Fermentation

After spending the last few months falling in love (again) with fermented foods, I just adore the concept of fermentation. In Sandor Katz’s book ‘Wild Fermentation‘, he talks about fermentation being an agent of change in our society. I have to say that I swoon over words like these. I am a hopeless idealist (or is it hopeful?). Yes! I am a hopeful idealist! I like spending more time thinking about how brilliant we are as humans and how we have the collective ability to sort out most of the issues that face our world.

This is where the metaphor of fermentation really gets bubbling. For so many years, we have been packaged and processed, much like our food. There has been a great cultural homogenization that has happened and bringing fermentation back into our kitchens is a powerful first step. Why? Why does food matter? Why would retrieving and experimenting with old time methods of food preparation mater? Because food is basic to life. Unless you have become a sungazer, drawing your prana from the sun, you need food to eat. Food is more than calories and macronutrients, it is energy, vibration. The vibration you consume as food affects your whole body-mind. Everyone knows the curative properties of Grandma’s cookies. Food prepared with love and consumed with gratitude is completely different than food that is plopped down by uncaring hands waiting for a shift change. There is a huge array of biochemical changes that occur when we digest food, and our emotional state is directly tied to our bodies.

So making food that makes you feel good, that is nourishing and healthy, that uses local ingredients, that bubbles with life, this is a recipe for health. But there is more. The process of fermentation is slow. It relies on a few brave pioneering microbes to get the party started. Slowly, the change bubbles through the whole dish, and the food is transformed. I think change, lasting change is like this; a few brave pioneers, with a radical view of a harmonious world, begin to share their vision with anyone who is near, they just beam and bubble with their enthusiasm and dream. The dream catches the imagination and slowly, the whole world is bubbling. A complete transformational shift, to love, to harmony, occurs as if overnight.

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