Cultures in Your Kitchen
The foods we eat, which are made up of tons of tiny molecules and controlled by genes (just like us), inevitably affect our health. Digestion converts food into nutrition — a fascinating process that starts with the mechanical breakdown of food in our mouths and continues on to the chemical work of enzymes in our saliva and stomachs, until the molecules that make up our food are isolated and rearranged to make up us.
The less good stuff we put in our bodies, the harder our digestive systems have to work to get rid of all the junk. Much of this digestive work is performed by beneficial microorganisms in our guts, which we can keep healthy by choosing foods that are easy to digest and that maintain the ecosystem in our bodies. It’s amazing what these tiny organisms are capable of.
Probiotic bacteria in yogurts and cultured krauts improve digestion and ensure that microbial floras, the tiny gardens of living organisms in our bodies, remain cultivated and lush. The microbes in the soil play an essential role in the success of our gardens, and microbes also help make some of our favorite foods — cheese, sourdough bread, cultured butter, and beer. This recipe section is aimed at merging two important aspects of cooking and eating — creating foods that are both delicious and healthful.