Tag Archives: bacteria

1438113254346If I told you that the secret to health and wellbeing, to vitality and longevity, is all in your gut, would you believe me? Well, it's true! Science is discovering everyday what scientists, doctors, healers, medicine men and women, gurus and good eaters of old have known for perhaps thousands of years: that the seat and fate of our health sits in our gut.

We are literally swimming in, surrounded by and made up of trillions of micro-organisms. An estimated 100 trillion, in fact. So many that at least 4.5kg of an average adult's weight is made up of micro-organisms - and the vast majority of them are good for us, living symbiotically on and in us - covering our entire skin surface and functioning in every organ, tissue and our blood. We cannot live without these amazing colonies of organisms, which we have both evolved from and evolved to co-exist for mutual benefit.

Science is literally discovering new bacteria and micro-organisms inside and on us daily, and understanding more intimately the role these friends and foes play within us. We know that eating a healthy, balanced diet, made up of natural foods that these microbes eat and thrive on works wonders for maintaining healthy populations of good microbes. Equally so, a poor diet, made up of foods that assault and starve our internal friends, results in poor health and wellbeing.

Many cultures have understood for perhaps millennia how important a nourishing diet is for our gut health, and how our gut health influences all other systems of our minds and bodies. It is no coincidence that as humans have adopted a processed, denatured, unhealthy diet that we are, for the first time in human history, experiencing epidemic proportions of diet and lifestyle related disease - most of these directly related to poor gut health.

So what can we do? The answer is surprisingly simple and easy. EAT MORE NATURAL FOODS. Avoid denatured, chemical-laden, processed foods. Keep it real, keep it organic, local, fresh and as close to its natural state as possible. Every time we eat is an opportunity to nourish our body, to nourish every living cell and 100 trillion microbes that rely on us for sustenance. Choose prebiotic foods - foods that your existing microbes can feed and thrive on. And choose probiotic foods - foods that already contain high concentrations of beneficial microbes that we can add to our gut: fermented and transformational foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kefir, sourdough, fermented beverages, yoghurt and cheese, to name just a few.

With 100 trillion micro-organisms living on and inside us, how can we ever dine alone?

If you would like to know more about your gut health and the fascinating world inside us, follow me at Fermental As Anything! and Australian Kimchi Appreciation Society.

We also run regular workshops and classes on Korean kimchi, Korean and other cooking, and gut health.

Wherever you live in Australia, or the world, but especially for SE Qld residents, if your vegie gardens were or are affected by the floods in the future, there’s a number of things you need to consider before eating your veges and fruit, or restarting your garden. Some produce may be saved, but some needs to be eaten with caution or disposed of if your garden was affected by flood water.

Here’s some tips for vege gardens to get you back on track:

  • It may take up to 4-6 weeks before your garden is free of flood water contamination.
  • Don’t eat or preserve food from your garden during this time.
  • Discard leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, soft berries and herbs.
  • Thoroughly wash beans, peas, tomatoes, capsicums and zucchinis in water, then soak them in vinegar and/or a weak saline solution. Always peel and cook them well before eating them. These veges are highly susceptible  to bacterial contaminations.
  • For underground veges like carrots and potatoes, wash them in water and sanitise as above. Peel and cook well before eating.
  • Produce with a protective outer skin, such as peas, melons, some fruit, corn or oranges should be washed and disinfected, then the outer skin removed before eating. If possible, also cook the peeled produce well.
  • IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!
  • During the 4-6 week period, it’s OK to continue watering your garden bed, unless it’s raining, and also fertilise and compost. This will help with leaching and washing away any impurities from your plants and soil.
  • It is recommended to plant fresh seeds or seedlings from a reputable nursery or garden centre to restart your garden.

Good luck and enjoy!