Our Fermented Lives

A History

How Fermented Foods Have Shaped Cultures & Communities

By: Julia Skinner

Forward By: Sandor Ellix Katz

“There’s no doubt about it, our lives are fermented. Whether or not you’ve ever given a thought to fermentation, the phenomenon has played an immense role in your life. From the very beginning, in our deepest evolutionary past, the earliest life-forms were fermentative, in the biologist’s sense of the word, meaning that their metabolism was anaerobic. Only after some of the descendants of these earliest organism began producing oxygen via photosynthesis did aerobic life-forms such as ourselves even become possible. We are descended from bacteria, we have never lived without them, and we are utterly dependent upon them. The trillions of bacteria each of us is host to are integral to our functionality. The soil, plants, and animals that give us our food are host to their own microbial communities, similarly essential to their well-being.”

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