In an ongoing effort to “preserve the treasured process and alchemy of fermented foods,” the Upper Delaware Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation and Transition Honesdale presented a fall workshop in traditional food preparation.
Shop Local Save Land Providers led the discussion. Homesteader Lucia Ruedenberg-Wright of Fork Mountain Farm and farmer Roger Hill of Treeline Farms demonstrated sauerkraut making using the process of lacto-fermentation, which involves pickling with salt rather than vinegar, and incorporates microorganisms in the air and earth to preserve food and make it more digestible and healthier. Unlike canning, the process does not require heat-processing or special sealed lids.
Bacteria and yeasts act on sugars in the food and produce the natural preservative lactic acid. The salt inhibits harmful bacteria until the lactic acid forms. Whey can be used as an inoculant to speed up the process. Lactic acid-containing foods are valued for relieving intestinal problems, promoting lactation, strengthening the sick, and enhancing well-being and stamina. Taken with meals, lacto-fermented foods promote thorough digestion.