A Beginner’s Quick Start Guide to Fermenting Vegetables

Selection of fermented food – carrot, cabbage, tomatoes, beetroot

You’ve probably heard about fermented foods, but have you given it a try? Fermenting is a great way to store the bounty from your garden, and eating fermented foods is terrific for your health.

 

Why ferment vegetables?

Fermentation is allowing good bacteria to grow on your veggies. This bacteria helps to preserve the food and creates lactic acid that brings a healthy balance of bacteria to your gut.

 

What equipment do I need?

There are containers made especially for fermenting, but all you need is a clean mason jar. You can ferment just about any vegetable. Cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and peppers are popular choices.

 

What do I do?

Fermenting your vegetables is easy. Follow these simple steps.

  1. Wash your vegetables and cut them into the shapes you want.
  2. Place the vegetables in a mason jar or fermentation container.
  3. Add any spices you like. You can find many fermentation recipes online. Some popular choices for spices are garlic, dill, and basil.
  4. Add a tablespoon of salt. Once you have more experience with fermentation, you will know how much salt tastes right to you.
  5. Fill the jar with water. Leave one to two inches of space at the top.
  6. Be sure the vegetables are below the water level.
  7. Close the lid and allow the vegetables to sit at room temperature for several days.

 

How long should I wait?

There is no set amount of time for vegetables to ferment. It depends on your tastes. Sample your veggies after about three days to see if you like them.

The taste and aroma of your fermented vegetables will be sour but pleasant.

 

Where should I keep them?

Store your fermented vegetables in the mason jar in the refrigerator or a cool place like a root cellar. When kept cold, your veggies will continue to ferment but at a slower rate. The fermented flavor will get stronger over time. Keep sampling your vegetables to determine what stage tastes best to you.

Fermentation will keep your vegetables ready to eat for three months to a year.

 

What if it smells bad?

Every once in a while, your fermentation efforts might go bad. If you open your mason jar and the food smells rotten, throw it out.

Be aware that sometimes a small amount of mold may form at the top of the jar if you haven’t fully submerged your veggies in brine. This growth is not dangerous, and you can just scrape it off.

Fermentation is a wonderful, healthy, sustainable, and simple way to use your vegetables longer. As you try new recipes, you will discover exactly how long you prefer your veggies to ferment as well as the right amount of salt and spices for a result that is perfect for you.

Give fermenting your vegetables a try. You will enjoy your homegrown produce for many months after the gardening season has ended, and your digestive system will thank you.

8 Eco-Friendly Reasons Why You Should Shift To Organic Farming

More and more consumers shift to organic products as a healthier and more ethical choice. The rising demand of consumers increases the need for more organic farms, too. Thus, many farmers and agriculturists explore the ability of organic farming to produce more income and profit.

But apart from the financial and health benefits, organic farming also provides so many benefits for the environment.

Maintains Healthy Soil

A study suggests that organic farming builds up more organic soil matter compared to conventional no-till farming. A teaspoon of compost-rich organic soil contains about 1 billion helpful bacteria from 15,000 species.

Prevents Soil Erosion

Soil erosion affects food supply and the people. Through organic farming, the soil will be more enriched. According to a research, organic farm has 8 more inches of topsoil than chemically-treated fields.

Avoids Chemicals and Pesticides

Apparently, organic farming does not use synthetic pesticides and other harmful chemicals that may contribute to environmental pollution.

Conserves Energy

Conventional farming uses a wide variety of technology, from the manufacture of synthetic fertilizers to farming methods. A study found out that organic farming saves 37 to 74 percent of energy.

Sustains Clean Water

The major contributor of water pollution is runoff from non-organic farms which contain harmful pesticides and other chemicals. Further, organic farming conserves water because it does not need too much irrigation as the soil is healthy.

Supports Animal Health

Organic farming utilizes farmland and natural habitat in raising animals such as pigs, cows, chickens, and fishes. It does not also inject growth hormones and other chemicals that may affect animal health.

Encourages Biodiversity

The use of pesticides and herbicides harms the endangered species. Insecticides kill the pests and insects which are natural prey for predator species. Humans acquire infectious diseases due to chemically-treated farming. Whereas organic farming plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy biodiversity.

