by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© September 2022, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.










1. Any food to which a special bacterial, fungal or other microorganism has been added that grows on or in the food. As the bacteria or yeast multiply, they produce various chemicals that give the fermented food its qualities.

Such foods include cheese, yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kombucha, leavened bread and a few others. Many alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and others are also fermented foods.

2. An expanded definition is that fermented foods include any food that has fermenting organisms growing in it or on it. This includes foods to which nothing was added and the fermenting organisms just grow naturally.

These foods include all nuts, seeds, grains, butter, and some vegetables, fruits and others. This may sound very confusing. However, I am told that many foods have microorganisms growing in or on them that contribute nutrients to them or give the food other properties.


For preserving food. Fermented foods have been used throughout human history in most all cultures. The use of vinegar and souring milk are common methods of preserving food.

Enhancing nutrition. Fermented foods often enhance the vitamin, mineral, amino acid or other nutritional content of foods. The microorganisms they contain literally can produce thousands of chemical substances, some of which are wonderful nutrients.

Restoring intestinal flora. Some fermented foods powerfully support healthful bacterial growth in the intestines and to balance digestion.

Antibiotic qualities. Some fermented foods such as sauerkraut can help resist intestinal infections by taking over the flora of the intestines and by other means.

Flavor enhancement. Fermented foods are used to enhance the flavors of some foods.

Souls. Some fermented foods contain special souls that are much needed today. In particular, these are found in some sauerkraut, some kosher dill pickles and some pickled herring.

Balancing the body. Some fermented foods in small quantity such as sauerkraut and kosher dill pickles, especially Bubbie's brand, help balance the body in unusual ways. This results in better digestion, better elimination, and other benefits.



The main problem with fermented foods is that the chemistry involved is quite complex. Some of the microorganisms are quite beneficial, while others are poisonous and produce powerful liver poisons, especially aldehydes and alcohol.

For this reason, we suggest caution with fermented foods. Below are more details about the problems with fermented foods:

1. Quite yin. The reasons are:

a. Ferments, which are bacteria or yeasts, are yin organisms.

b. Many fermented foods are eaten raw. This also is more yin than eating cooked food.

NOTE: some ferments survive cooking quite well, while others do not. This is one complication of fermenting food.

To read more about the important subject of the yin and yang aspect of foods, read Yin And Yang Healing on this website.

2. Aldehyde poisoning. Aldehydes are chemicals that are produced by some fermenting organisms.  If the food is prepared correctly, aldehyde production should be minimal. However, some fermented foods contain too much, especially homemade fermented foods.

Aldehydes are quite toxic for the body, and this is a major problem with some fermented foods.  On hair mineral tests, we see the results of eating aldehydes.  The person’s sodium/potassium ratio starts to decline and one’s vitality diminishes.  This is a consistent finding.  The more aldehydes one eats, the worse the problem.

The worst foods for the production of aldehydes are wine, beer, kombucha tea and Rejuvelac. Please avoid these foods. Miso, cheese and some good quality sauerkraut contain less. For more information on aldehydes, read Aldehyde Toxicity From Fermented Foods on this website.

3. Possibly unclean.  It is true that fermenting a food often kills harmful micro-organisms and affords some protection against intestinal infections.  However, fermented food, because it is not heated or boiled to cook it, is still subject to carrying many harmful or unclean pathogens.

In other words, fermenting does not automatically kill all parasites, bacteria and viruses that are found on foods, especially on many raw foods.

4. Addictive (stimulative).  This occurs with some fermented foods because they contain stimulants.  The most important today is Kombucha tea, discussed below.

5. Disadvantages compared to cooked vegetables. These include:

a.  Cooking tends to break down the fiber better than fermenting, in most cases, and this allows one to absorb more nutrients from vegetables and fruits.

b.  Cooking tend to concentrate most foods more than fermenting.  This allows one to eat more of the food, which is helpful today to obtain more nutrition.

c.  Cooking warms the food, which appears to be less upsetting to the digestion than eating cold fermented foods that the body must warm up.

d. Cooking makes the food much more yang than does fermenting.


