Not a day goes by without consuming some of my homemade ferments. I love the acidic flavour that many ferments have, the kick they add to my lunch or dinner, and the way I feel when I incorporate them into my food daily. In fact, when I am not able to eat or drink my ferments I notice my body asks for them. I crave ferments.
I started my fermentation journey with a few water kefir grains given to me by a friend and I am hooked since. I have fermented milk kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, jun, dandelions, lemons, sourdough, vinegar, pickles and a long list of varied vegetables, herbs and spices. There is still a lot on my wish list to ferment, I am not done playing and enjoying by far. For me, to ferment is not just a healthy practise, it is also a grounding practise, an empowering practise and a creative practise. I would go as far as to say it is an act of rebellion.
Right now you might be looking at your sauerkraut or glass of kombucha in wonder, trying to imagine how on earth that cabbage you chopped up or tea you steeped was an act of rebellion. Well, let me explain my thoughts on this. Fermenting foods and eating them gives us the opportunity to be in charge of our own health. I believe that a big part of being healthy lies within the food we consume. Our society has developed in a way of putting the authority of our health outside of ourselves. Not only does a doctor decide whether or not we are sick and how we are to get better, we have lost contact with our food. Food production is done by farmers and big corporations out of sight and often not even on the same continent. They decide how to grow our food, what pesticides and antibiotics they use, how much space livestock gets or how they treat the soil. The consumer doesn’t really have a say in the matter. For many of us food preparation is done by companies that use machines tucked away in factories. The methods they use, the additives, the ingredients and preservation are barely known to us.
What most consumers know these days of food is what it looks like all wrapped up in plastic by the time you buy it in your supermarket. To prepare it you need only to pop it in the microwave or add water and heat it up. We do not choose what we eat, although we like to think that we do, the international money market decides what ends up in your food and supermarket isles. Distancing ourselves from our food and subsequently our health, or vice versa, has left many of us with little confidence when it comes to these matters. Most people do not know how to grow food, how to prepare food for consumption or what healthy choices are for them.
Enter fermentation. By daily consuming our home fermented delicacies we are able to take better care of our health. Eating live cultured foods fuels your body with good, probiotic bacteria and enzymes that keep your gut in optimal condition and enhance your immune system. Additionally, many of these bacteria are excellent detoxifiers. Certain foods are better digestible after fermentation and in other foods the proces of fermentation will help release vitamins and minerals. I am not saying that ferments are miracle workers or a cure for any illness, but they will aid you and your body to stay healthy. In my opinion it is better to nurture our health continuously instead of trying to cure ourself when the damage is done.
When we ferment we are in charge. We decide what is good for us, we decide what we put in that glass jar, we decide how it is preserved. A fermenting practise strengthens our relationship with food and reconnects us with it. While being more intimate with our food we begin to trust ourselves more and start regaining a healthy (pun intended) relationship with our health. Who knows, this new confidence might even lead us to get involved further in our health and diet. We might start growing our own vegetables, get informed on what happens out there to our seeds, crops and animals or learn more about cooking and healthy choices.
My fermentation practise has definitely inspired me to learn more about the importance of eating live cultured foods. Being so involved with it has naturally made me want to know and do more. It has become a happy routine to check in with my ferments, to make them and to enjoy them. It makes me feel so good to be able to take care of myself in a way that is not only tasty but also fun and creative. I keep experimenting and playing with vegetables, fruits, salty water, yeast and bacteria. I said it before and I will say it again. Not a day goes by without enjoying a good taste of home fermented food.
We give fermentation workshops at Su Ferreri, email or message us for more information.
Join us this summer at WAO festival or Psy-Fi festival for one of our workshops.