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Are Cultured and Fermented Foods Hazardous to your health?


JLR - September 20, 2017 - 0 comments

I have been on the Cultured and Fermented Foods Journey for some time now. Needless to say, I have been devouring all the information that I can find about these little critters that claim to have such amazing health benefits.

To be honest I have only come across mostly favourable information. This despite the fact that I have tried exceptionally hard to find anything to the contrary.

I have come across some interesting tips such as –

  • Be sure to rinse your mouth after drinking milk kefir as the lactic acid could damage the enamel on your teeth.
  • You definitely can overdose on these foods and to this end moderation and balance in everything is important. Always start off with very small amounts and slowly build up.
  • If you have adverse symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, skin out breaks, flu like symptoms, headaches and nausea, it could be die off (bad bacteria leaving your system). However, it could also mean that you have an imbalance of good bacteria. Yes, the symptoms are the same if you have too many bad or too many good. Hence the point above is relevant.
  • Cultured and fermented foods are not for everyone. People with a very compromised immune system may not be able to consume them.
  • Remember that if you do not follow the correct methods you could introduce undesirable bacteria.
  • Foods can become contaminated and grow mold. Always err on the side of caution.

The only really tangible thing that I could find regarding cautionaries about these foods, is the story of the lightning speed stopper.

Jane (name changed to protect her identity) had been eagerly nursing her newly bottled second fermenting, berry flavoured Kombucha. She triumphantly observed the bubbling activity going on inside her bottles and marvelled at the fact that it looked like an active volcano.

The much-anticipated tasting day arrived. She chose the first bottle after much scrutiny, a bit like a sailor plotting his route through a stormy sea. She took a seat on the sofa and held her glass ready to receive the golden elixir.

She never knew what happened, or rather what had hit her smack bang in the middle of the forehead until she woke up in the recovery room of the local hospital.

The events slowly came back to her. She had started to remove the stopper from the bottle when of course it shot off with the speed of a mirage jet breaking the sound barrier. She was flung backwards and vaguely remembers being drenched in a cool bubbly liquid.

Luckily her daughter heard the explosion and she found Jane incoherent and soggy. A neighbour assisted with a lift to the hospital.

So here she with a mild concussion and a very large read and painful knob on her forehead. She was slightly sticky on her face, neck and arms and her hair was matted together with bits of berry. 

She found fragments of sticky berry for months afterwards. On the ceiling, the wall, the lamp, the floor and in the folds of the sofa.

Poor Jane, she never read the bit about burping the bottles daily to prevent a build-up of explosive pressure!

Cultured and fermented foods have been around for thousands of years in various forms and so are certainly nothing new. We are in a revolution at the moment as far as these foods are concerned and fermented foods have become bit of a buzz word and rather fashionable. This is always of concern to me, as the consumer can become exploited by the so-called health gurus. Be sure to always make informed decisions before embarking on any lifestyle changes.

Happy fermenting and beware the bottled volcanos.

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