Preserving Food With Fermentation is Good for Your Survival Pantry and Good for Your Health

What if you could preserve food without canning it or freezing it? What if you could do it without spending a lot of money? And what if doing it turned out to be good for you at the same time?

It so happens that preserving food with fermentation is good for your survival pantry and good for your health.

Chances are you eat fermented food every day and don’t even think about it. Do you eat cheese or yogurt? Pickles? Sauerkraut? Do you drink wine or beer? See what I mean?

So why not put fermented foods in your survival pantry? It’s not hard to do, and it has all the benefits I mentioned above. To find out more, I spoke with Kathy Strahan for this week’s DestinySurvival Radio because she practices food fermentation.


Who is Kathy?

You’ve heard of food as medicine? Here’s a little about Kathy Strahan and what she seeks to accomplish at her Web site.

Thomas Edison said: “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

Kathy Strahan has a deep passion and goal to share with you all the powerful health resources, techniques, supplements and tools that have helped her and thousands of others get well and stay well.

She firmly believes that each one of us must cultivate true health, happiness, love, joy and peace. If you want a long healthy life that is free of disease, then you are in the right place, since the resources she shares with you help you achieve these amazing virtuous goals. Then, it’s up to you to take what you learn here on [our] podcast, and at

Kathy has overcome many health challenges in her life including retinal cancer at age two which left her totally blind. At, find out the one food you were taught was healthy but you should never eat!

You’ll enjoy hearing my conversation with Kathy. Listen as your humble host asks questions that display amazing ignorance about food fermentation. But it’s OK because Kathy’s passion for what we’re talking about shines through in the end. She mentioned some key resources, which I’ll link to below.


Put Culture in Your Survival Pantry

No, you don’t have to listen to Beethoven or read Shakespeare while you’re rotating your food storage. Another term for fermenting food is culturing.

Whatever you choose to call it, Kathy was quick to point out at the beginning of our conversation that you’ll get the most benefit from eating fermented food if you cut out the junk food and processed foods most of us eat as Americans. This isn’t something most of us can do overnight, but it’s a worthwhile process to begin, if you’re not already engaged in it.

Most of us are aware our food isn’t prepared and stored as it was just a couple generations back. That’s one reason more of us are gardening. Fermenting or culturing our own food is a way to preserve what we grow and get control of what we eat.

Just about anything we eat can be fermented, such as fruit, vegetables of all kinds, and milk. You can even ferment meats and fish. You can use a starter culture or let natural bacteria go to work in what’s called wild fermentation. Kathy talked about the differences between the two. Salt, preferrably sea salt, is an important component for both kinds.

Start by fermenting something simple like cabbage. You’ll be making homemade sauerkraut, but it isn’t like what you buy at the store. Unless what you buy says “live” on the label, you can bet it’s been sterilized and contains no beneficial bacteria.

You might also start by making kefir. Kathy’s journey with fermenting foods started with that.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy supplies like crocks. Wide mouth glass jars will do.

Keeping your fermented food refrigerated will make it last longer, but even without that, it should last months. People of generations past had root cellars to keep foods cool. Perhaps putting in a mini root cellar is worth considering. Of course, if you’re putting cultured foods in your pantry on a regular basis and rotating out your food, chances are you’ll be eating it before there’s a problem.


Put Little Alchemists in Your Survival Pantry

Fermented foods are loaded with friendly bacteria, which act as alchemists to do wonderful things in a person’s gut. They can relieve a number of digestive disorders as well as prevent diseases and aid the body in healing. Not only that, but they can even help detoxify and get rid of heavy metals.

But did you know there’s another type of benefit from friendly bacteria? For example, Kathy cited reversal of autism. That may sound far out or too good to be true, but if you check out info on the Body Ecology site mentioned in Additional Resources below, you’ll find info on this. And when you think about it, how much do we really understand the gut-brain connection?

The kinds of foods most of us eat can inhibit the work of good bacteria. Stress is also a negative factor. Good dietary havits–including use of cultured foods with their friendly bacteria–can provide us with welcome surprises.


Take the Next Step

Kathy assures us that fermenting your own food is simple, and it’s not harmful. There’s no need to fear the bacteria that make it what it is.

We talked about more, so I encourage you to hear my entire conversation with Kathy Strahan when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for May 1, 2014. (Right click to download.) You can go to her site by going to Also, check out the resources below and connect with others who can help you further explore food fermentation and good health.

If you have any thoughts on what you’ve read here or heard in my conversation with Kathy, feel free to leave a comment. Do you practice food fermentation? How has it worked out for you?


Additional Resources

In our conversation Kathy mentioned resources to help you get started on your food fermentation journey. They include the following:

  • Cultures For Health–They offer starter cultures, yogurt starter, kefir cultures, sourdough starter, soy cultures, cheese making cultures, and more, plus supplies, books and recipes.
  • Body Ecology–This is where you can connect with Donna Gates, who Kathy mentioned during our conversation. Their products and resources are specifically designed to help you cultivate, nourish, cleanse and repair your inner ecosystem.
  • Renegade Health–They offer natural health information and inspiration. Find recipes for cultured foods, too.
  • Cultured Vegetables–Near the end of my conversation with Kathy, she mentioned Caroline Barringer, whose site offers educational materials, products for culturing food, and cultured vegetables you can purchase. She’s also featured in this linked interview. Dr. Mercola Interviews Caroline Barringer

Kathy has also written about our conversation in a post called #1 Food for Super Immunity and Longevity. She includes more resources you’ll want to check out.

I’ve shared posts about alternative methods of preserving food previously with the following titles.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.