The Difference Between Pickled and Fermented

There is much confusion between fermented “pickles” and picked foods bought in a shop. 

Sauerkraut is a fermented food or a fermented pickle.  Home-made pickled cabbage is different to that which is bought in the store.

To quote Alex Lewin, author of Real Food Fermentation “not all fermented foods are pickled and not all pickles are fermented.”

Here is the difference:

Foods that are pickled are those that have been preserved in an acidic medium.  In the case of various types of supermarket pickles on the shelf, the pickling comes from vinegar.  These vegetables, however, are not fermented (even though vinegar itself is the product of fermentation) and hence do not offer the probiotic and enzymatic value of homemade fermented vegetables.

Vegetables that you ferment in your kitchen using a starter, salt, and some filtered water create their own self preserving, acidic liquid that is a by-product of the fermentation process.  This lactic acid is incredibly beneficial to digestion when consumed along with the fermented vegetables or even when sipped alone as anyone on the GAPS Intro Diet has discovered (cabbage juice anyone?). In other words, homemade fermented veggies are both fermented and pickled.

Home fermentation of vegetables preserves without the use of any pressure or heat unlike supermarket versions of the same foods. It allows the ubiquitous and beneficial lactobacilli present on the surface of all living things – yes, even your own skin – to proliferate creating lactic acid which not only pickles and preserves the vegetables, but also promotes the health of those that consume it in the following ways:

  • Enhances the vitamin content of the food.
  • Preserves and sometimes enhances the enzyme content of the food.
  • Improves nutrient bio-availability in the body.
  • Improves the digestibility of the food and even cooked foods that are consumed along with it!

So don’t be fooled by unhealthy supermarket pickled versions of homemade fermented foods.

These modern foods are the product of high heat and pressure which destroys nutrients and do not in any way enhance health. The one exception to this rule are the various fermented foods in the refrigerator section of many health food stores. These products are actually fermented and pickled. The only drawback is that these gourmet items are rather expensive compared to the pennies per ounce it costs to make them yourself.

Article adapted from “The Healthy Home Economist.com”

For additional information on fermented foods see also Prebiotics & Probiotics.

The purpose of these pages is not to suggest that you select ONLY these foods to supplement your deficiency, but to show you that if you are eating a healthy balanced diet, eating from the rainbow, and excluding toxic foods, restore your gut-health, then your body will automatically receive the nutrients it needs.  Whilst the list of foods that we recommend you exclude from your diet is currently on our Daily Nutrition page – it is vital that in order to gain good health, you begin this exclusion process as soon as possible.

The Whole Food Plant based plate gives a good indication of the The Four Food Groups.  For a balanced diet follow the recommended daily servings as indicated.  Use this as a guide to get you started whilst eating the foods you enjoy, until you are familiar and comfortable with the quantities and volumes you need to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

The DBM Food Pyramid gives a good indication of types and volumes foods that we recommend to all DBM Patients/Clients.  Please remember, you may only eat the goat cheese and other goat products as indicated on that pyramid, on the advice of your DBM Physician/Practitioner.

Ensure that when selecting fruits and vegetables you Eat from The Rainbow. Whole grains and legumes form an important part of this natural, balanced lifestyle. 

By eating whole foods, a wide variety of fruit and veggies (eating from the rainbow) you will get all the nutrients your body needs.  To show you how wonderful fruits and veggies are – look at the graphics on the Eat From The Rainbow page and you will clearly see that a wide range of fruit and veggies will more than provide for your needs.

Note:

Please be aware that external lists or websites we link to might include fish, meat, soya, or other foods that are restricted on all DBM programs.  The links are retained as a requirement of copyright.  The publishing of this list is intended as educational and certain foods that this article might be listed or linked to do not support DBMs philosophies or practices.

At all times, ensure that the foods you select are permitted by your DBM Physician for your health imbalance. Select only NON-GMO sources that are organic and/or sundried.

Disclaimer:

We are obliged to notify you that the information on this website is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Doctors Across Borders NPO t/as Doctors Beyond Medicine, the author(s) nor publisher(s) take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.