Gut bacteria and fermentation resources; you are what you eat!
Despite the industrialization of food that has driven the food industry since the second world war, most cultures have retained some fermented foods as part of their diet. In common with many people, I was brought up with the idea that most bacteria are bad, a threat to our health. It was something of a shock to find out that a lack of healthy bacteria in the gut is linked to a wide range of problems with both physical and mental health.
If learning more about human microbiota is your thing you might be interested in free online courses teaching more about the human microbiome. MOOCs can provide world class education in these areas, courses are free and you can participate online.
If you want to know more about the terms used in talking about gut health, check out our brief guide.
I strongly recommend that you take the time to look at some of the evidence that links healthy bacteria to wellness. As a starting point you might want to check out a lecture from Prof. Simon Carding, Leader of the Gut Health and Food Safety Research Programme at the Institute of Food Research. It’s an hour long but it is an amazing revelation of the positive role that bacteria plays in our lives.
A useful jumping off point if your are looking for a scientific overview is a paper written by Elizabeth Bik. It is well written, accessible to non scientists and paints a balanced picture. Details of Bik’s achievements and current projects can be found on her blog.
If you have an interest in how the widespread overuse of antibiotics is leading to the creation of superbugs, that are resistant to all known drugs you might be interested in the film Resistance which can be accessed on Netflix. More information about antibiotic use in farm animals from Compassion in World Farming.