I naturally had a lot of questions when I started fermenting foods for my dogs. I kind of just jumped on the bandwagon, and didn’t quite assess if it goes against my eating tenets for dog food. The two most important for this instance are:
Watch my video and read my post to learn how to ferment:
This lead to a host of other questions which I think you may have:
This is fermenting, sooo is there alcohol involved?
The answer here is, it depends on the kind of fermenting. For us, we are lacto fermenting. This means we are using the already present good bacteria to break down carbohydrates in the veggies and turn it into two acids. Lactic and acetic. If you were to add yeast to this equation, then you would get alcohol. Yeast breaks down carbs into alcohol (this is how you get beer and wine), lactobacilli turn carbs into acid.
But isn’t acid bad?
Nope! Lactic acid acts as a preservative which kills harmful bacteria and lets the good bacteria thrive. While it’s doing that, it’s preserving the vegetables including it’s vitamins and minerals, making it easier for our bodies to digest and absorb it.
What are examples of other fermented foods?
Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso
My dog is allergic to dairy, can he or she have fermenting veggies?
Yes most definitely! The word ‘lacto’ in Lacto Fermentation, doesn’t refer to lactose (the sugar found in dairy), it refers to the production of lactic acid by the lacto bacilli bacteria, which is a very beneficial bacteria to our microbiome (intestinal bacteria health).
Help! My last batch of fermented veggies tastes way different than the one I made before! What did I do?
Don’t worry! This is completely normal. Due to the differing species of bacteria in the veggies you fermented (be it different veggies or the same as last time), it can produce a different flavor than the one before.
I’m really into feeding prey model. I do not believe dogs ate vegetation in the wild, so I don’t feed my dogs vegetables.
Well, this isn’t a question, but I will tell you why I think you’re off-base. Maybe you’re right, dogs didn’t eat veg in the wild (I’m not a believer in this though, but I think it could be possible.) But what dogs DID ingest are the stomach contents of their prey. Their prey ate vegetation. And when it goes through the digestive tract, it gets fermented there. So logic would then deduce that feeding fermenting veggies is about as close as you can get to the “wild”.
What’s the difference between pickles and fermented veggies?
Easy! Pickles are preserved in acid, and fermented veggies are preserved in water or brine (salty water).
Should I wash my vegetables before fermenting?
This is a personal choice but I say no. I don’t want to wash away any good bacteria. I know that the good bacteria plus salty brine make it nearly impossible for the bad bacteria to survive. And I want those good bacteria to be super present and FLOURISH! I also want to eat these veggies faster and not wait forever if there is very little bacteria to begin with.
Speaking of time, is there any way to get this done faster?
Sure is! You just have to start with one batch first. Add about a quarter cup of your old brine water or the end of the batch you haven’t eaten yet, to your new batch and voila! Bacterial transfer muahaha 🙂