This is John Kohler with OkRaw.com. Today
we have another exciting episode for you. I’m here at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market.
It’s every Sunday in Hollywood, California. It’s one of the largest farmer’s markets
around and we’re here to talk about a very interesting subject. It’s fermented vegetables.
So I really enjoy eating fermented vegetables sometimes, but sometimes in raw foods, people
don’t like them. So we’re gonna head over to the booth today to learn more about some
fermented vegetables and a local purveyor that makes them here so let’s head over
to the booth and check it out. So the vender that I really wanted to share
with you guys today is actually right over here. It’s actually called Brassica and
Brine and what they do is they actually ferment foods. Check it out, it’s says “Nutrient
dense living foods, probiotics, organic, and raw vegan.” And they have a sign here, it
says “A healthy human body has more than a hundred trillion symbiotic bacterials living
in it. That’s nine times more than the number of human cells.” So I mean, literally, we
are bacteria. And these bacteria help keep you healthy. They help digest your food, produce
vitamins, regulate your immune system, balance the acidity of your inner ecosystem. “Unfortunately,
they are thrown out of balance by many factors in our modern world, including antibiotics,
antibacterial soaps, antibacterial chemicals in our municipal water, the pill, stress,
poor diet, and pollution. They can be restored by regularly eating foods like sauerkraut
and kimchi. Eat, enjoy, and enliven. Brassica and Brine.”
So what this company sells, they’re a small company and they make different fermented
foods and beverages. And some of the ones they have here today are things like the Kimchi
Karma. We got the Four Thieves, the Autumn Harvest… They got a classic sauerkraut.
They got one that’s new to me, because there’s a lot more kind of fermented foods than just
the sauerkraut that you all think of, this is actually called a Sauerruben…and this
is made with turnips. And they even have one here with some mushrooms in it.
So you might be thinking “John, did you go off the deep end? Are you now eating sauerkrauts?”
Well, hey, I’ve been eating sauerkrauts and fermented foods all along. Now, I don’t
necessarily think you could make your diet out of these guys, but I do like to include
maybe a table spoon at night into my salad dressings. Maybe like I’d do some blended
tomatoes with some macadamia nuts with a scoop of this, it’ll make it taste out of this
world. Now I tend to go for the ones that are actually lower in salt because I don’t
want to actually get too much sodium in my diet. And I think for probiotics, it’s far
better to eat some real food to get your probiotics than just taking a supplement.
Now I’m gonna talk to Uri, the owner of Brassica and Brine who makes all these ferments
in small batches. Now these are not the same kind of fermented foods you’re gonna buy
at your local health foods store in many instances. Many instances, those sauerkrauts you buy
in the store—especially if they’re not in the fridge sections, but even if they are—they
may be heat processed. And when you heat process your foods, you’re gonna lose all the enzymes
and all the probiotics in them. So I just have a few questions for Uri today,
and Uri…Why are probiotics foods such as this so beneficial for people?
[Uri] There’s so beneficial, first, because of the billions of microorganisms that you’re
getting in your fermented foods. So those are lactic acid bacteria that are naturally
needed to the human digestive tract. We start to receive them from mother’s milk. They
start to build the digestive tract, immune system in babies from the time you’re born.
And then there’s a lot of things in our environment today that sort of flush out and
kill these beneficial bacteria in our guts. Things like chlorinated tap water or drugs
and alcohol or caffeine…or if you’ve ever taken antibiotics to get rid of some cold,
those antibiotics are also killing the beneficial probiotic bacteria that are in your gut. So
these types of foods restore them, restore—restore a sense of balance and acidity and alkalinity
in your gut to help you break down and digest foods to help manage your immune system and
metabolism. [John] So another question I have is actually,
why are your products better than maybe some of the other products in the stores? Like
yours it’s what’s called a “wild ferment,” right? What’s the difference between a wild
ferment and maybe like a laboratory made ferment? [Uri] So this method is called wild fermentation—it’s
the same method of fermentation that’s been used since before recorded history. It’s
the same method that, you know, a lot of people come by here and they tell me “Oh, my grandmother
used to make sauerkraut.” This is the exact same type of fermentation method that people
have been using for thousands of years, compared to some other sauerkrauts today that are either
using laboratory culture—a laboratory culture to ferment their sauerkrauts or, like you
mentioned, John, they’re pasteurizing their sauerkrauts so it doesn’t even have the
probiotics in it. This is the same—when you look at the history
of fermented foods and see how people benefited from them for thousands of years, this is
what they were eating. This is what was soothing their digestive tracts and making them feel
better. They’re using these natural cultures that appear on cabbages or on the skins of
any healthy, especially organic, fruits and vegetables.
[John] So if these bacteria are actually naturally occurring on some of the cabbages, say, if
I eat a lot of cabbage, will I get this bacteria so I won’t need to eat something like the
sauerkrauts and some of the fermented foods that you’re offering?
