food stores — or make your own.

Get creative and experiment!

Try making kefir ice cream, sourdough crackers, fermented coconut milk, mead (honey wine), Eat some Japanese natto (it’s good!) with rice. Visit an Ethiopian restaurant and sample some of their delicious fermented injera bread. The options are endless!

How to Ferment Foods At Home

It’s easy to get started with fermentation. You just need some starter cultures, some mason jars, and you’re good to go.

Where to Find Fermented Food Starters

Check out the Village Green Network Marketplace for sources of starter cultures like sourdough starter, kombucha scobies, kefir grains, and yogurt starters. You can also find sources of fermented foods.

Some of My Recipes for Fermented Foods

Here are a few of my recipes for fermented foods:

Kombucha
Kefir
Salsa
No Knead Sourdough Bread
How to Make Whey & Homemade Cream Cheese
Kefir Soda Pop
BBQ Natto with Shrimp

Other Recipes for Fermented Foods

Traditional Korean Kimchi from Homemade Mommy
Easy Homemade Sauerkraut from Gutsy by Nature
Sauerkraut from Cheerfully Imperfect
Ridiculously Easy Homemade Dill Pickles from Primally Inspired
Lacto-Fermented Banana Peppers from Elston Backyard Farms
Easy Homemade Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut from The Savory Lotus
Fermented Apple Juice from Oh Lardy
Homemade Soda from Cheerfully Imperfect
Fermented Beet Kvass from The Yogi Mami
Coconut Water Kefir Beet Kvass from The Healthy Habit Coach
Lychee Coconut Water Kefir from Loula Natural
Fermented Ketchup from Homemade Mommy
Not Your Mama’s Yogurt from The Yogi Mami
Simple Milk Kefir from Cheerfully Imperfect
Coconut Milk Yogurt from Gutsy by Nature
Traditional Sourdough Bread from Pure Traditions
Savory Soured Oatcakes from Cheerfully Imperfect
Real Ranch Dressing from Homemade Mommy
Mason Jar Sangria from The Darling Bakers
Lacto-Fermented Ketchup from Suzy Homemaker
Spicy Fermented Cranberry Orange Relish from Homemade Mommy

You might also enjoy this article I wrote about the benefits of eating naturally fermented sourdough bread: Top 10 Reasons To Eat Real Sourdough Bread — Even If You’re Gluten Intolerant

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Photo credit: Daikon Kimchi by peskymac on Flickr, Veganbaking.net on Flickr
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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Flag Gal July 30, 2009 at 8:01 AM

I’ve really begun adding fermented foods this year into my diet. I never thought that i would look forward to eating sauerkraut, but now I do!

I do have a questions about all the good bacteria in fermented foods. If I decide to heat something up, is all of that destroyed? Last night I cooked up a turky burger patty, adding some onions and sauerkraut in the pan to cook along with the meat. Did I just destroy any benefit to the fermented food? It was mighty tasty though! Oh, and I had a couple of dill pickles to go with it, which were brined in salt and not vinegar (Bubbies brand?).

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Erica November 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Yes, if you heat up the culture it will die. Sad but true. Most cultures can handle being “warm” or gently “warmed” but heating your kraut in a pan most defiantly killed it…

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lo July 30, 2009 at 8:21 AM

This post is just chock-full of great resources.
We’ve been on a mission to increase our consumption of fermented foods — and guess what? It’s EASY! Kefir in the morning with breakfast, natural saurkraut or sour cream with dinner. If we branched out and started fermenting our own foods, it would be even better.

Love the health bennies… but the best part is that everything tastes awesome.

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Cathy Payne July 30, 2009 at 8:34 AM

Those are all great reasons! One more: fermented food is REAL, traditional, food like our ancestors ate. One of my guidelines when I make decisions about what to eat. Your photos are gorgeous.

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cheeseslave July 30, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Flag Gal -

It depends on what temperature you cook the food at and for how long you cook it. Ideally you want to serve fermented foods cold or at room temperature.

