Shocking Best way to preserve food

gardendawgie(5)July 21, 2010

I find it shocking that we are not using the best way to preserve food more often. High Pressure canning and BWB canning are not the best way to preserve food according to the scientists who study this.

Natural fermentation of food is the safest way to preserve food. Not vinegar pickles but fermentation pickles and all kinds of food.

http://www.seattlepi.com/food/407041_ferment0609.html

So, is fermentation really safe?

Leaving foods unrefrigerated for two weeks or more can be disturbing to those who weren't raised with a crock of pickles in the hallway. But U.S. Department of Agriculture research service microbiologist Fred Breidt says properly fermented vegetables are actually safer than raw vegetables, which might have been exposed to pathogens like E. coli on the farm.

"With fermented products there is no safety concern. I can flat-out say that. The reason is the lactic acid bacteria that carry out the fermentation are the world's best killers of other bacteria," says Breidt, who works at a lab at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, where scientists have been studying fermented and other pickled foods since the 1930s.

Breidt adds that fermented vegetables, for which there are no documented cases of food-borne illness, are safer for novices to make than canned vegetables. Pressurized canning creates an anaerobic environment that increases the risk of deadly botulism, particularly with low-acid foods.

There is much more in the article

I find it shocking that there is not more discussion of fermenting veggies on this site. We seem to ignore it. We seem to push the less healthy and less safe methods of vinegar flavoring pickles instead of fermenting them.

The eating of the live microbes that ferment veggies is super healthy. Vinegar flavored veggies do not have the live microbes that are important to our health.

Is it any wonder that Americans have so much trouble with cancer when we do not eat properly and we do not process our food in the best way.

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readinglady(z8 OR)

Are you seriously suggesting that when a poster has a question about canning green beans we should simply tell them how to ferment them?

There are many, many fermentation threads on this forum, but I don't see it as our job to prosyletize for one approach to food preservation to the exclusion of others.

Yes, there are risks to IMPROPER preservation of low-acid foods by pressure canner. But fermentation gone wrong, which is also possible, is a very nasty phenomenon.

Fermentation is not a cure-all. For one thing, the salt level precludes its regular use by many.

Carol

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 12:17PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

We seem to push the less healthy and less safe methods of vinegar flavoring pickles instead of fermenting them.

WOW! Quite an accusation there! I can only hope you didn't intend it to sound so critical.

We don't "push" anything here except safety. And we try to answer the questions posted. If they are about vinegar pickles then that is what gets discussed. If they are about fermenting then that is discussed. And there are many discussions here and in the past on fermenting.

But there is no conspiracy on this forum to intentionally deprive others of the information. Many folks simply don't care for either the taste of or the work involved in fermenting and I would strongly dispute the claim that it is easier for beginners to do as it is a more complex process.

And despite the claims made above, safety is of a much greater concern when it comes to fermentation than it is with vinegar simply because it is easy to do incorrectly; it isn't done "properly" as the author. He may not be aware of any current "documented cases of food-borne illness" from fermented foods but history is full of them. He might want to review some of the historical documents published on NCHFP about the historical practices of fermenting.

Pressurized canning creates an anaerobic environment that increases the risk of deadly botulism, particularly with low-acid foods.

Not if it too is done "properly".

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy fermenting some things as do many others here but I sure would not go so far as to claim it is the "BEST" way to preserve food. This article, this author, has an agenda to push, one he has apparently devoted his life too studying. So much of what he says needs to be taken with at least a tsp. of salt.

JMO

Dave

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 12:26PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I just happen to have a tsp handy, Dave. GRIN :-)

Well said, Dave and Carol both!
I believe there's a place for many preservation techniques, done properly and none of can make that call for another.

Deanna

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 5:33PM
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pixie_lou

The thought of fermenting my jam kinda skeeves me out.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:12PM
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