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Are there some bad issues with fermented foods?  RSS feed

 
Xisca Nicolas
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We are so used to think that what stays out of the fridge "rots"...
Any mold on food sends it to the compost bin, except for blue cheese...

How is it possible to distinguish the good from the bad?

What makes the good fermentation and what can make it bad?
Are there some possible health issues with fermented foods?
Any definite hygienic "law" about making it?

Thanks!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Well, I have read also that too much fermented food is a factor for oesophagi cancer.
I guess the acidity is ok for the stomach but not for the oesophagi?

Anyway, they are just for taste and health (and preserving), not for replacing the regular food aren't they?!!

But what's fermented food is concerned? The one with acidic taste like LF veggies?
Some types of sausage/salami are fermented dry raw pork and I guess they are not concerned.
Cheese and wine, I do not know...
 
Sandor Katz
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Don't worry too much about oesophegal cancer. It is associated with high consumption of salty fermented vegetables, but the correlation goes away (according to the epidemiology) once fresh vegetables are introduced into the picture. Enjoyed in moderation and in combination with fresh vegetables, they actually have anti-carcinogenic compounds that can diminish cancer risk. Also, vegetables can be fermented with very little salt if you are concerned about sodium.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Thanks Sandor, I do not worry as I said "too much", and I guess that "too much" vinegar is bad too.
Sure the problem comes from the possible irritation with acid!

I would emphasize more my first post about all the possible unknown and possible mistakes that can make you sick.

The acquired taste for some fermented foods makes it difficult to follow one's nose!
 
Jp Learn
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Sandor Katz wrote:Don't worry too much about oesophegal cancer. It is associated with high consumption of salty fermented vegetables, but the correlation goes away (according to the epidemiology) once fresh vegetables are introduced into the picture. Enjoyed in moderation and in combination with fresh vegetables, they actually have anti-carcinogenic compounds that can diminish cancer risk. Also, vegetables can be fermented with very little salt if you are concerned about sodium.


Interesting. So we should moderate intake? Sounds familiar...
 
Xisca Nicolas
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When I read about the safety of fermenting, and that only one's taste is a limit... then I do not understand as some people can sometimes suffer from food intoxication!!!

I guess, partly, that food intoxication (the one that makes you vomit and camp in the bathroom) comes from some "bad bacterias".
Then, how do you know they are not there when you preserve some food with mold or bacteria ferments?

What are the basic rules in the kitchen and in the cupboard to be sure to get healthy fermented food in all meanings of healthy?

(and I can tell you that I am not afraid: I eat my salad direct from the garden without washing it ; I can rinse and eat what has fallen on the floor ; I have been eating meat soup one week with no fridge just by boiling it every day etc etc...)
But I would like to know the basic about the borders between foolish and safe.

I hope I am now precise enough in my question! Thanks for inputs!
 
Branden Byers
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Are you looking for the safety of fermentation in general or of vegetables specifically? If it is the latter, then as long as salt your vegetables and have them submerged below their own juices or a brine, then you really don't have anything to worry about. The salty environment inhibits pathogenic bacteria from multiplying as the lactic acid bacteria begin to acidify the vegetables (the lactic acids further protect and preserve the vegetables). So there is no need to fear vegetable fermentation.

There's no need to fear any form of fermentation but there are some important precautions to take when fermenting meats and dairy.
 
Erich Sysak
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Hello Everyone,

It's fascinating to think about how the language creates our perceptions and that perceptions may not reflect what's really happening. Consider the words: rot, moldy, spoiled, bad, etc...Even, for example, bacteria.

If you ferment food than you are on friendly terms with some very giving bacteria.

About nature Walter Russell wrote, "everything is given for the purpose of re-giving". Even with our very limited understanding of science today microbes surely offer much more "good" than "bad" and their role in this creational design system we call Earth is far more significant than we acknowledge.


E
 
Judith Browning
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I think you would need to look at each particular ferment. For example if tempeh has any mold color other than white, gray or black it is off and if there are any slimy places, off smells etc. I usually pitch the batch. But in the case of natto the result is totally different. I have had flavorful lacto fermented cucumbers that were too soft to be pleasent to eat.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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This is all right Erich and Branden, but IMO too vague. The point is not about good or bad and perception for me, but about making the difference. Branden, "some important precautions" means that there can be some issues with meat and dairies. Those precautions, I am looking for them.

Some of it is here: http://www.tempeh.info/starter/what-is-tempeh-starter.php "you can use commercial starters or some yoghurt from your previous batch. In the latter case there is a risk of contamination with other bacteria, a risk which increases with every successive batch."

I do not want to over-clean, as an empty space will be happily colonized by some unknown unwanted guys, and I believe that good bacteria and fungus development will be the best guardians! Let's remember that we work with stuff that we can hardly see, or not at all for most of them. We need a way to "see". This is for me precautions.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Sorry, I left my later answer standing for long and did not see yours.
Judith Browning wrote:if tempeh has any mold color other than white, gray or black it is off and if there are any slimy places, off smells etc. I usually pitch the batch.


Yes, I have had it become slimy with red spots! Then it stinks...
Sometimes I have cut the surface and I have eaten the inside, but I fried it before.

This is not so easy then, if you have to get rid of some batches from time to time, and I hope you are most of the time rewarded!
I am sure most of us want to reduce this sort of bad surprise, even though we love feeding our compost!!!
 
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