To balance the above, we need to say that fermenting adds important nutrients and souls, in some cases, and can help with intestinal flora and can preserve food.

For all the above reasons, one must be cautious with fermented foods. Below are our recommendations.



Butter.  This is probably the best fermented food.  When cream is made into butter, it is churned physically.  Some fermentation occurs, converting some of the sugar in the cream to other chemicals.  This is why butter is not as sweet as cream, and why it has a different consistency.

We particularly like Challenge brand of butter in the supermarket.  Some other brands are okay, as well.  Fast oxidizers can have more butter than slow oxidizers.  I consider it one of the best foods available.

Cheese, yogurt and kefir. These contain beneficial bacteria for the intestinal tract. Soft goat cheese and goat yogurt also provide certain souls that are very helpful.

However, please do not overdo on dairy products, as they are all quite yin.  Keep the amount to four ounces daily or less for the total of all dairy products each day.

Miso. This is a very special Japanese food that is an excellent source of beneficial bacteria, in some cases.  A cup of miso soup, on occasion, is an excellent treat.  I do not recommend it on a daily basis because it is rather yin.

Pickles. Kosher dill pickles are a recommended occasional food on the development diet. They are somewhat yin but they contain beneficial souls. We particularly like Bubbie's brand of kosher dill pickles.

Sauerkraut.  This is usually a safe product, and can be purchased at any supermarket.  Organically grown is not necessary for the benefits of the fermentation.  A tablespoon or two of sauerkraut with each meal for a few weeks will help with some cases of gas and bloating.

Sauerkraut can also be eaten as a vegetable.  However, it is a raw food and contains bacteria.  Therefore, it is quite yin, so I do not recommend eating much of it on a regular basis.


Leavened bread. This uses baker's yeast to change the chemistry of the dough, add nutrients and air bubbles, and for other reasons. Unfortunately, we do not recommend bread at this time, except perhaps for occasional use.

The main reason is that the bodies require certain nutrients found only in blue corn. If one eats other grains such as bread one will not eat enough blue corn. Bread also often contains wheat, a food that has been so hybridized as to become irritating and an allergic food for many people.

Coconut kefir or cream. I am told that coconut is somewhat toxic and leaves a toxin in the liver. Also, coconut is extremely yin because it is a tropical fruit.

Fermented nut and seed milks and cheeses. At this time, we don't recommend any of these on the development diet. They are all quite yin because all nuts and seeds are yin (fruits) and ferments are very yin.

Fermented vegetables. The problem with these is that they must be made carefully or they will contain quite a bit of aldehydes. So we do not recommend them except for sauerkraut.

Kimchi. This traditional Korean dish is eaten a lot in Asia.  It is made from fermented vegetables and fruits. We find most of it is high in aldehydes and we don't recommend it for this reason.

Kombucha tea. Kombucha contains a powerful amphetamine-like substance that is very stimulating. For this reason, kombucha can drive people into a four lows hair analysis pattern, which is a burnout pattern.

Kombucha tea also contains aldehydes that poison the liver. We do not recommend it.

Rejuvelac.  This is a drink made from fermented wheat sprouts or possibly other fermented grains.  Dr. Ann Wigmore recommended it highly.  However, sprouts are quite yin, and the bacteria it contains are not usually easy to control.  As a result, I cannot recommend it.

Tempeh. This is a fermented soybean product that is high in protein. It is an occasional food on the development diet. This means it is okay once in a while, but not on a daily basis.

Tofu. This is another fermented soy product. Unlike tempeh, however, the soy beans are well-cooked and mashed to a pulp. It is also an occasional food on the development diet.



In one sense, it is more alive. It contains many microorganisms,which are very interesting life forms. These are encouraged in fermented foods, whereas in many other foods they are killed off, washed off, or otherwise discouraged.

However, bacteria are only one form of life. My understanding is that cooking food (which kills bacteria) can also enhance its life qualities by attract certain advanced souls to itself and perhaps for other reasons. So this is a confusing and more advanced topic.

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