Chemicals, Kids and what we as parents butt-up against as we try to raise healthy children in a toxic world.
Sugar is truly a wondrous building block of life. It is nature’s gas: real, honest and pure energy. And without the sugar in kombucha, there is no fermentation, and without fermentation, there’s no good nourishing acids and enzymes for your body. It’s also worth noting that many people find that when they drink Kombucha over a period of time, their sugar cravings di- minish. That ‘tart’ taste of the Kombucha dissipates and becomes more natural to the palate. This has to do with Kom- bucha alkalinizing the blood and regulating insulin levels. Here are a few important FAQ about kombucha and sugar:
1. I don’t consume sugar in my diet, so it puts me off Kombucha. The sugar in Kombucha is for the culture to con- sume, not for you! When done fermenting, there will be about 1-3 grams of sugar per glass of pure Kombucha. By con- trast, orange juice has about 24g of sugar. Natural carrot juices have 13g per glass. If fermented longer, sugar levels in Kombucha are even lower.
2. Why does Kombucha need so much sugar? Without sugar, Kombucha cannot ferment. Sucrose is most easy to digest by the yeasts; they consume the sugar and produce carbon dioxide, i.e. the bubbles in your buchi and slight amounts of ethanol (alcohol). Then, as part of the symbiosis, the bacteria consume the ethanol and create the healthy amino acids and enzymes, trace vitamins and minerals in your Buchi. A healthy yeast to bacteria balance ensures maximum organic acids and minimal levels of alcohol.
3. What type of sugar should I use to brew Kombucha? Most sugars are fine for Kombucha (with a few exceptions, see below), but there are preferred choices: Plain White Sugar - the Kombucha culture consumes this easiest. Con- cerns about trace toxins in white sugar processing need to be considered. Evaporated Cane Juice (Rapadura) – cleaner process but slightly more difficult for the Kombucha to consume. Brown Sugar – harder for the Kombucha to break down, it will also change the flavor significantly. Honey – A wonderful choice but DO NOT USE RAW. The bacte- ria can disturb the Kombucha SCOBY balance. (See what we use in FAQ 5)
Sugars to be avoided when brewing Kombucha? Raw Honey (as above) Stevia (will not ferment) Xylitol (will not fer- ment). High Fructose Corn Syrup -Must I go there? This stuff isn’t a food and shouldn’t be in your body. Avoid at all cost!. Artificial Sweetener – I have heard some crazy ideas: Saccharin? Aspartame? Someone asked if they could use a Schweppes lemonade as starter. No. No you cannot!
4. Do I have to use all the sugar in the recipe when brewing? Again, the sugar is NOT FOR YOU! You might think that you are helping yourself by not adding all of the sugar the recipe calls for, but you will be starving your culture (and essentially the beneficial inputs of kombucha)
5. What sugar does Buchi Kombucha use? We use certified organic, raw, evaporated cane sugar. Despite living in a country where sugarcane fields are abound, certified organic sugar in Australia doesn’t exist (And we can’t even con- sider using non-organic sugar given that the pesticides used in sugarcane farming have been linked to endocrine/ hormone disruption in our population). So we import our raw certified organic sugar from Daabon in South America. Daabon is the main organic sugar production region in the world. The sugarcane is processed with no chemical fertiliz- ers or pesticides, strictly following organic agricultural practices. But we are constantly keeping an eye out for certified organic sugar in Australia.
6. Is there a way to test for how much sugar is left in my brew? You can use a hydrometer to measure both the sugar and the alcohol content of your brew. Or, if you want something a bit easier, you can try an Accuvin residual sugar test.
The Maleny Real Food Festival is the creation of Julie Shelton the former advocate for the Slow Food Movement in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. The festival is about displaying the local producers and for people to meet the faces behind the food. And we brought Buchi Kombucha to this vibrant festival and are grateful that our bacteria and yeastie wares were so warmly embraced. Here are some cool pics of our stall and the weekend at the festival. If you didn’t get a chance to make it this year, its on again in 2013.
