Raw fermented foods are a class of food that has been crowded out of our diets since the development of moderns means of preservation: canning, pasteurization, nuking, chemical preservatives, even genetic modification. Prior to these preservation methods, fermentation was the primary means of preservation, a la Grandma’s sauerkraut crock in the cellar.

But when Americans stopped fermenting foods to preserve them, we didn’t realize that we were also giving up a host of badly needed health benefits. Fermentation actually greatly enhances the nutritive values in foods, and we sorely need those enhancements in our diet. Fermentation multiplies beneficial enzymes, even creating enzymes that weren’t there before. It increases the vitamin content. It creates large numbers of beneficial microbes, the kind that populate the gut and greatly aid digestion and even immune function, which, surprisingly, is largely microbial.

To learn more about fermented foods, stop by the Hidden Pond Farm booth or visit their website, www.hiddenpondllc.com.