• Health

    The Role of Traditional Fermented Foods and Modern Probiotics

    Élie Metchnikoff, a late 19th century Russian biologist, is attributed as the first to theorize that health benefits could be derived from manipulating the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract. Today, this has become a focused area of research and a huge industry with the development of beneficial bacteria in the form of a pill known as a probiotic. Though, while the idea may be relatively new (if you consider late 19th century “new”), the ingestion of beneficial bacteria is not. Fermented foods are the traditional form of the modern probiotic and they have been around for a long time. Originally, food was fermented more for the sake of necessity, rather than for…

  • Health

    The Human Microbiome

    Microbes. What do you think of when you hear that word? Bacteria? Viruses? Perhaps you think of all the horrible diseases caused by those nearly invisible little bugs – influenza, tuberculosis, syphilis, pneumonia, strep throat, et cetera. But, should we define a whole biological kingdom based on a few misunderstood villains? I think not. The truth is that the large majority of microbes (I’m admittedly mostly speaking of bacteria here) are not the villainous creatures we think them to be. Most are harmless. In fact, they are all around you right now. They’re on your floor, on your furniture, on your clothes, on your skin, in your mouth and throughout…