That said, people don’t eat sourdough starter — we use it to make bread which is baked. But the sourdough, in that case, is used to help the bread rise (leavening) and it also helps to reduce anti-nutrients in the grain like phytates, and helps make it more digestible (I never get constipated when I eat sourdough bread — but I’m perpetually constipated on a diet of bread made with commercial yeast).

Probiotics do get destroyed at higher temperatures, and enzymes get inactivated. So yeah, ideally you want to serve your pickles and sauerkraut or salsa with your food without cooking it. This is also why creme fraiche or sour cream is traditionally added to soups at the table — and not added while you are cooking the soup.

PS: Love your user icon — cute!

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PaulD July 30, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Ms Cheeseslave,

I have just recently discovered your site, and I like how you think! I have a question and a suggestion.
Q. Are you on board with Sally Fallon in thinking that soy foods are dangerous? Does that include fermented soy foods such as miso and natto? What is the story there?
A suggestion: Could you have a post in which you list your, say, top 10 local food resources for Los Angeles folks? (For example, one would have to be that Bezian Bakery sourdough at local farmers’ markers, based on what I read about Jack Bezian on your site yesterday.) And could you include one or two in the San Fernando Valley where I live?

If you don’t mind, what did you do before becoming a mother? Here are my top three guesses:
1. Lawyer
2. Advertising
3. Something in the Hollywood studios
(Again, please say “I’d rather not say” if that’s the case — I’m just someone curious about people’s training and background)

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Christine Kennedy July 30, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Are the photos in this post yours Ann Marie? What kind of ferment are they?

I’ve heard that fermenting does not increase the amount of vitamins in the final product, but it does make the ones that are already there more bioavailable. Have you heard this?

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cheeseslave July 30, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Christine –

No I got that photo from Flickr:

Photo credit: Daikon Kimchi by peskymac on Flickr

Good question re: whether fermenting increases vitamins or makes the ones there more bioavailable. The answer is: BOTH! Good bacteria actually produce B vitamins.

During fermentation, bacteria produce vitamins as they digest vegetable matter. Also, if the salting causes a vegetable to lose water, the fat-soluble vitamins will become more concentrated. According to Korean scientists, kimchi (a traditional pickled cabbage dish in Korea) contains as much as double the levels of vitamins B1, B2, B12, and niacin as unfermented cabbage contains.” Source

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cheeseslave July 30, 2009 at 9:41 AM

PaulD,

Thanks for your comment.

I do agree that soy foods are dangerous and not good for our health. With the exception of natto, miso and other naturally fermented soy foods. That said, even those foods should be eaten in moderation. They were traditionally eaten as condiments in Asian countries — not as a main course.

The reason for this is that even though the fermenting reduces some of the anti-nutrients, it does not reduce all, and also, soy foods are very high in phytoestrogens. Also, soy foods were traditionally eaten as part of a diet very high in iodine. You get iodine from fish broth (containing fish heads), seaweed, and seafood (particularly if the fish heads are eaten, and also fish eggs).

So if you plan to eat fermented soy, you should consider ways to get more iodine. I personally take an iodine supplement, and give one to the rest of my family. (We eat seafood often, but don’t eat a whole lot of fish head stock — although we do enjoy caviar and fish eggs — and eat them as often as possible.)

Actually I think most folks today should consider iodine supplementation — because we are all being inundated with soy foods and other goitrogens and halogens that block iodine uptake.

I have been working on including more local resources on our Real Food Media featured company listings. You can see some advertisements for local resources here: http://www.cheeseslave.com/resources

Just got that going this month though so we will be adding more going forward. I plan to expand that and include as many local resources as possible (they can be geo-targeted listings so you will only see them if you are viewing the page from a specific locale).

I enjoyed and was flattered by your guesses about what I did prior to becoming a mother. You are correct about # 2 — I have a long background in interactive (digital) advertising. Although I came very close to studying international law in college. And as part of my work in advertising, I’ve worked very closely with many (if not all?) of the studios.

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cheeseslave July 30, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Oh PS: For more on soy — ‘m currently reading The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla Daniel. Good book — I recommend it.

