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This is a story you may not know
And it's banned in pickle town
It's about a peppered pickle
That became a circus clown
...

Carl Joseph Roberts Oct 2013



It seems reasonable to assume that most readers are aware that fermentation by yeast produces alcohol. Fermentation by lactic acid producing bacteria (of which there are many different strains), produces (can you guess?) lactic acid. Fermentation can also be achieved by combinations of bacteria and yeast. Since foods and beverages thus fermented have a longer shelf life, traditionally lacto-fermentation became an important method of food preservation. This was important when refrigeration was less common. Many traditional cultures, especially in Asia, still make extensive use of lacto-fermentation for the health benefits (and taste!) and some so-called developed countries in the West are also beginning to take notice. A few examples of lacto-fermented foods are sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables and yogurt.

Lacto-fermentation has moved beyond the kitchen, though. Korean natural farming methods such as bokashi, fermented plant juice (FPJ) and fermented fruit juice (FFJ) use lacto-fermentation to produce agricultural inputs for natural organic gardening and farming. In the case of FPJ and FFJ, the end product is also often used as a healthy supplement for human consumption. I guess what's good for the gooseberry is good for the gardener.