When you are buying fermented foods, you may think that this will be a piece of cake. One of the more common foods is sauerkraut and you already probably have gone in and grabbed a jar with no issue. The problem with this is when you realize that you can’t just grab and go. You need to make sure that what you are grabbing is fermented, has the benefits you need, and is not mislabeled as something that may not be what you need. Here are a few things to look for when you are buying fermented foods.
The first thing you need to do is look at the labeling of the fermented food you are buying. The labeling is vastly important for one simple stamp. Look for the non-GMO label. You may not care if GMO’s are in your foods, and that is fine. However, when you are talking about fermented foods GMOs can add chemicals and additives that can cause the fermentation to be hindered. You may not receive the same benefits as you would if the GMOs were not there. So, check for a non-GMO or GMO-Free level. Also, make sure you are looking for a vegan friendly label as this means that the way the foods were harvested and processed is natural as well.
Check the Ingredients
You can tell if you are going to get the proper benefits of a store bought fermented food by checking the ingredients. Look for things that should not be there. Ideally you should see the basic ingredients, vinegar, and salt. You should not see things like a high sugar count or fruits and vegetables that should not be there. For example, if you are buying a fermented apple product, you want to see apples not a pear substitute.
Check the Packaging
Try to stay away from any kind of fermented product that is in a can. There are several reasons for this. The first is the tin like taste that can seep into your food. The second is that you have no idea what other preservatives were used after the fermented product was added to the can. You also don’t find many GMO free fermented items in canned foods. So, stick to jars or bags for your packaging.
These are only a few things to look for. However, by looking for these key points you will be able to ensure that you are getting a fermented food that actually has benefits and not just flavor. If you are totally unsure about what you are getting, stick to what you do know and research the rest for a later trip.