T hese FAQs are designed to help provide a better understanding of Fermented Harvest, our foods and our values and mission. They provide basic information, sometimes about fairly complex topics. These FAQs will often link to more detailed information.
Where can I purchase your ferments?
What are whole food probiotics?
Probiotics are the good bacteria that are critical to our digestion and immune system. There are primarily two ways to get them. They come from naturally fermented whole foods (Cultured Vegetables, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso, natto, authentic wine and beer) or are made synthetically in a lab and added to processed foods, drinks, and supplements. Fermented Harvest addresses the gap between nourishing foods, and synthetic probiotics. We employ the time honored artisanal process of lacto-fermentation to bring a natural, vegan, and organic probiotic to the market.
What are Liquid Cultured Vegetables?
A unique part of Fermented Harvest is that we offer not just the cultured vegetables, but that we bottle all of the reserves! Our Liquid Cultured Vegetables come from the probiotic-rich brine that is naturally created by the process of fermentation. We do not juice our vegetables in order to extract the Liquid Cultured Vegetables. We simply harvest the brine when the ferment has completed the curing phase.
What’s the difference between your Cultured Vegetables and sauerkraut?
Sadly, most sauerkraut available is not a truly fermented raw product. Much of the artisan skill for making sauerkraut was traded in for an industrialized and pasteurized product. We also find that folks have pretty strong associations with sauerkraut, and think it can only be eaten with hot dogs! At Fermented Harvest we want to create a fresh palate for our customers. We think the name “Cultured Vegetables” more accurately describes that wonderfully crunchy, whole food probiotic zip!
Where do you source your ingredients?
We use only certified organic produce and Selina Brand Celtic Sea Salt©. When able, we source our vegetables as locally as possible.
Do you use any preservatives?
Fermented Harvest does not use any vinegar or other synthetic preservatives. For centuries communities who did not have access to refrigeration used lacto-fermentation to preserve their foods. This time honored process creates an environment that discourages the growth of bacteria and molds. Our products are constantly tested for pH and salt levels to ensure they are safe. They have also been tested at a certified food lab to guarantee shelf life.
Do you heat or pasteurize your products?
Our Cultured Vegetables and Liquid are completely raw and have never been heated or pasteurized. They are full of naturally occurring enzymes and probiotics that have not been altered by pasteurization.
What type of fermentation vessel do you use?
We ferment our Cultured Vegetables in small batches using ceramic Harsch crocks; just the way people have fermented their foods for centuries before. These crocks and temperature controlled refrigeration enable us to maintain an air tight and cool environment for the probiotics to thrive and the ferment to be perfect. Once the ferment is complete, the Cultured Vegetables and Liquid are immediately transferred to glass jars during bottling.
How long are your products good for?
Our products need to stay refrigerated and will all have a “best by” date stamped on the product. Depending on when you purchase your product, they should have at least a few months remaining before the “best by” date.
How can I incorporate Cultured Vegetables into my diet?
Traditionally, sauerkraut was used as a condiment. Communities incorporated fermented foods into every meal they ate. The vegetables are extremely versatile. If you’re newer to sauerkraut, try just a bit paired with any type of meat or fish. Add it to your greens and make a probiotic salad! Once you really love it, eat it right off the fork for a quick convenient snack! Whether you eat it as a side dish, mixed in with your salad, or as a condiment to your sandwich, meat, or fish, we think you will enjoy every bite.
How do I use Liquid Cultured Vegetables?
Add it to soups, blend with olive oil for probiotic dressings, stir in a probiotic shot with your freshly pressed juices, puree in smoothies, and mix with marinades for probiotic sauces! If your body is new to fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut), then take it slow. Try maybe 1 tsp or less every few days.
What is fermentation?
Simply, fermentation, or pickling, is the process of breaking down sugars, fats, and starches of the food being fermented. We are familiar with many fermented products and don’t even realize it! Wine, cheese, beer, miso, kimchi, and yogurt are just a few that have been fermented for centuries. The result is incredible flavor, natural preservation, and it makes the food or drink more easily digested. Lacto-fermentation is the type of fermentation used in making our Cultured Vegetables. It’s an amazingly complex biochemical process which happens naturally when the lactic acid bacteria on the surface of vegetables are covered in a salt solution (brine) and maintained at a proper temperature and humidity. These lactic acid bacteria (probiotics) and others thrive in this environment, and continue to break down the vegetables into a product that is very easily digested by our bodies.
What is GAPS?
Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) is a comprehensive nutritional protocol designed by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride to heal the gut, thereby strengthening the immune system and opening detox pathways. We have been tremendously blessed to work with a nutritional therapist certified in the GAPS protocol. We have been on our GAPS journey for over 15 months and have seen tremendous healing and resolution of symptoms. Please visit our Nutritional Therapy page.
Why are probiotics important?
Probiotics have only recently gained attention in the pharmaceutical industry, yet people groups have eaten fermented vegetables for centuries reaping their probiotic benefits. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that keep our digestive systems strong. When people do not have sufficient levels of these bacteria their digestive systems cannot process foods properly. The body sometimes expresses this digestive malfunction as food allergy, autoimmunity, a compromised immune system, and other diseases. Cultures have used fermentation as a natural process in not only preserving their food but allowing it to be more easily digested. Our bodies cannot function well on chemically derived vitamins alone. Our bodies thrive on nourishing whole foods that naturally introduce probiotics into our system.