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emily- mpls real food lover July 30, 2009 at 10:49 AM

thanks for this timely post. i live in Mpls and just read the article in our local star and tribune, also Mr. Katz was here teaching a class at a local coop which i didint go to but am sure it was awesome.

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Mpls Mom July 30, 2009 at 12:22 PM

I did go to that class last night with Kandor- it was pretty good. Interesting to meet him, but more like preaching to the choir. At any rate, I’m super excited to get my cabbages from my share tonight and make some sauerkraut!

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carla | green and chic July 30, 2009 at 1:08 PM

I eat some sort of fermented veggies and plain yogurt daily and my digestion has improved a great deal since I started eating these foods on a consistent basis. I got a lot of recipes from the book Wild Fermentation and buy raw fermented foods when I can.

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anna July 30, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Hi,
Did you see the horrible big food corporation propaganda article posted on CNN about organic food not being healthier? It’s disgusting and completely missed the point of eating organic food:

http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2009/07/30/what-does-it-mean-if-organic-food-is-no-healthier-than-regular-food/

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Lydia July 30, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Great post! In synch with what I’ve been up to this week, too-I have my first jars of cortido (Latin American take on saurkraut) and cucumber pickles fermenting on the counter. One question, since you’re from Texas. Are you familiar with watermelon rind pickles and green tomato pickles? They were served to me in the south, and I loved them. I’m wondering if there is a way to make a lacto-fermented version, with less sugar than the typical recipe probably calls for. Both pickles seem to be made with the classic sweet and spicy combination of flavors-think cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds, etc. Pickling spice. But I’m not sure whether the veggies would need to be cooked before being pickles, or whether I could use a bit of sweetener in there to get the right flavor. Please let me know if you’ve experimented with any sweet pickles. And thanks!

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Laurie N July 30, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Hey – you read my mind! I’m just about finished re-reading Wild Fermentation and looking forward to getting a kombucha mother from a friend and experimenting with fermenting this year’s veggies as more of them come in (we have had a cold, dry summer – everything’s running late). Thanks for the recipes and links.

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Regina July 30, 2009 at 8:45 PM

Great post! The health benefits of fermented foods cannot be overstated. I’ve been enjoying the new coconut milk kefir made by So Delicious. I appreciate the convenience, and it tastes great and has 10 live active cultures.

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Helen July 31, 2009 at 4:32 AM

The only natto I find here is in Asian stores in the freezer section. I never buy it because it has MSG. Where do you guys buy natto???

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Vin - NaturalBias July 31, 2009 at 5:12 AM

This is a great resource! I’m always a fan of using choosing food over supplements and think that fermented foods are a great way to improve digestive health without relying just on probiotics and digestive enzymes.

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Local Nourishment July 31, 2009 at 5:58 AM

For years our family struggled with acid reflux. Everyone, from us “old folks” to the 7-year-old would get screaming heartburn several times a week. We would get relief from papaya tablets, which were a great natural remedy, but still just a band-aid.

Since adding fermented foods to our diet, papaya tablets have come off my weekly shopping list and it is now a rare occasion that someone has a bout of heartburn. There is always a jar of some vegetable or beverage fermenting on the kitchen counter or available to eat in the fridge. And now my youngest will say, “Mom, we didn’t have a jar with dinner, we’d better have a snack so we don’t get a stomach ache!” She doesn’t always like the taste of the fermented food, but she recognizes its value.

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Christine Kennedy July 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Ann Marie,
I’m so confused about iodine supplementation now. Have you read the summer edition of Wise Traditions yet? I just don’t know what to think now.

Lydia,
You can make lacto-fermented green tomato pickles. I made them last year and they turned out great! Slice them into quarters, stuff them into a jar along with some garlic, onions, green peppers, chilie flakes, fennel seeds, peppercorns, etc. Make a salt brine and let ferment for a few days on the counter.

