Author Alex Lewin found his passion for fermenting thanks to kimchi. What is kimchi, you may ask? Kimchi is a fermented vegetable side dish flavored with seafood and spices. It happens to be Korea’s national dish.
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Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down for a conversation with Alex to discuss his book Real Food Fermentation, as well as the process of fermenting food and how he stumbled upon it.
More than merely the act of putting things in jars, fermentation is also a lifestyle choice.
Alex will be the first person to tell you that in addition to being a lot of fun, fermentation is important to our culture and out health. These days we are so conditioned to believing that bacteria are bad that we forget that there is good bacteria out there that is important to our very survival.
As Sandor Ellix Katz says, “The war on bacteria cannot be won. We wouldn’t want to win it anyhow.”
Bacteria helps us properly digest our food, inhibit the growth of bad bacteria, prevent disease, and much more. Did you know that the human body does not make vitamin K by itself? Bacteria create this by the process of breaking down food.
We are killing good bacteria by purchasing antibacterial products, overusing antibiotics, and panicking about every instance of “germs”. It’s resulting in increased allergies and illnesses. Think of how common peanut allergies are today.
When Alex first found fermentation and began to explore, he read a couple of authors who changed his perspective and helped him get on the path to eating well and living better. These authors are Sandor Ellix Katz of Wild Food Fermentation, and Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions.
We desperately need to get back to eating real food.
Real Food Fermentation offers readers a chance to learn about one of the oldest food preparation techniques out there. It’s a tried-and-true process that is easy to do and extremely rewarding.
Rather than constantly worrying about putting food away, fermentation lets you play with your food. Leave it out and watch the good bacteria do their best work, creating truly delicious concoctions that have delighted numerous cultures for centuries.
Alex’s five steps to getting back to real food:
1) Filter your water
2) Buy local, fresh produce
3) Stop using antibacterial soaps and products
4) Avoid consuming pesticides and artificial ingredients
If you want to know more about all things fermentation, be sure to check out Alex’s blog: http://FeedMeLikeYouMeanIt.com