The question about weather people with candida can or ‘should’ have kombucha is something we get asked about quite a bit on our market stalls. Firstly though, and to put things straight, drinking kombucha will not ‘give you’ a yeast infection . Secondly, the most recent research worth reading on this issue is in the Journal of Food Biochemisty (2012). Researchers, Battikh, Chaieb & Ammar, screened kombucha fermented black tea for antibacterial and antifungal activity against a range of human pathogenic bacteria and candida yeasts. The results found that after 21 days of fermentation, kombucha exerted considerable antimicrobial activity. This was particular evident against all the tested bacteria (ie. the bad bacteria such as Staphylococcus, E.Coli and Listeria). Kombucha also showed considerable antifungal activity against most of the pathogenic Candida yeasts tested (but some more than others). The tricky thing in relation to candida though, is that when tested for candida people get a diagnosis of ‘candida’ without knowing what range of stains they actually have. Hence, some people benefit more from kombucha than others. The research is really worth a read. We have some copies at our marets (Northey St, West End and The Big Pineapple) or give me a email and I can flick you out a copy.
[Photo taken at the Maleny Real Food Festival: Sarah & her SCOBY Kombucha Kit]
Recent clinical studies established that curcumin, the active component of turmeric, is not only a super powerful anti-oxidant, but it also increases the way other anti-oxidants work, including those from your food. Curcumin works in two ways – it scavenges free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of cellular damage, and it slows down the neurological aging process, protects the liver, helps lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (the kind of cholesterol you don’t want) and increases HDL cholesterol (the good form of cholesterol). Traditionally Turmeric has been used mainly as an anti-inflammatory but, unlike pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories that can have an irritant effect on the gastric tract, curcumin is calming and soothing to inflamed areas, as well as assisting in healing. Curcumin in- creases gastroprotective mucus secretion, thereby protecting the stomach and intestinal walls from inflammation and ulcers caused by some medications, stress or alcohol. Curcumin also helps reduce the build up of amyloid plaque, which causes Alzheimer’s disease. India has only 10 per cent of the incidence of Alzheimer’s of Western countries and this is attributed both to their dietary use of Turmeric and generally more spices in their diet. Animal studies have shown that Turmeric was also able to clear introduced human cancer cell lines of bowel polyps and cancer. Apparently, Turmeric turns off the trigger that encourages cancer cells to grow and spread, although scientists are still trying to de- termine the pharmacological pathway. So there you go. Turmeric is amazing.
[References: Clinical Cancer Research July 2001; Vol 7; 1894-1900. Journal of Carcinogenesis 2004; 3; 8 Science Journal April 2004; 600-602]
Time in San Francisco has given me space to reflect on our Buchi Kombucha venture…as well as drink plenty of local brews here. My favourite? Cherry Chai by GT Kombucha. Amazing!
So here is an update and a copy of our Buchi Bulletin that we hand out at the markets each month.
A few highlights:
A special shout out to editor of Peppermint Magazine Kelley Sheenan and her partner Ben. We feel particularly grateful to be working with on developing new Buchi labels which will contain all the ingredient listings and nutritional information. So stay tuned!
Yes, we will be ACO certified by the end of the year….its a thorough process!
We have Kombucha brewing kits at the markets now, so if you want to brew your own kombucha, come and see us at the markets or give us an email: email@example.com (We could always post one out to you).
And our ‘Taste of the Season’ this month is our Warming Winter Pear Kombucha. It’s delicious. Made with our 100% fermented Buchi kombucha, biodynamic pears, cinnamon, and lashings of passion and love!
Read a copy of our June Bulletin HERE.
[The photo is of a beautiful SCOBY bank (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast - commonly called the SCOBY or Mother)]
Did you know? The food in the average Aussie shopping basket has travelled about 70,000km and the meal on your average dinner plate has travelled around 2000km. Besides the impact on the environment, long haul food also poses food security risks. An Australian Federal Government report released by the Department of Agriculture, as summarised in The Age newspaper this week outlines a number of risks posed by long, concentrated food supply chains. The longer the distances travelled by our food, the more vulnerable it becomes to natural disasters and other factors that can break the supply chain and cut off food supply to communities. Have a read.