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Julie August 1, 2009 at 2:09 PM

nice post. Fermented foods are delicious and wonderful. Over the last few years I’ve had fun with the recipes I’ve found in Nourishing Traditions. I just discovered and bought from Tropical Traditions (where I get coconut oil) a Phillipino condiment made with Green Papaya that has been feremented. Very delicious with meat. It’s called “Atchara”. Try it for a new and delicious treat.

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Jessie August 1, 2009 at 6:09 PM

I have a question about what you use to store the lacto-fermented foods.

I just pulled out a glass mason jar to put my homemade yogurt into & smelled it. I could easily tell that this jar once held ginger carrots. This surprises me because I didn’t realize glass could hold smell like this.

I’d be curious if anyone else has had this problem, how the overcame it or what I could do to avoid it in the first place. Right now the smelly jar has baking soda in it to see if that deodorizes it.

As always – thanks for the helpful post!

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cheeseslave August 2, 2009 at 5:32 AM

Jessie -

Odd. You could try rinsing it in vinegar and hot water.

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Janis August 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Ann Marie, have you heard of a supplement called Nattokinase?

http://www.springboard4health.com/notebook/health_nattokinase.html

I don’t have any experience with it but just read about it today.

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cheeseslave August 8, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Janis -

Interesting! I had not heard of it..

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Cathy June 22, 2010 at 12:33 AM

Great post, but I’m confused as to how long the bacteria and enzymes remain alive. I thought they stayed alive pretty much indefinitely, but was recently told that once the sugar in the veggies has been consumed, the bacteria die and there is no longer a probiotic benefit to the ferments. How would you know when the bacteria have died and you’re not receiving a probiotic benefit from them any longer?
Thanks!

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cheeseslave June 25, 2011 at 8:43 AM

They stay alive for a very long time. If your fermented food or drink is bubbly (like sauerkraut or kombucha) or tangy (like cheese or yogurt) it’s good!

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WholesomeGal March 3, 2011 at 12:08 PM

I am so glad that your site along with others are providing excellent recipes for fermented food. My favorite….french fries!

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petra June 25, 2011 at 5:02 AM

I love fermented foods and make them regularly. I was excited reading your page until i saw that: “Serve food with pickles, sauerkraut, salsa, ketchup, sour cream, kim chi, mayonnaise and other naturally fermented condiments.” Mayo, salsa and ketchup are not fermented foods! You should remove that.

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cheeseslave June 25, 2011 at 8:41 AM
Fermented Foods March 29, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Hi, i’ve seen your recipes, so great. Subscribed to your blog. By the way, are you familiar in fermenting beers or any liquor??

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Alisue July 2, 2011 at 7:36 AM

Love my kimchi and sauerkraut!!! and also kombucha and kefir….

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Mindy July 3, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Thanks for this great post. I’ve been slowly adding fermented foods to my diet, but haven’t tried any veggies yet. I’ll be making my first batch of sauerkraut this week!

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kirstenmichelle July 7, 2011 at 1:41 PM

As soon as my poor, die-off infested body can take it, I’m making some sauerkraut. :)

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suzyq July 13, 2011 at 7:42 PM

What about for people struggling with Candida?? I made my own Kombucha, I drank it for awhile, along with trying to do a raw food diet and ended up with the worst yeast infection of my life! I don’t know what to eat now, meat, raw food, cooked food, etc…Did my Kombucha have a bad strain from fermenting improperly? I have heard people with Candida should not eat fermented foods right away? Now I have heartburn all the time and am stressed to the max. Perfect breeding ground. Any suggestions? We are a family of 5 with a very low budget, I’m afraid figuring this out will cost us our home!

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LeahS July 20, 2011 at 9:30 AM

those are all great reasons! I need to get better at fermenting. I tend to overdo it, I think

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Lindsay August 1, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I realize that raw cheese is fermented. Is ALL cheese (including the pasteurized stuff) fermented?
Thank you!

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Bob Giere October 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I’ve been wondering what fermentation does to a food and for the eater. This helps.

