Benefits of Fermented Foods

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08/12/2013
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Interviewer: I want to get into some foods and food categories and talk about those a little bit. Let's start with fermented foods. Explain exactly what those are. What has happened to those foods to get them in that state?

Sally Fallon Morell: Yes, good question. There's two types of fermentation. There's alcoholic fermentation, which is the action of yeast on sugars to make alcohol. There's lactic acid fermentation, which is the action of bacteria on sugars to make lactic acid. And the lactic acid is a preservative and keeps these foods preserved for a long, long time. But there's a lot more going on in lactic acid preservation. Good bacteria proliferate and lactic acid is formed and enzymes are formed and all of these are very helpful for our digestion as we now know.

Interviewer: You mentioned sauerkraut. What are some of the... you mentioned fermented milk too?

Sally Fallon Morell: Yeah, sauerkraut. Well, fermented milk is yogurt, cheese, kefir, all of those. Kumis is another one. All over the world you find fermented drinks, fermented dairy. Salami is a fermented food. These aged, hard sausages. Gravlox, fermented salmon. So there's many, many things we can ferment. They ferment pork in Asia. They have lacto-fermented pork. So almost anything can be lacto-fermented. 

Interviewer: So now what's the difference in a yogurt or a sauerkraut that you go buy off the store shelves versus maybe another kind? I mean, when you look at yogurt, there's a lot of sugar in some of those . . .

Sally Fallon Morell: Right. 

Interviewer: . . . that you buy off there, you know. . .

Sally Fallon Morell: Well, first of all, this kraut is usually pasteurized in the source so that gets rid of all the good things . . .

Interviewer: Sure.

Sally Fallon Morell: . . . that you were getting from fermentation. But fortunately there are companies now making genuinely lacto-fermented foods that are not pasteurized and they're extremely safe. Even the FDA admits that these are very safe foods because they are quite acid and so the pathogens cannot grow in them. Now yogurt, yes, there's all different brands of yogurt. All of them that are commercial are made with pasteurized milk. So you have the problems there. I think the best thing is to make your own yogurt with raw milk. 

Interviewer: Let's talk about eggs a little bit. 

Sally Fallon Morell: Mm-hmm.

Interviewer: It wasn't long ago when they were terrible. They were going to raise your cholesterol. Then you have to get rid of the yolk, just eat the whites. And some of that is still going on. Are . . .

Sally Fallon Morell: It's silly. 

Interviewer: . . . eggs good for us or not?

Sally Fallon Morell: Eggs are very good for you and the yolks are the really important part of the egg. It's very important what the chickens are fed. If the chickens are being fed soy, then you will get the plant-based estrogens into the yolk and you don't want that to happen. So we really recommend finding a farmer who's raising their chickens outside and not feeding soy. And the way you do this is contact the nearest local chapter of the West A. Price Foundation. They keep a food resource list and they can help you find these kinds of eggs.
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Sally Fallon Morell discusses fermented foods. Find out what those consist of and how they provide a health benefit. She also clears up myths about eggs. She describes the kind you want to make sure you eat and how you can find them.

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