Frequently Asked Questions
There’s a bit of confusion about what “lacto-fermented” or “lacto-fermentation” means. The thinking goes something like this:
Because some “Nourishing Tradition”, as well as traditional European recipes recommend using whey as a “starter” when making fermented foods, it has been assumed the term “lacto-fermentation” meant dairy is used. The thinking goes like this:
- Whey is from dairy….
- and dairy contains lactose, a milk sugar…
- that “lacto” is an abbreviated form of the word “lactose”…
- Therefore, the wrong conclusion is reached, that lacto-fermented is a term referring to foods that contain dairy products.
So what does “lacto” in “lacto-fermentation”, or “lacto-fermenting”, or “lacto-fermented” really mean?
The correct answer is much easier to follow! “Lacto”, used in “lacto-fermentation” and all of its derivations, refers to lactic-acid bacteria, familiar to most people as “lactobacillus”. “Lacto” is simply the shortened name of “lactobacillus”, the same way that we shorten “Samual” to “Sam”, or “Susan” to “Sue”.
Those who suffer lactose-intolerance, or are trying to maintain a casein-free diet can absolutely have a dairy-free diet when making lacto-fermented foods!
Did you know...
N.Y. Mets rookie pitcher Nolan Ryan uses pickle brine to toughen a tender middle finger on his pitching hand; his fast ball is described as faster than Bob Feller’s; predicted to be the next Sandy Koufax
—1968 Life Magazine
You know you talk about fermenting too much when…
Your three-year-old is observed pushing his bath toys under the water while saying, “You must go under the brine to ferment. Then I will have sauerkraut toys.”
—- Holly G., Ohio