This is one of the huge advantages of Organic Farm Share. A key objective is to ensure a secure, local food supply. This is the reason behind the requirement that shareholders must live within a 200km radius of the farm. Based on the average Aussie meal travelling 2000km, at Organic Farm Share we envisage our food miles will be decreased by up to 92%. Up to 60% of the cost of food can be attributed to distribution and handling costs. By reducing the food miles, owning our supply chain and keeping it local, we can eliminate many unnecessary and hidden costs in food. Amazing!
By guest blogger and friend from Organic Farm Share Filippa Araki
Many people believe that healthy and organic food simply isn’t affordable. At face value, this is a valid perception. Why spend $6 on a loaf of organic sourdough bread when you can buy a loaf of supermarket bread for $1.50?
Thanks to industrialisation and large supermarket conglomerates, food prices have dropped significantly but at what cost to our health? Since 1987, health expenditure in Australia has been increasing by an average of over 5% each year. In 2009-10, spending on health was $121 billion equating to an average of $5,260 per annum (over $100 per week) for every man, woman and child in Australia1.
Thanks to modern health care, we may be living longer but with what quality of life? Despite our increased spending on health care, the so-called “diseases of western civilisation” (heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc.) continue to rise2. Highly processed and chemical-laden food grown in depleted soils simply does not meet our nutritional needs. Surely there is a correlation between what we spend on food and what we now spend on our health.
Organic Farm Share aims to provide the most affordable organic food in Australia. By owning the land where our food comes from and keeping production and distribution local, we can cut out so many steps in the food chain that add unnecessary cost. And by following the highest standards of organic and biodynamic farming, we can grow and produce high quality, nutrient-dense food.
1AIHW 2011. Health expenditure Australia 2009-10. Health and welfare expenditure series no. 46. Cat. no. HWE 55. Canberra: AIHW.
2ABS 2011. 3303.0 – Causes of Death, Australia, 2010. Accessed 25.5.12 http://www.abs.gov.au
Have been on and off for years, but have moved on to Coconut Oil more recently, which tastes simply luxurious compared to the Sesame Oil I’d been having years ago. Inspired by Jess Ainscough’s (aka the wellness warrier) post about oil pulling, I too wanted to share my expereinces of oil pulling, particularly from a mama’s perspective.
I started oil pulling after the birth of Adiva, about five years ago. An Ayurevdic health practitioner started me on the practice after experiencing a pregnancy that was bound with severe Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) a form of morning sickness with unrelenting, excessive nausea and vomiting which went on throughout most of my pregnancy. And because I vomited so much during pregnancy, sometimes 10-15 times a day, my teeth and gums now carry scars that will never go away – deteriorated tooth enamel from the acid, cracks, and sensitive gums. (The pregnancy with Jedda was much the same). Pregnancy is notorious for the development of teeth issues – we carry 50% more blood in our bodies, we often have food sensitivities, and we are growing a baby that takes from our body what it needs, sometimes at the expense of the mama.
Hence my now passion for oil pulling.
But what is oil pulling (OP) you may ask?
It’s a little known fact that Ayurevdic medicine historically prescribed Sesame Oil swishing in the mouth as one of the daily routine habits in the morning for oral and dental hygiene (yes, Jase initially liked to make giggly boy chatter about ‘oral oil pulling’ – classy I know. I think most partners will probably make the same simple jokes). Oil pulling was introduced to the modern world in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach, MD. Dr. Karach claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders.
How does it all work?
My morning ritual, while making our morning tea, is to swish coconut oil in my mouth for about 10-15 minutes. Because it has been chilly in the morning here in Brisbane, sometimes I need to put the coconut oil jar in hot water for a minute so that it turns from a solid block back into liquid. And sometimes if I don’t have time, I will put a tablespoon of the solid block in my month until it melts and then swish. Not as pleasant, but still effective nonetheless. I sometimes also add a couple of drops of oregano oil (great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal oil) and simply spoon it into my mouth. One tablespoon is all you need. Then I swish the oil around my mouth for 10-15 minutes (and 5 minutes if that’s all I can manage for the day and 20 minutes if I am having a peaceful morning). And believe me this really is the best start to the day!
