Fermenting Knowledge at Fermentation Festivals (with Kombucha Recipe)


San Diego Fermentation Festival

“Microbes maketh man,” proclaimed Dr. Rob Knight, professor at the University of California, San Diego and director of the Microbiome Initiative that, among other things, explores the connections between the human microbiome and health. Dr. Knight’s keynote was among the highlights of the annual San Diego Fermentation Festival held at Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas, California, this past February.

“You might think, well, we're human because of our DNA,” Dr. Knight continued. “But it turns out that each of us has about 20,000 human genes, depending on what you count exactly, but as many as two million to 20 million microbial genes. So whichever way we look at it, we're vastly outnumbered by our microbial symbionts.”  And a growing body of evidence is finding that fermented foods are packed with many of the microbes that hang out in our gut that we need for good health.

Besides a lineup of speakers, the San Diego Fermentation Festival included a tent dedicated to helping people learn about and prepare their own canning jar of fermented sauerkraut, plus fermented beverages to try – like the amazing mead from Golden Coast Mead – in the Ambrosia Garden, plus numerous nonprofits or businesses dedicated to the art of fermentation, sharing samples to taste.

Gold Coast Mead 

“Kombucha and other fermented foods deliver living organisms and nutrients in bio-available form that the body can recognize and instantly utilize,” explains Hannah Crum, founder of Kombucha Kamp and co-author of The Big Book of Kombucha.  Kombucha Kamp was one of the many exhibitors at the event.

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