Health and autonomy through fermentation - Project

In this project we want to explore fermentation from two different angles:

  1. Which fermented food and recipes can be good for health, and
  2. How fermentation can be used as a way to grow biomaterials, transforming organic matter into useful objects.

In both cases, we want to see how fermentation can help increase autonomy by locally creating our own healthy food as well as our own useful organic objects.

Objectives of the project

  • Summarising the scientific knowledge and ancient skills about fermentation
  • Developing creative recipes relatively easy, very tasty and very healthy!
  • Exploring methods to grow useful objects from organic matter

Method and timeline

In 2018 we started some explorations and experiments on fermentation. From mushrooms grown out of shredded wood, to various kinds of lacto-fermentation, to bean cheese making, and finally to tempeh experiments.

Over the year 2019, we co-founded an initiative with a handful of friends called Ferment the City!, based in Taipei, Taiwan. For about 6 months we explored the concept of fermentation with a lot of freedom, including applying the idea of fermentation at the scale of the society, with the concept of social fermentation.

Now, we have hence potentially many things to share here! But this will come step by step because our priority is to focus on another project: exploring the digestive system and learn about healthy eating. When it will be clearer for us about what really means healthy eating, we will know which kind of substrates, ferments, and techniques we want to work on!

Therefore this project may not be updated very often over the next months, but might become quite active later… Subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed!

Results so far

  • If you are ready to dive into practice, you can have a look at our first article about fermentation: How to Make Okara Tempeh. Okara tempeh needs slightly different growth conditions than tempeh made from full soybeans, and that is what we cover in detail in the associated eBook.
  • If you are interested in the idea of social fermentation, or you would like to ferment your city, then you can have a look at our Ferment the City! Facebook page.

Resources

Here are some good sources of information about fermentation science and practice:

  • Food Forest Lab, from Claire (in French). Claire is a very active and creative co-founder of Ferment the City!, and she is now sharing her experiments about fermentation and food forests, including fermented drinks and bean cheeses.
  • Asian Fungal Fermented Food is a very nice book chapter giving a scientific overview of these specific fermentation techniques using fungus as the ferment, such as for tempeh. Nout, M. J. R., & Aidoo, K. E. (2002). Asian fungal fermented food. In Industrial Applications (pp. 23-47). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
  • The Noma Guide to Fermentation is an amazing eBook about various fermentation techniques remastered from a Copenhagen perspective. Redzepi, R., & Zilber, D. (2018). The Noma Guide to Fermentation: Including koji, kombuchas, shoyus, misos, vinegars, garums, lacto-ferments, and black fruits and vegetables. Artisan Books.

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