May 23, 2015
Recorded LIVE from the Argonne Library in Spokane!
The average trip to your local health food store exposes you to a colorful variety of fermented foods like kombuchas, yogurts, kefirs and other packaged compounds that promise to maximize your digestive health by increasing your beneficial gut flora. But this whole fermentation thing isn’t exactly a new phenomenon.
Cultures around the world have fermented a number of different products. In Asia, there is natto, kimchi,kefir; in the Middle East, pickles , yogurts, and torshi; in Europe use of sauerkraut and rakfisk, and Pacific islanders with poi and kanga pirau. In America, we eat all these and combine with kombucha andchocolate.
Why? In simple terms, fermentation makes food healthier.
For example, the gut-disrupting lectins, gluten and phylates in grain are reduced by fermentation, while the mineral inhibiting properties of soy are vastly reduced with fermentation. Dairy is another example of a potentially harmful food that can be made beneficial by fermentation, since fermentation breaks down lactose in dairy and decreases the sugar content of dairy, which is great news for anyone who is lactose intolerant or trying to limit sugar consumption.
Limiting damage to the gut is just one benefit of fermentation, and for many people trying to optimize wellness, building a healthy immune system and optimizing digestive performance by maximizing probiotic (good bacteria) consumption is another major perk of eating fermented foods. A probiotic rich diet can protect from colon cancer, relieve inflammatory bowel disease and lactose intolerance, improve oral health, increase bioavailability of vitamins, nutrients and minerals in food, and perhaps most significantly, increase the efficiency of the immune system, which is primarily located in your gut.
Unfortunately, most commercial probiotic foods that you buy at the grocery store have been pasteurized, packaged improperly for keeping good bacteria alive, or treated with high amounts of added sugars to satisfy a palate conditioned to sweet foods.
So what’s the solution? Make fermented foods yourself at home! And in this workshop with Ben and Jessa Greenfield, you’ll learn how to do just that.
This skill will be especially useful if you always find yourself with extra vegetables or fruits, or want to store foods for long periods of time. For thousands of years, cultures have known that lacto-fermentation will preserve vegetables for long periods without the use of freezers or canning machine, since the lactic acid formed during fermentation is a natural preservative that inhibits bacteria. Once you learn how to ferment and to appreciate fermented foods, it becomes a simple meal preparation process and a healthy eating skill you know for life. So come and get some newfound fermentation skills that you can use for the rest of your life to make your food more digestible and your body healthier!