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jasmin November 6, 2011 at 10:31 PM

black garlic is naturally fermented food , very good for diabetic & hypertensive patients

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Martine February 22, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I am so excited reading this post, I found myself getting goosebumps! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes.

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paul March 6, 2012 at 3:15 AM

i came to from reading a review of the studies into the chresterol lowering properties of milk and fermentd milk products.
the conclusion seemd to be that raw milk lowers high cholsterol and that fermented milk is even better.
Im no exsert!

like kefir ginger beer is a complex bacterial firmentation, Im supprised not to find it on this site, it gose well with cheese

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Johanna April 4, 2012 at 1:15 PM

This is an example of a poorly researched article written for the sake of writing a ‘health article’ Using food blogs as source of facts? that should send up warning signs, a proffesor quote about the health benefits of yoghurt does NOT CONCLUDE fermentation = Good health. im not going to write more about this but hope people can read and find out more truth about this. Im a uni fourth year student majoring in med chem and chem.

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Reinka Yuzuki April 9, 2012 at 11:33 AM

hi
you answered some of my questions for my homeword thanks :)

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Meow Mix April 9, 2012 at 11:34 AM

i love you coconut

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Summer April 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Hey… just stumbled on your site.. very interested in the fermented foods.. I myself just started my first fermented cabbage.. and can’t wait to try it… Thanks for posting.. love it!!!

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Stacey Rae April 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Hello Slave to Cheese!

A friend just introduced me to your site/blog. I love what I have read so far and look forward to going back and rummaging around more on your page.

Yay to raw cheese!

Stacey Rae ;)

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Hilmar Furuvald June 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Hello,
I like your post on fermented foods and would like to get your opinion on Akea
It’s a fermented food supplement , organic and no synthetics
I hope it catches your attention and I am really looking forward to here what you have to say

Thank you ,
Hilmar

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cheeseslave June 10, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Sorry I have never heard of it

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SS July 6, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Great article! I will pass it along to friends and family. I just wanted to mention one thing. You mention that Trader Joe’s has sourdough, how about shopping at a food co-op! My food co-op has delicious Alvarado Street Sourdough bread (bakery also a co-op) and raw sauerkraut, kimchi, raw cheese, and kombucha! A way better selection than any Trader Joe’s has.
Thanks again for a really wonderful article.

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Tamara Yapp August 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I love that you guys wrote about this. Wish I would have seen it and found about this blog a while ago. My company makes a number of fermented food and drink products. Our son was diagnosed with Autism many years ago and through this experience we discovered the magic of fermented and Probiotic foods. I would love for you guys at Cheeseslave to check out our products and give your input! We could even send you some to try if you’d like. The site is http://www.realfoodreallife.tv.

Thank you! :)

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jessica January 8, 2013 at 12:48 PM

love the article…is the jars you have pictures something with cubed cheese in there? if so what? loooks amazing

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Bonnie January 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Hi,….Could someone tell me if the fermented foods are alkaline or acid? I have a
serious problem with acid foods.
Thanks, Bonnie

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Sandra Marshall February 11, 2013 at 6:25 AM

I purchases some kimchi from a korean market. I think it is made in house. How long will this keep? Since it is fermented, it has a tang to it, how would I know if it has gone ‘bad’?

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Shaunaleee May 22, 2013 at 12:53 PM

I’m so confused. I just read about the benefits of fermented foods in Michael Pollan’s article, “Some of My Best Friends are Germs.” Wanting to learn more about adding fermented foods to my diet, I googled it and found this article. I also found a wikipedia entry that said this: “The World Health Organization has classified pickled foods as a possible carcinogen, based on epidemiological studies.[13] Other research found that fermented food contains a carcinogenic by-product, ethyl carbamate (urethane).[14][15] “A 2009 review of the existing studies conducted across Asia concluded that regularly eating pickled vegetables roughly doubles a person’s risk for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.”[16]”
I thought fermented foods were supposed to help with esophogeal cancer and other illnesses? And what makes a food ferment? Salt, vinegar, cultures, all of these? I’m not seeing what the common thread is that makes a food fermented. Yoghurt seems nothing like pickles which seem nothing like mayonnaise, or bread, or cheese etc. Can you make fermented vegetables without salt? I don’t want to up my sodium uptake. Sorry to seem so dumb, but I hope you can help me. Thanks!

