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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2018
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Why you should consider fermented foods

In modern society, one of the things we don’t do much of is eat real cultured and fermented foods. These foods have been staples of the human diet all over the world for thousands of years. Since the Industrial Revolution, the advent of packaging, processing and convenience foods have seen the disappearance of these highly beneficial, nutrient-dense foods. Fermentation allows food to be preserved so it could be consumed later, and it was done simply by using the naturally occurring healthy bacteria in the food. 

Because this process improves the nutrient content and increases the beneficial bacteria of the food, it is not only healthier but also made easier to digest. Other foods were produced in a similar manner, such as kombucha, a fermented tea that is generated from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). It was also customary to culture and ferment many vegetable and roots foods through lacto-fermentation with whey from dairy products or salt. The bottom line is that the consumer market profits is the priority, so over time, the integrity of many of foods and drinks has been lost. We are now consuming a lot of dead nutrient foods. 

Most commercially produced sauerkraut, pickles, dairy and nondairy foods you buy in the store have only been processed with vinegar as a base, and subjected to high heat temperatures (pasteurization). This does not culture or ferment the food, but rather destroys enzymes and bacteria, and makes foods more susceptible to E. coli and salmonella poisoning because all of the strong healthy bacteria has been destroyed.

Cultured and fermented foods are highly beneficial in the process of healing the digestive tract. Many people overcome many food allergies and sensitivities due to the lacto-fermentation process. The cultured food improves or eliminates gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, bloating, gas, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and constipation by eating a small serving with each meal. The process also increases and strengthens vitamins and nutrients like magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2, K1, and beta-carotene.

Yogurt, kefir, butter and other cultured dairy and nondairy products are no exception to the rule of the commercial businesses. The dairy and nondairy products are standardized with only a few cultures (controlled in a laboratory environment consistently) and using highly processed kinds of milk — leaving you with a very low nutrient dense product. Mostly for shelf life longevity profits.

But all is not lost, you can regain control of your foods that you consume and bring the full spectrum of nutrient life back into your gut and get your control back. Many of the ways to make cultured and fermented foods are very simple and does not take a lot of time or money. You can learn how to do this process in small and larger quantities. Most people already have the supplies needed to make fermented foods in their homes and you’re already buying vegetables, so now you just need to know the simple way of putting it together. You can do some ferments in less than five days, while some take up to 30 days.

Consider making your own fermented foods to reap all of the above benefits! 

Tammie Kruse, NP

Join 9th Street Wellness Center in Green Bay for classes to learn the about the health benefits and making your own fermented foods, inexpensively and with ease. For more information, visit or call 920-490-9699. 


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