Properly fermented foods deliver probiotics that could help cut disease risk, said a researcher at the annual meeting of the AAAS.
“There are sort of three main ways that our species has developed to break down foods, or process foods, in a primordial way. And that is by cooking, by fermenting foods and by drying them or desiccating them.”
Paul Breslin, professor of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He’s also a member of the Monell Chemical Sciences Center in Philadelphia.
“And the first two, cooking and fermenting, are older than our species is. Homo sapiens sapiens came about in the presence of fire. And probably eating some fermented foods, since that happens spontaneously.”
Breslin spoke February 20th at a press briefing at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.
“So I think that we may be unique among the apes in that we can detect when a food has been cooked or fermented. And that this allows us to identify the benefits of those, which is that they’re detoxified, they have greater available nutrients, and they are, in the case of fermented foods, going to have probiotics—or good microbes that we want and need in our intestines in order to survive in the world.…
“The second leading cause of death of children on Earth today is diarrhea, following pneumonia, which is number one. And that diarrheal disease is in fact the most common disease on Earth in humans. And that eating fermented foods, properly fermented foods of any kind, can in fact deliver probiotics, which help prevent these diseases. And I believe could in fact save lives if they were more commonly adopted in society.”
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]