Some of our favourite fermented food quotes and definitions:
From Fermented Foods for Health: Use the Power of Probiotic Foods to Improve Your Digestion, Strengthen Your Immunity, and Prevent Illness by Deirdre Rawlings.
Value of Fermented Foods
“Fermented foods, then, are of utmost value because they furnish a rich supply of beneficial microflora and enzymes that combine to support the digestive process. Their beneficial microorganisms inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria by secreting large amounts of lactic acid, making the environment too acidic and unsuitable for pathogens. The lactic acid– producing bacteria, along with the help of enzymes in fermented foods, manufacture essential vitamins in your body: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, A, and K, all of which play important roles in strengthening immune system function and promoting healthy metabolism. Again, the digestive tract is home to some 100 trillion living bacteria of more than 400 different species, each of which has many types of strains. Approximately 20 types make up three-quarters of the total. Because these microorganisms are living, they require a certain environment in order to thrive. A large percentage are anaerobic, meaning they do not need oxygen to survive (making the gut a good place to set up housekeeping). Some are aerobic, meaning they require oxygen to survive. A third group produces lactic acid and can be either anaerobic or aerobic. Again, it is the lactic acid–producing bacteria that help acidify the intestinal tract and protect us from overgrowth of harmful bacteria.”
“Fermented foods contain the essential beneficial microorganisms required to ward off disease and fight everyday threats to our health. An abundant supply of these microorganisms builds a strong, resilient immune system and helps us bounce back quickly from the inevitable occasional illness. Daily consumption of lacto-fermented–rich foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi, containing L. audiophiles and Bifidobacteria, supports the abundant production of a healthy army of defending antibodies.”
Lacto Fermented Foods:
“PROCESS OF FERMENTATION Fermentation happens when microorganisms (natural bacteria and some yeasts) feed on the sugar and starch in food, converting them into lactic acid in a process known as lacto-fermentation. There are several types of fermentation (which I’ll briefly discuss on page 7), but lacto-fermentation provides the most health benefits and, therefore, is the type we will focus on in this book. From a biochemical perspective, fermentation involves the metabolic breakdown of a nutrient anaerobically (without the use of oxygen). This breakdown produces ethanol, acids, gases, and other precursor molecules, which act as intermediate compounds in a chain of enzymatic reactions, from which a more stable or definitive product is formed. In a broader sense, lacto-fermentation creates beneficial bacteria, enzymes, vitamins, and various strains of probiotics (live beneficial microorganisms). An added benefit just happens to be an increased shelf life of food. Interestingly, fermentation doesn’t just encompass one basic process—it’s nearly as diverse as the range of foods it produces.”
For a deeper understanding of some reasons for choosing fermented foods take a look at the work of the Weston A Price Organization. Some great reasons to include these foods in your diet as many traditional cultures have done around the world for thousands of years.