Culture Study: A closer look at our fermented friends

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It is becoming evident that the health of human organisms depends largely on the health of non-human organisms called microbes. Our bodies are hosts to roughly three times the number of microbes as human cells. They outnumber us, so we had better treat them right.

Microbes live virtually everywhere in and on our bodies, with the greatest density and variety concentrated in the large intestine. These tiny passengers perform jobs such as extracting energy and nutrients from food, protecting against pathogens, affecting sleep, metabolism, and mood, and are in constant communication with the immune system.
When the microbial balance is disrupted, pathogens can gain a foothold. Changes in the gut microbiome have been linked to diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disorders, and even diabetes and obesity.

Considering all of this, it is evident that keeping our microscopic partners happy is of paramount importance. One way to do this is to eat fermented foods that are rich in microbes similar to those found in your GI tract. Yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, and a host of other fermented foods are having a heyday in light of this revelation.
Cultures for Health makes it easy to dive into making your own probiotic foods, enabling you to save money and protect your health.

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You can find these starter kits here at the Co+op:

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Organic Vegetarian Rennet: This rennet is a double strength, organic, microbial vegetable rennet for cheese making.
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Traditional Flavor Yogurt Starter: This yogurt starter is a pleasantly tangy direct-set yogurt starter that is easy to use. Make yogurt when you need to and freeze the remaining packets for later. With no starter to maintain this culture a great choice for beginners. Contains live active cultures
Vegan Yogurt Starter: This vegan yogurt starter consists of a blend of lactic acid (non-dairy) bacteria specifically selected for use in making dairy-free yogurt. This direct-set vegan culture has a mild yogurt flavor with a smooth texture and slightly thin viscosity. Made from rice maltodextrin; contains live active bacteria.
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Milk Kefir Grains: Adding milk kefir grains to fresh milk yields a delicious probiotic drink in about 24 hours. Milk kefir can be enjoyed plain, flavored, or used in many recipes, from salad dressings to ice cream. Made from organic powdered milk, organic milk, and live active cultures.
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Water Kefir Grains: Water kefir grains create a carbonated lacto-fermented beverage from sugar water, fruit juice, or coconut water. Incredibly easy to make, water kefir makes a fantastic non-dairy alternative to milk kefir and can be flavored to make a range of delicious beverages, or as an ingredient in many recipes!
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San Francisco Sourdough Starter: This sourdough starter culture contains Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis bacteria and wild yeast Candida humilis, giving this sourdough starter that famous San Francisco taste.
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Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter: Gluten-free sourdough bread and other wonderful baked goods are within reach! Made from brown rice.

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