Fermentation (Updated)

October 2, 2016
(was 03.15.2015)

Something's bubbling in American kitchens: a resurgence of interest in cultured and fermented foods.  Fermentation revivalists share a slow food philosophy, a DIY approach to foodcraft, and a deep interest in the health of the American gut.  Today, we explore fermentation culture in food, technology, art and science.

  1. Ferment This!

    Sauerkraut, kimchee, kefir, kombucha... Sandor Katz calls himself a "fermentation fetishist."  The author of The Art of Fermentation and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved explains what's driving today's fermentation revival.

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    4.4
    Average: 4.4 (5 votes)
  2. You Won't Believe What They Eat In Iceland

    Take a big slab of shark meat, bury it in a pit and let it rot.  Then dig it up and hang it in a windy shack for 4 months.  No wonder the Vikings took to sea -- you would too, if dinner was hakarl.

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    3.666665
    Average: 3.7 (3 votes)
  3. Smells Bad, Tastes Bad, Covered in Slime

    The Japanese either love or hate these slimy, stinky, fermented soybeans.  Now, natto is gaining popularity with home fermentation enthusiasts. 

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    Average: 3.7 (3 votes)
  4. Grow Your Own Clothes

    What if we could harness nature to grow clothing for us?  London-based fashion designer Suzanne Lee explains how she grows cloth inside giant vats of fermented tea. It's part of a future industry she calls "bio-couture".

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    4.666665
    Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
  5. The Day The Yogurt Took Over

    The future belongs to a cultured dairy product, in science fiction writer John Scalzi's short story "The Day the Yogurt Took Over."

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    2.666665
    Average: 2.7 (6 votes)
  6. What Your Poo Says About You

    At the University of Colorado, microbiologist Rob Knight is exploring a new frontier -- the human microbiome.   His work could revolutionize medicine.  But first we all need to get a lot more comfortable talking about poop.

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    4.666665
    Average: 4.7 (6 votes)
  7. Dangerous Idea: Human Vices Help Drive Evolution

    Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert's Dangerous Idea:  human vices are just as important as human virtues in shaping evolution.

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    4.333335
    Average: 4.3 (3 votes)
  8. What Comes After Homo Sapiens?

    History began when humans invented gods.  It will end when we become gods.  Yuval Noah Harari's sweeping and provocative Sapiens retells the history of our species from an entirely new perspective.  Homo sapiens rules the world, Harari says, because we are the only animals that can believe in things that exist purely in the imagination. Like money, states, and gods.

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    5
    Average: 5 (4 votes)