Fermenting: A Thousand Year Old Food Trend with Jaimee Edwards

Fermenting - Episode 116 of The Slow Home Podcast

In today’s episode I chat with Jaimee Edwards, who, as a professional fermenter, has one of the coolest job titles ever.

Fermenting is having quite the resurgence in popular culture now – think kombucha, miso, kim-chi and sauerkraut – but in today’s chat Jaimee and I talk about food trends and why some disappear (I’m looking at you, Atkins Diet) while others grow and shift, becoming movements that appeal to a far greater audience than just the French-basket wielding, farmer’s market crew.

We also talk at length about her shift from academia, as a Phd in English Literature, to in-house fermenter at Sydney’s Cornersmith, and what life is like when lived elbow-deep in good bacteria. Jaimee talks about her experience in bottling 100 kilograms (yes, kilograms!) of tomatoes one afternoon and how it proved to be a turning point in not only her career, but also her relationship with food.

There is so much renewed interest in traditional home skills, and we spend time talking about why that is, as well as explore the unexpected benefits of fermenting food – aside from taste and preservation, Jaimee’s ferments have taught her life lessons and the value of time.

As a beginner, I ask specifically about the fear of getting it wrong and poisoning everyone, and Jaimee talks me down by explaining that of the thousands of bacteria that exist in our homes, only a tiny percentage have the potential to harm us, which makes me feel a lot better!

I’d like to start doing more episodes where I get to talk about a specific slow living concept in depth, so I’d love to know from you – what specific topics do you want to know more about?


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6 Responses to Fermenting: A Thousand Year Old Food Trend with Jaimee Edwards

  1. Loved this podcast! Could really relate to the dumbing down by the media. There is a lot of research to show the affects the media is having on children in particular teenagers and the rates of anxiety & depression. If anyone is interested there is a group on Facebook called Collective Shout which campaigns against advertisements that objectify women and girls.

    In relation to other topics anything self-sufficiency related or off-grid living. I also think it would be interesting to hear how companies use marketing to psychologically ‘trick’ people into buying more and more stuff. I read a good book called ‘brand washing’ which highlights some of these strategies such as playing slow music in supermarkets and grocery stores because research shows slow music makes us move more slowly and the longer we are in a store the more likely we are to buy something.

    Another interesting topic I think is parenting. An excellent book is ‘Simplicity Parenting’. Anyone that is feeling overwhelmed or anxious about parenting should consider reading this book. I think speaking with the Author Kim Payne would make an excellent podcast :)

  2. Dear Brooke and Ben,

    I am a recent convert to your lovely podcast. I have been taking some steps to slow my crazy life down a little, thanks to inspiration from you guys and other sources.

    I was really inspired by one of your hostful podcasts in which you addressed Lucy’s question about there not being many recourses for college -age people on slowing down. Most material is geared toward an older group.

    I have been writing my own blog for many years and when I heard Lucy’s question I said, “I am in college. I am a year older than most of my peers and I am married, but I still have the connection to what the average college student goes through. I am also a blogger, who needs new direction!”

    Anyway, I wanted to reach out to you to say how much I am a fan and ask if you have any advice or thoughts about my starting a blog about slowing down during college.

    Thank you,
    Lucy Rose (double first name:)

  3. Great show. I have listened to all your podcasts but have been feeling lately that I wished you would cover some more specific topics. Previously I think you have been taking a broad view of slow living from every possible angle. Loved it, but I felt we had just about got the 360 degree view. Now I wanted you to re-adjust the focus and zero in on specific issues and practices, which is just what you’ve done. loved this one!!

  4. Great show. I’m a Russian living in the UK. Fermenting is something that has been always done in my family. I love sauerkraut and soured gerkhins, green tomatoes are my absolute favourite. I always have a jar of sauerkraut in my fridge. It’s so simple to make and it is full of vitamin C and probiotics! in fact, I’m going to have some now, it’s so delicious! :)

  5. Love it.
    I have a question – Where on earth do you store 100kg of bottled tomatoes (Or whatever)??
    I’m very keen to do something similar to this but am overwhelmed with all the storage required… & all the bottles, lids etc once they are empty. That’s a lot of things.
    Am I imaging a higher requirement for this than is the reality?

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