Date: Saturday, March 31, 2018
Time: 9am-1pm
Cost: $50
Instructor: Nigel Thomas
Location: Raven's Roots Campus

Discover the benefits and importance of creating your own fermented foods in our lacto-fermentation workshop.

Fermented foods are more flavorful, more nutritious, safer, less toxic, and are loaded with an abundance of live bateria and yeasts. Did you know that in your body human cells are outnumbered by bacterial cells to a factor of 10? These bacteria in our bodies preform a vast array of functions that are essential to maintaining health and happiness. Microorganisms play major roles in digestive health and efficiency, regulating immune function, and even our mental well being! Approximately 90% of the serotonin used in our brain is produced by certain cells in our digestive tract. These cells are largely dependent upon bacterial stimulation in order to produce adequate quantities of this compound that has critical importance in the quality of mood, learning capability, and social behavior. Our germaphobic society is wreaking havoc on human health with overuse of antibiotics both in our food supply (ie. livestock) and modern medicine. A chemically sterilized water supply, sterilized food supply, and over use of antibacterial cleaners are a further unintended assault on our bodily bacterial diversity and health. The problem with antibiotics and antibacterial cleaning products which kill 99.9% of “germs” is the fact that beneficial bacteria constitute the large majority of the bacterial world and are responsible for keeping the relatively few harmful organisms in check. Careless genocide of all bacteria in, on, and around us is actually doing more damage than good; making us more susceptible to infection and disease.We are all exposed to these harmful practices to some degree which is why it is so imperative that we strengthen our bacterial communities by consuming a variety of fermented foods containing a diversity of live bacterial cultures.

Why is it crucial for us to produce our own fermented foods as a source of probiotic nourishment rather than buying commercially available ferments and probiotic supplements prescribed by doctors? Most store bought fermented foods are pasteurized for the sake of shelf stability and consistency in the qualities of the products. Many kombuchas, yogurts, sauerkrauts, and supplements marketed as being rich in probiotic bacteria contain only 3 or 4 proprietary bacterial strains that are inoculated into the product post-pasteurization. Homemade ferments contain a huge diversity of beneficial bacterial and yeasts. It is this diversity of organisms that we must expose ourselves to in order to maintain a healthy native community of cultures inside our bodies

During this class we will discuss the fascinating processes that define fermented foods as well as how incorporating these products into our diet is an essential part of overall health.You will learn everything you need to know in order to have the confidence to dive into the world of fermentation for yourself. We will cover techniques used to yield a variety of tasty probiotic-rich foods such as kimchi and seed-cheeses, along with bubbly beverages like kombucha and simple natural sodas. At the end of the day you will take home your own personalized kimchi and sauerkraut incorporating nutritious wild food from our farm; allowing you to experience the slow transformation taking place before you. Resulting in more nutrients than before with complex and unique new flavors. It is our hope that this experience will encourage you to reclaim these celebrated traditions of our ancestors and apply them in your life.

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