Ancestral Health Symposium: Overcoming the Fear of Fermentation


Last week, Bonni and I attended the Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta, Ga, where we offered many CFH products at our booth.

The crowd was quite different from that attending other conferences. They were knowledgeable on healthy eating, exercise, and quality of life, and we connected with some wonderful authors and bloggers in the paleo community. The surprising thing was that many of them did not include fermented foods in their meal plans.

Fermentation is an old method of preserving or preparing food, at least 9000 years old, but since the advent of industrial foods, it had nearly become a lost art. Thankfully, culturing is gaining ground again, and we were able to talk many of our paleo friends through the procedures for making kombucha, sauerkraut, water kefir, and more!


What we heard time and time again was FEAR! Fear of germs, mold, or bacteria, fear of culturing incorrectly, fear of making mistakes, killing the cultures, harming family members and friends. What this all boils down to is fear of the unknown.

And the advice we offered? Go for it. Plunge in. Follow your nose for anything spoiled, call us with any questions, but try it! Make the unknown a familiar part of your kitchen and all those fears will disappear. Get your kids, partners, spouses involved in choosing the foods you ferment. Soon you will have new and exciting foods to add to your meal plan, whether you are paleo, vegan, or anything in between.



Suzanne is into gardening, real food, and treading lightly. Her favorite cultured foods include Matsoni yogurt, which tastes just like the yogurt her Armenian grandmother used to make; sauerkraut, which she used to dip out of a barrel each week at her favorite little shop in Germany; and dill pickles, which she used to eat straight from the big jar on the counter of her Grandpa’s general store.

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  1. Cate says

    Love this. I also was in fear of tasting my first ferment since it was not an established way of doing things. But, I have overcome that fear and discovered how delicious and easy fermenting can be.

  2. Janet Creasyjanet Creasy says

    I like the message on this blog, Suzanne. The closer we get to our food, the healthier we can be. I know that since my gardening adventure, I am less fearful of bacteria, as I feel closer to the earth. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  3. Mantan Calaveras says

    I didn’t have a fear so much as a revulsion for foods I made at home. Like, I was grossed out by the apples from our apple tree, vaguely sickened by my homemade kombucha.

    But I got over it, it’s really easy to culture, and when you start to get good at it, prepared food isn’t as good.

  4. Rosalyn says

    That’s great that you kept on working at it, Mantan! It’s true – the more you do it, the better you get, and the tastier the food is.

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