Remember, don’t swallow the oil, the swishing will render it full of toxins. And brush your teeth and rinse your mouth thoroughly oil pulling.
If the first few times your gag reflexes kick in, decrease the amount of oil you are using and definitely don’t worry about the essential oil. Persist though – it’s worth it.
What are the benefits?
There are so many: • Whiter teeth • Healthier gums • Prevents bad breath • Increases energy • Decreases headaches and migranes • Clears sinuses • Alleviates allergies • Clearer skin • Regulates menstrual cycles • Improves lymphatic system • Improves PMS symptoms…and more…
There’s not much research done. But there’s a dearth of research done on the benefits of both coconut oil and oregano oil that you can’t ignore the practical application of oil pulling. And there is a fabulous book on the topic called Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing by naturopathic physician Bruce Fife. He states:
‘The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it ‘pulls’ out bacteria and other debris’.
‘As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.’
I think I will always wear the scars of bearing two beautiful girls, but my gums feel healthier, my teeth whiter, and my head clearer as a result of oil pulling. I would love to know your experiences of oil pulling. And if you haven’t tried, give it a pull!
I was wondering what to do with our beautful rosy and plump Rosella’s in our garden (jam, yes, but I did that last year) so yesterday I made a special ‘taste of the season’ Kombucha and named it Spicy Rosella. It’s amazing. Tenderly hand picked by Adiva and I, steam softened to maintain as much of the potent antioxidents as possible, and sweetened with hints of delicious cinamon quills and apple. If you are in Brizzy come down for taste at Northy St markets this weekend, or give me an email and I will put a bottle aside for you because there are only select number. I feel most happy when I am crafting and creating. Give it go. It’s good for the soul.
We are bringing Kombucha to Northy St Organic Markets! (in fact my post is a little late as we’ve been there for a few weeks now, sorry). We feel so grateful to be so well received in this beautiful community. It’s very satisfying to be around people equally passionate about fermented foods and health. And to be honest we’ve been struggling to keep up with the demand for our Kombucha. It’s been a sell out every week. But we hope we have it all handled now with over 1000ltrs of blissful brewing Kombucha. And we just got word from Saturday’s West End Markets and they have a spot for us too (no weekends for us anymore, but bringing kombucha to the people feels very right).
So if you are in the Brisbane area come and visit us for a sample. We have four different Kombucha varieties: i) Buchi Mama Origional (made on the SCOBY mother and that’s all); Deep Green Kombucha (yes, we use the Miessence Deep Alkalising Green mix with loads of blue green algae (spirillina), wheat grass, barley grass, kamut grass etc); Ginger Tumeric Kombucha (packs a punch for people who like that ginger kick); and Hibiscus Pine Lime Kombucha (this was made for people transitioning to Kombucha and who need a little sweetness in their drink).
And for people who are not in the area, but in Australia, you can still contribute to our crowdfunding (Pozible) for the next few weeks and we will send some delicious Buchi Kombucha your way. Check out our site http://buchi.pozible.com and make a pledge. Don’t worry about your location, we’ll be shipping Buchi all around the country to say thanks for your support.
In my last post I said to stay tuned for more information about going commercial with Kombucha…and here it is! Jase (my partner) and our dear friend Matt are now brewmasters for Buchi (pronounced ‘boochi‘) Kombucha and are seeking crowdfunding so that the people of Australia will be able to access high quality, low-cost, local, sustainable, certified organic, raw Kombucha. And for people who contribute to the crowdfunding project they will all receive some awesome in-kind rewards…umm Kombucha!
Kombucha is a fermented health elixer that is just packed with vitality and goodness. The bacteria converts sugars into health giving organic acids such as glucuronic, lactic and acetic. So it’s nutritious, detoxifying and delicious all at the same time, and linked to a range of health benefits including organ cleansing, detoxification, improved digestion, better skin, stronger immunity and anti-aging benefits.
