Probiotics are commonly recommended by doctors following a prescribed antibiotic. Active culture yogurt is the most commonly consumed probiotic in the American diet. Many probiotic foods and beverages can be easily and safely produced in a home kitchen. Above are three Monday morning probiotics I have fermenting. From the left are two containers of kombucha, kefir, and buttermilk.
Doing your own saves money and ensures that the beneficial probiotic microbes are alive and fresh. Understanding how microbes grow and taking simple steps to ensure that only the desired microbes are growing are prerequisites. Detailed instructions on how to make each of the above are available on the net.
I think of proboitics as a safety net. We get a lot of exposure to toxins in our daily life. The insecticides and herbicides used on foods get into our gastrointestinal system. The products that kill weeds and insects kill beneficial microbes as well. Regularly consuming a variety of live culture foods ensures that a good quantity of beneficial microbes will be in our system.
Today’s most widely used herbicide, glyphosate, is also patented as an antibiotic. It shows up commonly in samples of human breast milk and urine. As an herbicide on the GMO crops that tolerate it, glyphosate works systemically. That is, it is taken into the plant cells and stored throughout the plant. Systemic sprays are beneficial to growers. They don’t need to be applied as often as those that wash off with rain. But systemic herbicides mean more toxins for consumers since they cannot be washed off.
Opinions among chemists and biologists about how much exposure should be allowed are all over the place. Toxicologists are like economists in that way. Economists can’t agree on whether inflation or deflation is more likely. My degree is in history. I know that my system deals with toxins that my grandparents didn’t. I think my kitchen counter probiotics are likely to be beneficial.