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Fermented Foods & Why We Do It

Wine, beer, sourdough bread, pickles, yoghurt and miso all have one thing in common. Yes, being delicious and massively popular forms of food and drink is one thing, but not the thing I am referring to. That is,

Fermented.

The beautiful art of breaking down organic materials by enzymes. Sounds enticing right? No, you’re right, it doesn’t, but what comes out at the end really, really, is. Which is why humans have been doing it and refining it for a long time.

In total, 6.6 million tonnes of food in the UK is thrown away every year. Of that, 70% could be eaten. 

All in all, there are 3 types of fermentation. 

  1. The kind that is despised by brewers across the land - Acetic which turns alcohol into vinegar
  2. The kind that is beloved by brewers across the land - Alcoholic
  3. The kind that creates the mouth-watering food we love everyday - Kombucha, kefir and lacto fermentation.

The words fermented foods can put some off when hearing it but really, without noticing, we crave, love and, frankly, devour fermented foods all the time. Which is where we come in. We love fermented foods. 

And we want to grow the fermenting movement, getting everyone to ferment at home. It doesn’t take much to do and ultimately, it reduces waste and benefits health and wellbeing by creating gut-friendly, probiotic produce. 

Come down and visit us at a market (we’ll be at Good Liverpool’s next market, check out the details here), take one of our workshops or simply take a look at our blogs. We are always educating on the benefits of the fermentation process.

But why do we do it? There are a wide range of reasons why but two of the most important are sustainability and health. 

1 trillion bacteria live in our gut, fermented foods can help us strike the right balance of good and bad bacteria, helping with nutrition and gut health.

We at The Fermentation Station loathe waste. Did you know - about 1/5th of all food brought into UK homes ends up as waste and is thrown away, that amounts to, on average, £810 of waste food per UK family a year. In total, 6.6 million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK every year, and a whopping 70% of that could be eaten. By fermenting veggies and fruit (the top category of wasted food), we can save them from the bin with a really simple process.

By using up lonely veg to make sauerkraut or kimchi, or by pickling them in a simple brine we could reduce food waste in our own homes. Keep some jars, find a recipe or attend one of our workshops and try it out! We try to utilise and reduce waste as much as possible, we’ve saved surplus leeks from Claremont Farm, soft tomatoes from Adam’s apple on Allerton road and constantly think of new ways to save produce from the bin. 

There are over 1 trillion bacteria that live in our digestive system. Each and every one is crucial for the uptake of nutrients in our system as well as giving us a stronger immune system. There are both good and bad bacteria in our gut and by eating probiotic rich, fermented food we can develop the right balance between the two. 

As with anything, please consult a doctor before making any big changes to your diet and remember, moderation is key. We recommend introducing small quantities of ferments into your diet for a week and see how you go. For example, you could have a shot of water kefir each morning or pop sauerkraut or kimchi in your sandwich or salad for lunch every day. 

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To find out more about getting gut healthy with our foods, check out our other blog here.

To see more of the delicious, small-batch and seasonal ferments that we have on offer, take a look at our Summer collection here.

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