The Way to BE

Which Fermented Food Starter Should You Use For What?

Fermented foods, one of the keys to health and healing in the Body Ecology program, have finally started to get the mass media attention they deserve.

For example, last year BBC news reported on their curative link to the avian flu. Another study from the University of New Mexico then stated that sauerkraut (when traditionally fermented) may reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 74%. Another study of the fermented Korean food kimchi found similar results in terms of greatly improving the immune system.

While sauerkraut sales increased after last year's report, most of the brands on the market are pasteurized and contain vinegar and table salt … which is NOT the type of sauerkraut the studies were referring to. With these commercially prepared sauerkrauts that are found on grocery shelves, the pasteurization (heating) destroys precious enzymes. Furthermore, the added refined -- and therefore mineral-depleted -- salt used by commercial manufacturers further eliminates the health benefits. (In the Body Ecology system of health and healing, we recommend adding some Celtic sea salt just before eating them to add flavor and medicinal benefits.)

A crucial general rule of thumb to remember is that the mass-process sauerkrauts - as well as mass-processed pickles and other foods that mock traditionally fermented foods -- do not provide the benefits that live, enzyme and microflora-rich REAL fermented foods provide.

Because of the incredible health benefits of real fermented foods - and also because finding the right form of these foods is so difficult -- Body Ecology created a line of fermented food starters which have grown into the bestselling products in the entire Body Ecology line.

These starters allow you to EASILY make your own high-quality, healthy fermented foods and drinks and experience the benefits, which can include (but are not limited to):

  • Improve your immune system
  • Stop cravings for sugar and carbohydrates in processed foods
  • Improve your digestion
  • Increase the ability to absorb nutrients in your foods by up to 100 times
  • Rich in probiotics - or healthy microflora (beneficial bacteria) - they lay down the foundation for a healthy inner ecosystem and are much more potent than probiotic supplements.

Probiotic supplements don't even come close to comparing with probiotic-rich fermented foods, as the fermented foods containing many more times the beneficial bacteria. Plus, the fact that the microflora travel down your digestive tract, escorted by food, helps ensure that they survive stomach acid and digestive enzymes in greater numbers.

Which Body Ecology Starter Is Right For You? Here's How to Choose

Culture Starter

Have you ever taken or are you currently taking antibiotics? Culture Starter is the one for you… Learn More and Order It Now!

Culture Starter

  • Beneficial Bacteria: Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactococcus Lactis, Lactoccus cremoris and Leuconostoc cermoris - all of which reduce unfriendly bacteria that cause infection in your body. Other benefits are reducing cholesterol, inhibiting parasites, regulating bowels and balancing intestinal pH.
  • Great For Making: Cultured vegetables and cream. When you ferment cream, the fat is broken down to make it easier to digest - and you can even whip it to make delicious cultured butter!
  • If You are Using or Have Recently Used Antibotics, Culture Starter is Right for You. Lactobacillus Plantarum - which Culture Starter is rich in -- is not destroyed by antibiotics, so you may want to use this starter in order to preserve the healthy bacteria that antibiotics often destroy.

Kefir Starter

  • Beneficial Bacteria and Beneficial Yeasts: Lactobacillus Kefyr, Kluyvermocyes and Saccharomyces (both beneficial yeasts) and 3 strains of Lactococci (natural antibiotic).

  • Great For Making: Young Coconut Kefir - Has many digestive and anti-aging properties, including helping to cleanse your liver - and is even used as a hangover cure!.
  • A "Feel Good" Tonic in Milk Kefir - The friendly flora in our starter aids in digestion of the casein protein, helping to convert the tryptophan in milk to serotonin, the brain chemical that makes you happier. It is rich in amino acids, enzymes, B vitamins and minerals. If you want to increase your upbeat mood, try this one!
  • You Might Use Kefir Starter If: You have Candida. The beneficial strains of yeast in Kefir Starter help eliminate the pathogenic yeasts by penetrating the mucosal lining where they reside. Start with Young Coconut Kefir because it is a dairy-free way to introduce dairy-loving bacteria into your intestines. After a few months, you may be able to start slowly introducing small amounts of milk kefir, increasing the amount every 4 days. In ancient Ayurvedic texts, fermented milk was often used to heal digestive disorders, but it was always diluted with water.
Kefir Starter

Makes great Young Coconut Kefir as well as Milk Kefir! Learn More and Order It Now!

Rotate & Experiment

You are not limited to using each of the starters as outlined here. Choose the starter for your health goals, but also feel free to rotate them for the full range of beneficial bacterial and yeast that they provide your digestive system.

As for combining the starters, some people have combined them successfully, but unless you are experienced at using these starters already and have a strong understanding of their fermenting properties this is not initially recommended.

One of our customers recently wrote in to say she was making and enjoying the different taste and benefits of "Young Coconut Plantarum" by fermenting young coconut water with our Culture Starter.

Have fun experimenting while you eat and drink your way to much better health!

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  • DannyandAndrea Avery

    Hi, what is wrong with making sauerkraut the traditional way in a salt brine? I’ve read that adding cultures changes the process of fermentation since there are several stages that sauerkraut goes through.

  • Luc Chene

    Different probiotics may compete and annihilate each other's benefits, so I would like to try to ferment milk with saourkraut juice. Anyone has any idea about this? If in my diet I have Kefir and saourkraut (all home made and organic) I loose the benefits of the fermented food, but if I have only saourkraut, then I feel the benefits, like getting rid of canker sores.

  • rene cook

    I have a lacto-fermented recipe for pickled carrots using only water , salt and 1 t vinegar. seems easy and economical on a very fixed budget. any other ideas for things to try that don't include adding a purchased starter? thanks

  • Bri

    That is a great question. I too am curious about BED's perspective on umeboshi paste (I enjoy a dash of it in hot water as tea).

  • granger

    here it says Kluyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus is in the kefir starter;

    here it does not list it in its ingredients on the product page. could you please explain why.

  • Sandy Newman

    What do you use for making young coconut yogurth? The kefir starter or the culture starter?

    Thank you,


  • Leanne

    What is your view on umeboshi plum paste?

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

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