"After we moved to the farm near Swanders in 1945, we had big gardens too, and I remember kraut making. It was usually in October, when it was cool. The moon sign had to be right — going down, or waning. Otherwise the kraut would swell and run over. We used big stone crocks. A crock was set near the chimney in the basement so that it could help hold the cutter in place while slicing the cabbage. Later, I would sneak down and snitch handfuls out of the crocks" - Pat Diehl from www.shelbycountyhistory.org
"Could it be that in abandoning the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation and in our insistence on a diet in which everything has been pasteurized, we have compromised the health of our intestinal flora and made ourselves vulnerable to legions of pathogenic microorganisms? If so, the cure for these diseases will be found not in vaccinations, drugs or antibiotics but in a restored partnership with the many varieties of lactobacilli, our symbionts of the microscopic world."
(Sally Fallon, from the 1995 book Nourishing Traditions and head of the Weston A. Price Foundation)
"Fermentation is a health regimen, a gourmet art, a multicultural adventure, a form of activism and a spiritual path, all rolled into one." -Sandor Katz
Raw cultured veggies undergo an unheated fermentation process called "culturing." Specialized friendly lactobacilli feed on the natural sugars in the veggies, breaking them down into lactic acid.
When you heat these products, or pasteurize them (your standard "factory" made store-bought sauerkraut) the beneficial enzymes are destroyed. Why bother?
The process of lacto-fermentation naturally inhibits putrefying bacteria, allowing for long storage and consumption life when kept refrigerated. These beneficial bacteria enhance digestibility, remove toxins, increase vitamin levels, produce helpful enzymes, anti-carcinogenic substances and healthy intestinal flora.
"Most of our grandparents and great-grandparents probably had crocks of pickles and kraut in the cellar."
Fermented or live-cultured foods are at the forefront of the food as nutrition movement. This time honored method of food preservation has been handed down from generation to generation. Most of our grandparents and great-grandparents probably had crocks of pickles and kraut in the cellar. But what your grandparents may not have known is that the lactobacilli responsible for this transformation, converts the starches and sugars in fruit and vegetables to lactic acid. In doing so, these beneficial bacteria enhance foods digestibility, remove toxins, increase vitamin levels, produce enzymes and anti-carcinogenic substances and promote healthy intestinal flora.
Raw fermented foods work by increasing the healthy flora in the intestinal tract and by creating the type of environment for them to flourish in. Fermentation actually increases nutrient values in the cabbage, especially vitamin C. Fermented foods also facilitate the breakdown and assimilation of proteins. And, as an added plus, they have a soothing effect on the nervous system. In essence, they are a natural probiotic.
So why cultured veggies?
1.) fermented foods are highly nutritious.
Dutch seamen would carry great casks of sauerkraut to prevent scurvy - it's an excellent source of Vitamin C. The fermentation process also helps to release the vitamins and minerals already present in the nutrient rich organic veggies!
2.) fermented foods enhance digestion.
Poor digestion can occur because of stress, environmental contamination and poor diet, leaving us enzyme deficient and unable to process the nutrients in food. Fermented veggies restock our enzyme bank, which can improve over 3000 enzymatic functions in our bodies, including digesting protein and fighting cancer.
3.) fermented foods fight toxins in the body.
Lactic acid in fermented foods can kill many strains of parasites and other pathogens in the body, purifying the intestine. High fiber in fermented veggies helps to clean the digestive system, removing undigested food and unwanted materials. Healthy, beneficial bacteria (like those found in live yogurt) colonize the digestive tract and protect us from toxins.
4.) fermented foods are alkaline.
Lactic acid does not have the harmful acidifying effect on the human system that other organic acids tend to have. A healthy body tends to have an alkaline PH balance - unhealthy bacteria prefer an acid system, causing disease and health problems.
5.) fermented foods are a convenience food!
These "living salads" keep for a long time (when kept refrigerated), travel well and require no cooking. In fact, many cultured veggies will improve with age, and can last for many months if properly cared for.
6.) fermented foods taste great!
fermented foods have a distincitive, tangy taste that is quickly addictive. They make perfect appetizers to aid in digestion, or a quick snack on the go. Many people find that enzymatic foods also help kill cravings for sugar/sweet foods.
All of our fermented food products are made with RealSalt - natural salt without additives or chemicals.
7606 E. Birch Pt. Rd.
Traverse City, MI 49684
email us at curley [at] speedconnect [dot] com