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S A N D O R E L L I X KAT Z

Foreword by Michael Pollan

F E R M E N TAT I O N
AN IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF ESSENTIAL CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
With Practical Information on Fermenting Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Milk, Beans, Meats, and More

The

A R T of

e pi logue: A Cultural revivalist manifesto

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emustreclaimourfood.Foodismuchmorethansimplynourishment.Itembodiesacomplexwebofrelationships.Itisahugepartof thecontextinwhichweexist.Reclaimingourfoodmeansactivelyinvolving ourselvesinthisweb. Thefoodsthatfillourcontemporarysupermarketshelvesareproductsof aglobalizedinfrastructureofproprietarygeneticmaterial,syntheticandoften dangerouschemicals,monocultures,long-distancetransportation,factoryscaleprocessing,wastefulpackaging,andenergy-suckingrefrigeration.The foodbeingproducedbythissystemisdestroyingtheearth,destroyingour health,destroyingeconomicvitality,androbbingusofourdignitybybreeding dependencyandreducingustothesubservientroleofconsumer. Weneedtocultivateadifferentsetofrelationships:

relationships with Plants and Animals
Thisiswhereourfoodcomesfrom,plantsandanimals(withmicrobial assistance).Wecannotcontinuetodistanceourselvesfromthesourcesof ourfood,relegatingittohighlyspecialized,mostlyfaraway,mass-production mono ultures,cutofffromourlives.Historically,bynecessity,werelatedto c theplantsandanimalsweate.Weknewthem,relieduponthem,andthrough theirpursuitandcultivation,wewereintimatelyconnectedtoourenvironment.Weneedtobecomereconnectedtothesourcesofoursustenance.Get toknowtheplantsaroundyou.Growsomeherbsorvegetables.Gleananduse unharvestedfruit.Plantatree,orcareforone,ormany.Forageweedsfrom youryard.Ifyouenjoyeggs,milk,ormeat,considerexploringthepathof raisingchickensorotherlivestockonasmallscale.Findawaytoobserveand participateinslaughteringandbutchering.Respect,honor,andappreciatethe lifethatgoesintoourfood.Wehavecoevolvedwiththeseotherbeings,andour fatesareintertwined.

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relationships with Farmers and Producers
Buylocalfood!Supportlocalagriculture!Gettoknowfarmers,andbuy directlyfromthem.Agriculturalrevitalizationisrealeconomicstimulusand realeconomicsecurity.Beyondtherawproductsofagriculture,mostpeople enjoyfoodsandbeveragesthathavebeenprocessed,whetherit’scheese, salami,ortempeh.Manyofthese“value-added”processesinvolvefermentation.Supportsmall-scalelocalprocessingandproduction.Itmeansfresher food,localjobs,decentralization,andgreaterresilienceinthefaceofchange. Localproductionincludesnotonlycommercialmanufacturersbutsmallinformalproductionsharedthroughalternativeeconomiessuchasgiftexchange, barter,voluntarydonations,herd-shares,communitysupportedmodels,or illicitundergroundsales.Findanicheyoucanfillinthereemergentwebof foodcreators.

relationships with Ancestors
Ourancestorspaidmuchmoreattentiontotheirancestorsthanpeoplein ourtimetypicallydo.WehaveourGod,andcanonizevarioushistoricalor mythologicalheroesintoicons,butinourtimewehaveverylittleappreciation forthegeneralcontinuouslineageitself.Howevermixedourheritagemaybe, weare,eachofus,thespawnofancientlineages,whichhavebestowedupon usincredibleculturallegacies.Wemustremember,rediscover,andreclaim ourancestors,howeverwecan,andhonor,protect,andperpetuatetheirgifts, includingtangibleonessuchasseedsandfermentationprocesses.Cultural revivalisnecessaryinordertomaintaintheirgreatlegacytous.Keepingit aliveistheultimateinancestorworship.

relationships with mysteries
Mysteriesendure.Despitealltheimpressiveadvancesinmicroscopicimaging, geneticanalysis,andotherformsofscientificinvestigation,therealmofthe microscopicisstillverylittleunderstood.Forthatmatter,soismuchaboutour ownbodiesandminds.Letushonorthemysteriesandrevelinthefactthatwe willneverunderstandeverything.

relationships with Community
Self-sufficiencyisadangerousmyth.Weneedeachother.Loveyourcircle, cultivateit,andenlargeit.Sharefoodyougrowormakewithyourcommunity, andencourageothersintheirfoodproductionactivities.Communityisnever perfectandtakeshardwork,becausepeoplehavesuchvariedvisions,ideas, andvalues.Butdothehardworkoffindingcommonground,andbuildcommunitywiththepeoplearoundyou.

relationships with movements of resistance
Ourgrowingawarenessasindividualscreatingchangeinourownlives, andcommunitiescan(andmust)buildintogalvanizingsocialmovements.

416 The ArT OF FermenTATiOn

Whilerevivinglocalfoodsystems,wecanalsoaddressinequitableaccessto resourcesbybecomingpartofexistingmovementsforfoodjusticeandfood sovereignty.Whilemakinguseofindigenouswisdominourculturalrevival efforts,wecanalsoacknowledgeandactinsolidaritywithindigenouspeoples strugglingforsurvival.Whiletryingtolimitourowncarbonfootprintsand environmentalimpact,wecanalsojoinsocialmovementsdemandingthe sameofcorporationsandgovernmentpolicies.Personalactionscanbepowerful,butnothingliketheforceofcollectiveaction.

relationships to materials
Wemuststrivetomaximizetheuseofwhateverisabundant,easy,low-impact, andreusable.Wedonotneedinfinitelymorespecialequipmentandgadgetry. Wemustinterruptthedisposablesociety.Wherefeasible,scavengematerialstoreusethem;processfibersfromplantsoranimals;buildahousefrom earthenmaterials.DIYculture!

Thesearebutafewstrandsofadenselyinterwovenwebofrelationshipsthat cansustainandenrichus.Fermentationisonewayinwhichwemayconsciouslycultivatethisweb.Thisisthedailypracticeofculturalrevival.By engaginglifeforces,werediscoverandreconnectwithourcontext.

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A CuLTurAL reViVALisT mAniFesTO

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