[Uri] While they do occur on the skins of fruits and vegetables and cabbages, they’re
not occurring in the same numbers you’re going to get when you create an environment
that lets them multiply exponentially. So, for instance, in the fermentation environment,
you’re first of all excluding all other types of either disease causing or putrefying
microorganisms, which also exist naturally on the skins of fruits and vegetables. And
in nature, that would be part of the decomposition process of, for instance, a cabbage. That
all of those microbes are gonna start metabolizing sugars and starches and breaking it down back
into the soil. But when you create an anaerobic environment where the lactic acid bacteria
can multiply, they’re going to be creating lactic acid, which is one of their main byproducts,
which it lowering the acidity which encourages more lactic acid bacteria to grow. So you
end up with these exponential numbers of, for instance, billions of lactic acid bacteria
in a jar of sauerkraut or in a jar of pickles or whichever food you’re fermenting, as
opposed to maybe the millions mixed in with other types of microbes that are on the skin
of the fruits and vegetables themselves. So you’re getting a lot more, sort of a concentrated
form when you ferment it. [John] Another question I have is, you know,
some people might say “You know what, sauerkrauts and stuff, they’re a rotten food.” So
what would you say to somebody who would say this food is just rotten because this is what
happens when it goes bad? [Uri] There’s two ways to look at it. One
is that it is a controlled process of rotting, where any fermented food is a type of rotting
that we have decided is—tastes good to us or we enjoy it or is more nutritious. But
another way to look at it is this is actually not rotted at all. It’s actually very well
preserved. And that’s what the fermentation process does. Is it takes a cabbage that under
normal circumstances would rot and would become slimy and smell bad very quickly over the
course of a few days, under warm temperatures, but once it’s fermented, it can literally
stay fragrant and tasting good and be nutritious and be a good source of vitamin C—and, with
various fermented foods, a lot of B vitamins as well—for the course of years. You’re
going from a few days, from a freshly harvested cabbage, to years for a fermented cabbage
or other fermented vegetables. So it’s actually very, very well preserved and not rotted.
And just as an example of that, one of the revolutions in worldwide sea exploration in
the 1600s and 1700s was taking barrels of sauerkraut out onto those ships, especially
Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy, would take out barrels and barrels of fermented
cabbage, which was high in vitamin C and actually not a single one of his crew members died
from scurvy, which was the biggest disease for sea exploration at that time which is
cause by a vitamin C deficiency. So for the year or two that they would be out exploring
the oceans, they would have this great source of vitamin C in their barrels of sauerkraut
fermenting away. [John] So as a gardener, one of the things
that’s really important to me is preserving my harvest but not canning it or heating it
to cook it up. And I think sauerkrauts and fermentations are probably one of the best
ways aside from sun drying or shade drying or dehydration, you know, that you can preserve
things and still keep it raw. And in this case, you actually improve on it, in my opinion.
So tell us about some of the nutrition that’s actually improved by actually some of these
ferments than just eating the cabbage alone. [Uri] There’s a lot of vitamin C in cabbage
and in sauerkraut, but the vitamin C that’s naturally in cabbage becomes twenty times
for bioavailable once the cabbage has been fermented. So you’re getting a lot of vitamin
C that your body can absorb and use in there. You’re getting antioxidants that are helping
prevent cancer in your body. You’re getting digestive enzymes that your body naturally
produces in your pancreas, but over a lifetime, that’s putting a lot of stress on your pancreas
and your body. When you’re getting those digestive enzymes through a fermented food
or through any other raw foods, that’s taking some of the stress off of your body and over
a lifetime that makes a big difference. You’re getting a lot of other compounds in sauerkraut
that even some studies have shown that the sauerkraut acts as an aphrodisiac. That it
helps…you know, arouse the libido in people. So you’re getting a lot of benefits from
fermented foods that you may or may not be aware of.
[John] Wow, so some of these fermented foods can actually really be healthy in my opinion.
So now I’m gonna get to sample some of this, uh—what is it called, the ruben—sauerruben.
So instead of just the sauerkraut which is just fermented cabbage, this is actually pickled
turnips. So do you guys just shred those up or how does that work?
[Uri] Yes. They’re just shredded and then mix with a small amount of salt and caraway
seeds, and then packed into fermentation vessels and fermented about four to five weeks. So
it’s about four to five weeks. [John] So, these are fermented four to five
weeks and—whoa!—you can actually make these guys yourself at home. Wow. It’s totally
amazing. Want to encourage you to get some raw, living fermented foods and incorporate
a little bit into your diet. It like to add it—use it as an additive, you know, to add
some flavor because it really has a flavor like no other. So I think that fermented foods
can definitely be beneficial in a raw foods diet and I want to encourage you guys to go
out and try it. So I hope you guys enjoyed this episode learning
more about the fermented foods and if you want to learn more about his company here,
it’s called brassicaandbrine.com to learn more. I always encourage you guys to source
your products, especially fermented products from local purveyors and if they’re not
available in your area, you got to make them yourself. Unfortunately a lot of the ones
in health foods stores nowadays are actually not really raw, you got to make sure they’re
really raw ferments like they’re offering here at Brassica and Brine.
So I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. Once again, my name is John Kohler with OkRaw.com.
We’ll see you next time and remember: Keep eating your fresh fruits and vegetables. And
yes, even your fermented ones.