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bettyboop June 2, 2013 at 1:09 PM

want to know if using vinegar in pickles and salsa kill the healthy bacetria? Not suppose to be distilled .Store bought pickles and saurkraut contain the good bacteria we want or is it destroyed?

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Erica Lynn @ Optimal Health Consultant June 7, 2013 at 7:14 PM

I love this post! I am reading “Enzymes for Health and Wellness” right now and eating fermented foods is so key! Not to mention they are so easy to make. 5-10 minutes and your finished; just let them sit and age.

If anyone is looking to add sourdough starter and bread to their diet I am running a series right now which shows how I maintain my sponge everyday and my bread recipe.

http://www.optimalhealthconsultant.com/category/nutrition/sourdough-bread-a-look-behind-the-scenes/

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Heidi C June 10, 2013 at 11:23 AM

What fermented food is in the jars on the top of this page? Is there a recipe to go with the picture? Pretty please?

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Ashley June 10, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Hello all,
I’m new to fermenting/ fermented foods and am a bit of a wuss when trying new foods (but am an experienced cook). I would love some opinions on good places to start experimenting with eating/making fermented foods. Anything that could be bought at my whole food/ health food store that would be a good start? I’m not a fan of yogurt so I have not tried kefir. It all seems intimidating, lol! Thanks in advance!

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Adrianne Skog June 10, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about 8 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods .

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Nina Samarguliani July 9, 2013 at 3:34 PM

So true. Winemaking tradition in Georgia is still alive! So we have preserved this method till now:)

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Alice August 20, 2013 at 8:42 PM

I’ve been advised to eat fermented foods while I’m recovering from some parasite issues. I’m leaning to make kraut, and we have a source for traditionally made kimchi. I never thought I’d crave kraut & kimchi, but now I do! Love it!

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Aaron September 27, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Hi, thanks for this article. I’ve been making sauerkraut for a while, and am currently experimenting with fermenting other foods. I was wondering though about fermenting using Apple Cider Vinegar as a starter. Not having any whey at the moment, I’ve substituted it for this. Lately I’ve been using it on coconut water–about a tablespoon of Bragg’s Organic ACV to a big jar…and it seems to be working. After a while in the fridge, though, it is starting to get a bit of an alcoholic taste. Are there any problems with this? A little help with this would be appreciated.

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Mari November 2, 2013 at 1:44 PM

I’ve been trying to eat fermented stuff but I’m having a very hard time with it, specifically the intensely-sour and bitter flavors. What you folks describe as “tangy” or “tart” are throat-puckering sour to me. They nauseate me, and I’m not talking about any “detox reactions”, I’m talking purely about the taste. I KNOW this stuff is incredibly good for me but it doesn’t do me any good if I can’t get it down! I keep making things – “maybe THIS time…” – and usually spit out the first bite, or I choke down a few bites and feel crappy, it languishes in the fridge a while and then goes in the trash when I need fridge space (I live alone). Can anyone help me learn to endure and maybe even learn to like this healthy stuff? I have not found that “eat something 10 times and you’ll start to like it” notion to be anything but wishful thinking (if that were true I’d adore olives, which are my #2 most-loathed food after liver, but so many of my past friends and relatives loved olives that out of politeness I didn’t pick them off the pizza or fish them out of the pasta sauce). I fooled around for weeks on end with water kefir and never managed to get something palatable; I hope to get a scoby soon since I can drink GT’s kombucha if diluted with juice and water and I hope to get something with less caffeine. Fage (I know, evil commercial milk) is about my speed for yogurt but still needs quite a bit of doctoring – I have never had homemade yogurt come out edible and wasted many gallons of milk, and the kefir was even worse! I’ve finally finished switching over to all sprouted flour (noms!) so I can avoid these sour-tasting soaked recipes.

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