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The Benefits of Probiotics

By Ben Hewitt, Joyce Hendley, "The Power of Probiotics," November/December 2010

For years, Sandor Katz has been fermenting foods, convinced that the probiotics they contain are keeping him healthy despite his compromised immune system.

These days our homes are graced with freezers and refrigerators (Katz calls the latter “fermentation-slowing machines”), but these devices haven’t halted an interest in the craft of fermentation, which has helped Katz sell more than 50,000 copies of his book Wild Fermentation, published by Chelsea Green in 2003.

Some of this attention to fermentation is no doubt owed to the growing interest in homegrown foods and the subsequent issues of preserving harvests through the winter; for instance, sauerkraut, made from cabbage, is one of the better-known fermented foods. Some of the interest might be credited to economic woes, as people may see fermenting the harvest as a way to cut their food bills. But part, surely, must be ascribed to Katz himself, who has become something of a food celebrity, crisscrossing North America on a mission to connect the dots between fermented foods, good health and cultural evolution.



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