If I need to pick one thing that is lacking in the modern American diet, it is fermented
food. In almost every culture, there’s a tradition of eating fermented food on a
regular basis, and there is a valid reason: it can keep your immune system alert,
so you can minimize the risk of getting sick.
While I take probiotic supplements when I travel, I make sure to eat fermented foods
every day at home because they almost always contain a wider variety of bacteria
than what’s in the supplement. Eating different fermented food also increases exposure
to more bacteria.
So why do I advocate making your own fermented food? Unfortunately, many commercially
available fermented foods go through pasteurization after fermentation, so all the
bacteria you get may be only what’s been added back by the manufacture. In addition,
many manufactures do not ferment their products long enough, so you may receive minimal
While some fermented foods require a long time to make, there are some that are super
easy. I make kefir with goat milk every day, and it takes only a minute or so. When
I have time, I make a big batch of sauerkraut, natto, and others.
Many websites have recipes for fermented food, so go ahead and make your own. It
may take a few tries to perfect your own recipes, but I guarantee that your own fermented
food taste a lot better than what’s available in grocery stores.