Love and Fermented Food Will Heal the World
”Yes, you must kiss as many as possible in as many places as possible”. Charlotte commented, as I turned to her with eyes as big as plates.
We were at Krogerup Home Farm – Aarstidenes Farm Shop and Research Centre and my world had just been turned upside down by lecturer Soren Ejlersen the Chef and passionate Co-founder of Aarstiderne.com.
Me, who for decades had cleaned my home and myself with spirits and almost wore surgeons outfit when cooking was sipping a microbe filled kombucha tea spiced up with bark straight from a local ash tree.
“When we showed the ash bark kombucha to the people from the Veterinary and Food Administration, they didn’t know quite what to make of it to start with." Soren told us.
In this blog
The Good and The Bad bacteria
The Stomachs That are Rumbling the Most
The Mood Boosters
It's so easy. It’ so cheap. It's so healthy. It tastes so good
1. The Good and The Bad bacteria
I have started to take fermentation lessons, because I’ve been a little hesitant about my results so far. I find that my apartment smells suspiciously after a few days and as per my bacterial anxiety, I’ve also thrown out the contents of several jam jars without even tasting it. I therefore raised my hand during Soren’s PowerPoint presentation:
"Does it have to smell strange?" The indulgent smiles on the faces of the microbe-loving gathering around me answered my question – I obviously don’t have to be so worried. It’s those healthy bacteria that works and multiply that we want.
"Fermentation smells – so not to worry." Soren replied.
Soren proceeded to tell us that we are all colonies of microbes and that we have lived together forever. We have evolved with bacteria for thousands of years, we transfer the bacteria to each other, which makes us stronger and the bacteria maintain many of our most vital functions - they let us digest food, maintain our immune system and maintain our intestinal flora, and the list goes on. Actually, there are more and more indications that a strong immune system and a healthy intestinal system are inextricably linked.
A perfect microbiological world exist en every human being. Bacteria cover us; and most of these bacteria live in our stomach and intestines.
For thousands of years humans have survived winters on stock of fermented food. The fermentation makes the product retains its vitamins, and also makes them easier for the intestine to absorb. The vegetables are in general easier for the stomach to break down because the lactic acid bacteria break down the plant cells for us - for example, it is much easier for the stomach to break down fermented cabbage than raw cabbage.
Probiotics means "pro life" and are beneficial intestinal bacteria, which improves digestion and the entire body. Every time we consume living fermented food, we inoculate our gut with these beneficial bacteria.
The era of fast and processed food put an end to much of the living food. Although only less than 1% of existing bacteria cause disease are virtually all bacteria in the food industry today eradicated and the pickled food you can buy in supermarkets today are "dead" foods.
We need lots of good bacteria to eradicate the bad ones. But even the bad bacteria or pathogens have a purpose. They challenge and strengthen our immune system and make us stronger. A sterile environment is a fragile environment. So no more religious housekeeping, and get out there and kiss the world,,,,
2. The Stomachs That are Rumbling the Most
"Can you get too much it?" someone from the crowd asked (- without any subsequent indulgent smiles, I noted).
"The other day a mom called me because her son had been flatuled after drinking six bottles of kombucha in one day –which is almost two litres." Soren said. "First, I was pleased that a teenager had preferred kombucha, although it was a bit too much - but it’s said that the stomachs that are rumbling most when they get fermented food, are those who need it the most. So if you have a good intestinal flora, you can hardly get too much - if you don’t, you have to slowly grow the gut accustomed to it. "
3. The Mood Boosters
Fermented foods do more than breed bacteria — they generate happiness, too. They balance bad bacteria in the gut and influence the release of serotonin — a chemical that contribute to a person’s feelings. Not only do they send these chemicals to the brain, but also boost a system of neurons in the gut to impact a person’s mood.
The good bacteria signal the release of serotonin and cause less activity with bad bacteria, which feeds off carbs and sugars. When there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria the unbalance can cause digestive issues, weight gain, stress, anxiety and depression.
4. It's so easy. It’ so cheap. It's so healthy. It tastes so good
Ferment the leftover vegetables and fruits from the fridge, from the garden and the pulp from the juicer.
Salt, plants and time is basically all what’s needed in most fermentation recipes. The principle is this: If you, for instance, have a cabbage, an apple and a cucumber, that you know you won’t eat before it rots, you chop them up, weigh, add salt, massage until the veggies releases the juice, put it in canning jars and leave for a few weeks.
Use fermented food as a flavour enhancer instead of salt. Mix it in salads or eat as a dip or pickles. Here are some inspiring recipes.
I still scour my ingredients thoroughly; scalds the canning jars before use and wear plastic gloves while massage my veggies. Of course one should keep a good kitchen hygiene, but according the fermentation nerds you don’t have to be too fastidious, because we do want the bacteria. From now on it might not scare me so much to kiss a baby with a snotty nose.
“Love Will Heal the World” and “Spread Love”. The hippies’ old slogans now have a new and deeper meaning
Fermentering. Kraut Kimchi og kombucha af Shane Peterson, Søren Ejlersen & Ditte Ingemann