Lacto? So there’s milk in it?
Absolutely not. We don’t use any dairy ever in our process, so our products are 100% vegan. “Lacto” just means sugars get changed into lactic acid.
What do you mean by raw?
We don’t heat any of our products, ever. They never see more than room temperature – usually around 70-75F.
Yeah, but how are they safe then?
Good question. The lactic acid that’s made in the fermentation process drops the pH (increases the acidity) of the products to a point where all pathogens – you know, bad stuff like salmonella, e coli, listeria, botulism, campylobacter, etc – get killed. It’s fine for the lactobacilli, though. The legal definition of an “acidified” food is anything below a pH of 4.6. Our products (and most, if not all vegetable ferments) are generally 3.5 and below.
I’ve heard a lot about how my body is too acidic. Is eating this going to make me even more acidic?
We’re no experts on the acid/alkaline balance of the body, but we have heard that many “acidic” foods have an alkalinizing effect through your body’s metabolism, and the fermented vegetables are one of those foods. However, if you’re concerned, we highly suggest you do your own research on this topic.
What’s the shelf life?
We put on one year from bottling – but in all honesty, lactic acid fermentation preserves foods for much longer. Sauerkraut was taken on long, several year sailboat excursions hundreds of years ago, and the acidity never goes away. However, the probiotic bacteria may not survive that long. Do make sure it’s always refrigerated!
How long does it last when I open it?
Same answer – the full shelf life that’s on the lid. The acidity protects the products perfectly. At worst, you may occasionally experience mold on top if the product has been exposed to air for a while, but that’s pretty rare. The mold isn’t harmful – we suggest you scoop it out and put the rest back into the refrigerator.
How many probiotic bacteria are there in your products?
No idea, really. It’s going to change batch by batch, will slowly decrease over time, and also depends on how it’s been treated at the store, in your house, etc. It’s the same for any naturally fermented whole food or drink – they can’t accurately tell you what’s in it at the time you eat it. If a company can tell you what the probiotic content of their food or drink is, it’s not a traditionally made whole food product. Like many companies that make traditionally lacto-fermented foods, we just say this – countless generations of people have used lacto-fermented foods to stay healthy, and countless people swear they have helped heal their guts. It’s a traditional, whole, pure food, and as such, should hold a special place on everyone’s plate.