I have been absolutely fascinated by learning about the process of producing lactic acid bacteria at home. In all of my reading, one issue has become completely clear to me.
Just as we consider locally-produced, organic practice and grass-fed farming management to be good stewardship and care of the earth for our health, we should too consider the production and use of lactic acid bacteria in a non-industrial environment for our health to be a stewardship issue.
Yes, you could continue to take those expensive probiotics to heal your gut, but why take an industrial product with relatively low numbers of bacteria when you have an easy, inexpensive solution that tastes so much better, is easier to get down, is easy to make at home and is teeming with the probiotics you need?
You have rejected factory farming and industrial food production. You wouldn’t feed your child those foods, why continue with giving them probiotic supplements that have the same mentality, the same expense, the fewer-benefits-for-greater-expense problem you’ve rejected with the other things that you put in your mouth?
By taking commercial probiotics, you are exchanging low benefits and high expense for time and a little know-how. Is that a good exchange to make?
God created quality food and the ability to make lactic acid bacteria at home for our stewardship and our betterment. He wants us to have good health and a strong body and mind. So let’s turn the equation around. Instead of asking why you should make some lacto-ferments instead of taking your probiotic pill, instead ask why you should pop a pill instead of spending a few extra minutes in your kitchen.
If you’re consulting with a health care practitioner and you need a particular strain of probiotic not produced by an anaerobic lacto-ferment, then good stewardship states that is what you should do to regain your health. But otherwise, pills are not the answer. Pills should not be the default we turn to in trying to regain our health.
Just as we reject factor farming and have turned food production back to the home, the answer to your probiotic needs starts in your food. In your home. In your own hands. YOU have the power to take more of yourself out of the commercial industry and give yourself more benefits in the process. YOU have the power to take control of your own health. YOU have the power to improve your health and heal your gut. The answer isn’t found in a pill. The answer is found in stewardship. Stewardship begins with the work of your own hands, in your own kitchen.
Give your gut the same love you give you beef, your chicken, your pork and your eggs. That means moving away from the factory mentality where you can. That begins with making your own probiotics at home with a small investment of money, time and lots of love.
Want to read more about fermentation, including articles with references and more information on vessel types? See our Related Posts for all of the articles in this series.
I assume you mean all lacto-fermented goodies like kefir, kombucha and cultured veggies, etc. No one ever talks about how much better it is to take naturally produced probiotics, so I dutifully take some additional manufactured probiotics but I always have raw milk kefir around, kombucha and sauerkraut. From what you say my naturally fermented foods should be all I need, right?
KerryAnn Foster says
Kris, if you’re brewing them in a truly anaerobic environment such as a Harsch or a Pickl-It, then they’ll be teeming with lactic acid bacteria. Unless you have a specific condition you’re trying to cure that needs a non-LAB to help heal your gut, you should be fine just sticking to fermented foods instead.
Kombucha needs oxygen so it shouldn’t be done in an airtight jar.
KerryAnn Foster recently posted..Stewardship, Lactic Acid Bacteria and Probiotic Pills
Soli @ I Believe in Butter says
I’ve also heard that in the long term, it’s better to get the beneficial bacteria from food than from pills. The bacteria coming from food are able to repopulate in your gut, as opposed to what’s in the pill.
That said, I do both. And I am starting to think I should look into getting some anaerobic jars for my veggie ferments.
Soli @ I Believe in Butter recently posted..In memory of Honey
What strains of bacteria are in lactic acid?