Fight Global Warming

A study suggests that shifting to an organic agricultural system may help in reducing carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change. According to Rodale, converting 10,000 farms to an organic system is equivalent to taking almost two billion cars off the road.

Have you tried organic farming before?

6 Healthy Tips to Avoid ‘Fake’ Organic Products

Buying organic food has become popular for consumers now. It has been their way of achieving a sustainable and healthy life. Commercial markets are also selling organic food. The increasing demand is a good news for organic growers. This means that they can sustain their livelihood and the production of organic food.

However, there have been issues surrounding the market that some products are really not ‘organic’. They were just labeled as organic to attract customers leaning toward a healthy living.

How can we shop for real organic products?

Read the Labels

In the United States, the Agriculture department certifies products that are organic by sticking a black or green seal. The seal signifies that the products are made with 95% or 100% organic ingredients. Apart from the seal, you can also see an organic print saying “100% Certified Organic Product” or simply “100% Organic”.

Check the Code

All products have distinct PLU codes. These codes are little numbers on stickers that are entered when you purchase your groceries. The PLU code of organic products start with 9 and is followed by four more numbers.

Beware of ‘Greenwashed’ Products

‘Greenwashing’ is very rampant in most commercial stores nowadays. Some companies take advantage of organic seals, prints or eco-friendly terms in their packaging to market and sell their products, creating a reality that their products are organic. Most commonly, ‘greenwashed’ products include cosmetics and baby care products.

Always Ask

When in doubt, ask the sales representative or store employees if the products are really organic. The store is more knowledgeable about their products since they know where they get these products.

Use your Senses

You can also determine the difference between organic and inorganic foods by using your senses. Organic foods do not look identical, no tomatoes look the same whereas, inorganically grown products are almost identical. Organic foods are usually smaller as well, as there are no growth hormones involved. Lastly, organic food smell and taste better.

Shop at Local Farmers’ Markets

If you want to be 100% sure with the products you buy, shop directly at local farmers’ markets or community supported agricultural shops. Ask about their farming practices and techniques. No doubt, they sell real organic products.

10 Reasons Why You Should Go Organic Now!

In this modern world, everything is fast-paced. Our work gets instantly done through the use of automation and technology. Our food…instant too! Most people have a hard time preparing for healthy meals, in which they resort to fast food. According to studies, fast food is linked to the increasing number of obese people.

It’s time to get healthy! Turning organic is a smart choice. It promises chemical-free and nutrition-packed products.

Here are 10 reasons why you should go organic today:

No Chemicals

A study found out that a person takes about 16 pounds of chemical pesticides every year from the food that they eat. These came from over 600 active chemicals approved for agricultural use. Organic foods use zero chemicals.

More Nutritious

On average, organic foods provide 21.1% more iron, 27% more vitamin C, 29.3% more magnesium and 13.6% more phosphorus than inorganically grown foods.

Better Flavor

Organic foods deliver better taste due to a higher amount of antioxidants. Synthetic fertilizers in inorganic farming compromise soil quality, thus affecting the product taste.

Avoid GMO

90% of most common crops are grown through the help of genetically engineered (GE) food and genetically modified organisms (GMO), which contaminate our food supply.

No Unnecessary Hormones

If you are a lover of dairy products, beware as they contain the 90% of pesticides humans consume. Meat, milk, and eggs contain excessive growth hormones.

Preserve Ecosystems

Organic farming promotes eco-sustenance. According to research, organic farming preserves soil and crop rotation and enhance the ecosystem, suitable for the survival of various species.

Proper Animal Treatment

Conventional livestock suffers inhumane and confined conditions. The animals are also pumped with synthetic hormones. Organic farming allows animals to enjoy free, outdoor space to behave naturally.

Maintain Healthy Soil & Waters

Organic farming does not use agricultural chemicals that contaminate the water supply and destroy land fertility. According to a study, only 0.1% of pesticide reaches pests, while the remaining 99% goes to the environment.

Safer Supplementation

Aside from organic food, natural supplementation is also a smart choice. Herbal medicines are proven to prevent the acquisition of various illness and disorders.

Longer Life

With all that has been said – ‘organic’ means longer life!