The link and video below show the boys, their passion for Kombucha, the business plan, why its a glocal production, and how to get some free Buchi by becoming a supporter and contributing to the crowdfunding. Have a watch and vote with your dollars:
>CLICK HERE to support Buchi Kombucha and find out more about this amazing project.
Since journeying back to Australia and emersing ourselves in everyday Brisbane living again, I have found myself yearning for connection with nature, health and self – yearing for community (It seemed so much easier when we were living on farms, tipis and yurts around the globe). It’s been a somewhat unsettling time for us as a family, and without this connection a certain amount of dis-ease has been creaping into our lives. Tiredness. A colesore here and there. A sore throat. Sore back. Crankiness.
Jeddabugs second birthday was an opportunity to reconnect to nature, health and self again. One of the greatest lack in our world, is the deep agony of separation and loneliness – we all long for connection with others. So we called on our community to help us celebrate Jeddabugs birthday and create our vege patch. It was a wonderful day and I feel deeply grateful to all beautiful friends for bringing our vege patch to life, for your generous time and seedlings, and blessing our Jeddabugs on her second birthday. It was a wonderful gift to our family and we hope to to repay it forward to others also seeking connection with nature, health, self and community.
I bet you have heard of them, but may not know exactly what they are and how they operate in your life. This short video by Narelle Chenery from Miessence is a gem. It explains (in just a few minutes) how we accumulate free radicals from environmental toxins and poor food choices, and how we can act to neutralise them with antioxidant-rich foods such as berries and raw cacao.
SAVE 20% off this order and all future orders by purchasing your Miessence Vitality Pack here
for your daily superfood dose of In-Liven Probiotic, Deep Green Akaliser and Berry Radical Antioxidant.
To your health and vitality,
Jase and the girls went to the farm on the weekend (I stayed home and completed a presentation for the Australian Public Health Conference on the lack of protective policies in the area of children’s environmental health. Ironic!). When the girls emerged from the car just on sunset their fingers and nails were gruby, their hair was notty and wind-swept, and they were flushed with excitment and joy. Adiva offered me a huge bounty of organic cabbages, sweet peas, turnips and lettuces that she had wrapped up in the picnic blanket. She had proudly picked these with her friend Alf. If you want more information about the Organic Farm Share please click HERE. Otherwise, enjoy the photos. Nothing makes me smile more than children and organic vegetables…
I presented a workshop called ‘Natural Mama and Eco-Parenting’ to a packed audience. Thankyou Sydney! Then the rest of the weekend I ate myself around the entirety of the expo – there was not a sample that I did not hit my tastebuds. And Loving Earth did have me come back quite a few times…I even had Adiva smuggle me a few of their new raw orange chocolates and hid behind another stand until she came to get me…I know, certainly not very natural parenting of me. They are just so good though!
Of course, the chicks and I also hung out with the lovely Miessence crew and handed out samples of Deep Green and the fermented InLiven probiotics.…targeting as many parents, children and toddlers as possible (See pic of Adiva and Jeddabug sharing their own stash of Deep Green and InLiven); bought some of the sensational Nui wild virgin coconut oil for cooking, eating raw and lavishly smothering on my skin; gave a cheer of gratitude to the Vitamix boys; met the owner of the organic Tetra tea tree baby bedding (we used their products when our girls were babies and just love them); spoke with the Sun Warrier (Bio-fermented raw sprouted whole grain brown rice) protein distributer to see what super deals we could strike; fed the baby animals in the children’s petting zoo lots of organic carrots; then got engaged with watching Costa and Kylie Kwong cook organic treats on stage; and was re-energised by Carla Oates (aka. the beauty chef) prepare body scrubs, face masks and spritzers for the skin from everyday food products straight from the refrigerator and pantry. Lovely to watch. I also met up with a few ladies who went to my talk at the expo last year and who are now heavy pregnant. It was a satisfying sight to behold!
These photos are of my highlights of the Sydney Organic Expo. We are happy to be back and connecting with the organic community again…but do look forward to nomadic living again next year!
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