Here's a modern look at an ancient method of survival, and a list of the top 10 healthiest fermentation survival foods.
One of the first things humans did when they moved from hunter-gatherer nomadic societies into settled village life was to learn to preserve the foods they produced. The invention of pottery made storage in a permanent settlement a reality and larger amounts of foods could be kept for times when seasons changed or foods were in short supply. One of the first and healthiest ways to preserve foods was with fermentation. Fermented foods contain absolutely essential bacteria, Lactobacilli that strengthen the intestinal system, the "GI" is where many health problems begin and become worse.
Planning for the continued survival after a catastrophe should include planting food items that can be fermented and consumed and stored for health benefits and sustainability after emergency rations are consumed.
Fermentation produces health benefits that today's highly processed foods do not. If you read the ingredients on labels of canned goods they read like college chemistry textbook. The survivors' necessity of preserving foods in safe and healthful ways has many benefits. Healthy digestion is essential to good health and consuming foods that have been produced through fermentation is the key. Nearly all organic plant matter contains a kind of lacto-fermenting bacteria called Lactobacillus acidophilus. When Lactobacilli begin reproducing in the fermentation process, they produce lactic acid. This helps to act as a food preservative. The fermentation process is also beneficial in that it makes the essential nutrients in the food readily digestible.
Today's supermarkets carry entire departments of natural and organic foods, many are fermented. But this is not rocket science. You can easily produce healthful fermented foods yourself.
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Kombucha: a fermented beverage of black tea and honey. It has multiple benefits.
Sauerkraut: fermented cabbage, high fiber and cabbage is a multi-vitamin storehouse.
Pickles: Too many vitamins and minerals to list here!
Miso: made by fermenting soybean, barley or rice with the koji fungus. This has anti-aging benefits and boosts the immune system (very critical in survival situations).
Tempeh: a combination of soybean and tempeh starter, an excellent source of protein.
Natto: a Japanese favorite, made with fermented soybeans. Make sure you can plant or have access to soybean, it's nutritional value and multifaceted uses can go a long way in sustaining health in a post-Apocalyptic environment.
Kimchi: a legendary Korean dish that uses fermented cabbage and vegetables. South Korea is a leader in longevity and much of the credit goes to the kimchi. Raw cheese: Pasteurization has its benefits and drawbacks. Much of the vitamin and GI value is removed by this process. Pasteurization was a product of mass production and distribution of food. In a survival environment this is not only unnecessary but hinders the health value. Here again, goats to the rescue!
Yogurt. Easy to make, and doubles as a basic food and treat. Add local berries and enjoy and be healthy.
Surveys in recent years have concluded that the Western diet, especially the average diet in America, has led to a decrease in life expectancy. Processed foods, excessive sugar (fructose syrup) and preservatives dominate the American diet with totally negative outcomes of poor health and health knowledge. Adding to this a decrease in active lifestyles, daily stress from excessive use of personal media and social media (excessive use of social media is considered to be a factor in depression), alcoholism and an opioid epidemic now in full expansion, means that in a post-Apocalyptic world many more would die just because of health issues.
A survival diet would have to eliminate these factors and food choices since health care and medical personnel would be scarce. Proper preparation for self-sufficiency and food production and storage would protect those who wisely plan ahead and ensure a healthy chance at survival.
Smoking (in this process there are security and location considerations, as well as type of available wood).It is important to remember fire safety and whether or not this method is safe when unfriendly neighbors are around. Selecting wood that is safe to burn and adds flavor is also essential to the process.
Salting: salt is an essential item in any survival situation. It is a preservative, adds "spice" to otherwise bland foods and also contains iodine for good health.
Survival Resources: Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit: Simplified Fermenting In Jars Not Crock Pots! Make Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles Or Any Fermented Probiotic Foods. 3 Lids, Extractor Pump & Recipe eBook - Mold Free