Thank you for visiting our product FAQs page. Listed here are a number of questions we’ve received from our customers about our products. If you do not see the Q/A you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Topics (please click topic or question to jump to that area)
- Why use an air-lock system in lacto-fermentation?
- Is it possible to make lacto-fermented foods with just a mason jar and a regular lid?
- I’ve read on the internet that I can just make my own air-lock system. Is there a reason I shouldn't?
- Our family is very conscientious about chemicals in our household. What materials are your fermenting systems made of?
- Do all the lacto-fermenting recipes in the book use whey?
- If I’m dairy/lactose intolerant will I still be able to consume lacto-fermented foods?
- Will I need special equipment to make the recipes in this book?
- Is it hard to make lacto-fermented foods?
- Are lacto-fermented foods really “safe” to prepare and eat?
Why use an air-lock system in lacto-fermentation?
The process of lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic one, meaning “without air”. During lacto-fermentation it is important to allow gasses that build-up during fermentation to escape, but not allow air to enter. In this anaerobic environment you will have the ideal state for the lactic-acid bacteria to flourish.
Is it possible to make lacto-fermented foods with just a mason jar and a regular lid?
While technically it may be possible, but we do not recommend it for a number of reasons pertaining to taste, quality, and safety.
Lacto-fermented foods produced without an air-lock:
1) Do not come out tasting as good...
2) Have more issues with mold, slime, etc. ...
3) Can be a safety hazard, with possible risk of exploding jars due to excess gasses/pressure not being able to escape.
I’ve read on the internet that I can just make my own air-lock system. Is there a reason I shouldn't?
While it may be fun to make things at home, why spend the time and money on a project that will not turn out of the same quality? Our Veggie Fermenter Air-lock System is tried, tested, and made of all food-safe materials (including the FDA approved natural rubber gasket that is a MUST in-order to create that anaerobic environment - see "Why use an air-lock system in lacto-fermentation?").
We at Cooking God’s Way take pride in what we do and the products we produce. We would never produce or try to “sell” anything to others that we ourselves would not use. Our Veggie Fermenter Air-lock System is comprised completely of food-safe materials, please see breakdown below:
- Air-lock, 3-piece: food-safe plastics
- Fermenting & Storage Lid: food-safe plastics, BPA-free
- Grommet: food-safe, natural rubber
- Gasket: Food-safe, natural rubber, FDA-approved
Do all the lacto-fermenting recipes in the book use whey?
Some of the recipes use whey, but most of them do not. Whey is only used in a recipe when it is necessary (to reduce the salt and in fermented fruits). Please note: All fermented fruits require the addition of whey (or some other culture). Whey is also used in the making of lacto-fermented sodas for ease and convenience, but there is an additional method included in the book for making these healthy sodas without the use of whey, for those who are dairy intolerant or do not wish to use whey.
If I’m dairy/lactose intolerant will I still be able to consume lacto-fermented foods?
You should certainly be able to consume the fermented foods that are prepared using the “salt method” (which is a majority of the recipes in the book). Though you may not be able to tolerate the recipes that use whey in their fermenting process. If this concerns you, you should consult your Dr./Naturopath. (See above question for more info on the recipes that use whey.)
Will I need special equipment to make the recipes in this book?
The book utilizes the Veggie Fermenter Air-lock System in the fermenting process. So it is preferable to have at least one of these kits. If you are interested in making the lacto-fermented sodas included in the book you may want to purchase a couple of Swingtop Glass 1-Liter Bottles. They are not absolutely necessary, though recommended. If you cannot get your hands on any, just use 1/2-Gallon wide mouth mason jars with the metal lid (on very tight) – though with this you will not get as much fizz in your drinks as when using the swingtop bottles. (FYI - if you are local to the Dallas-Fort Worth TX area and need some of the swingtop bottles or other supplies, we can get some to you, just drop us a line.) The only other items you will need are the ingredients (foods) you wish to ferment, maybe some whey, and a little unrefined sea salt such as Himalayan Salt or Real Salt.
Is it hard to make lacto-fermented foods?
Absolutely NOT! Most of these foods are not cooked, so even if you aren’t a good “cook” you can prepare these healthy foods. “Lacto-fermenting: The Easy & Healthy Way” was written to help beginners and advanced lacto-fermenters alike. The book will give you the confidence you need to make these foods in your own kitchen.
Are lacto-fermented foods really “safe” to prepare and eat?
Yes, lacto-fermented foods are even considered safer for novices to make than “canned” vegetables. Canning vegetables requires many hours of prep and being exact/precise is oh-so important. Everything must be sterilized and kept clean when “canning”, but not so with lacto-fermentation. Don’t get us wrong, in lacto-fermentation you should wash and rinse everything well, but it is not as finicky as “canning”.
U.S. Department of Agriculture research service microbiologist Fred Breidt says –
“properly fermented vegetables are actually safer than raw vegetables, which might have been exposed to pathogens like E. coli on the farm...With fermented products there is no safety concern. I can flat-out say that. The reason is the lactic acid bacteria that carry out the fermentation are the world’s best killers of other bacteria,”– San Francisco Gate, June 2009
We’ve been doing and teaching lacto-fermentation for many years and have only had a couple of fermented items go bad. The smell was absolutely horrid - it had to be emptied into the trash outside, so as to not stink up the entire house. So rest easy, you will know if something goes wrong. The book goes into much more detail on the safety of lacto-fermentation - how to know when a fermented food might be bad and how to avoid fermented foods going bad.