One of the great luxuries in our lives is getting the New York Times delivered every morning. Gets here at 5AM, even out in this pretty rural area. Yesterday there was this article on microbes by Carl Zimmer, one of the NYT’s excellent writers. It caught my attention because I’ve been making sauerkraut (and fermenting olives) lately, and doing other things like drinking Kambucha tea and taking probiotic tablets to promote a healthy digestive system.
“For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome.
‘I would like to lose the language of warfare,’ said Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute. ‘It does a disservice to all the bacteria that have co-evolved with us and are maintaining the health of our bodies.’
This new approach to health is known as medical ecology. Rather than conducting indiscriminate slaughter, Dr. Segre and like-minded scientists want to be microbial wildlife managers.
No one wants to abandon antibiotics outright. But by nurturing the invisible ecosystem in and on our bodies, doctors may be able to find other ways to fight infectious diseases, and with less harmful side effects. Tending the microbiome may also help in the treatment of disorders that may not seem to have anything to do with bacteria, including obesity and diabetes.…”
Carl Zimmers blog here.
Cool Tools here (where I first heard of the great book Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz and Sally Fallon.