Skip to main content

Fruits, Vegetables and Fermentation

Jun 30, 2016 02:57PM, Published by Jason Huddle, Categories: In Print, Food+Drink Family Features Food

Attached PDFs

A few months ago, Aubrey Mast got a text message from her roommate, “Did you mean to leave raw chicken on the counter?”

Mast chuckled. 

It wasn’t chicken in the little zip-tight bags; it was SCOBY, or Symbiotic Colonies of Bacteria and Yeast, that she had prepared to share with the participants in her latest Healthy Living class. She was going to talk about the health benefits of fermentation and planned to send each one of them home with a starter culture to make their own kombucha, a fermented tea.

Fermentation is a centuries-old technique for preserving foods. Yogurt is by far the most widely consumed fermented food in American culture, being produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk. Second is likely sauerkraut, a side dish made by layering finely shredded cabbage and salt in a non-porous container and allowing lactic acid fermentation to “work” its culinary magic. (Really, it’s a great science lesson on population dynamics where different bacterias dominate in an increasingly acidic environment.)

Mast works at the Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis. As an N.C. State Extension Associate, she develops programs that bring research-based information to the general public; specifically, she focuses on research conducted at PHHI. PHHI faculty are looking at food crops – fruits, vegetables and herbs – that provide benefits to human health. "

One of the programs Mast has launched is the Healthy Living Series, a three-part course that teaches: 1) the health benefits of certain foods, particularly with regard to treating and preventing chronic disease; 2) making food choices based on more information than just taste and calories; and 3) demonstrations of recipes and alternative food preparation techniques, including fermentation.

One big area of PHHI research is exploring phytochemicals in foods. Phytochemicals are plant compounds that provide health benefits without providing nutritive value. Fermented foods allow these phytochemicals to be more readily absorbed by the body, offering increased health benefits compared to the raw or traditionally cooked fruit or vegetable.

Fermentation immediately targets inflammation and aids digestive problems. It is a treasure trove of probiotics that enhance the gut microbiota. In fact, according to Mast, two ounces of homemade sauerkraut has more probiotics than 100 capsules of a store-bought probiotic.

Mast maintains a wealth of information on the PHHI website,, including a schedule of class offerings (and online registration). The next Healthy Living Series is being held July 12, 19 and 26, 1:00 to 3:00pm, in the Community Kitchen at Cabarrus Health Alliance. If you would like to host Mast to teach a Health Living Class for a group, contact her at 704-250-5471.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline

Family Features Food Food Fermentation


    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition the first Tuesday of each month at Carm’s for free coffee and ...

  • A Vet Together

    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition at Carm's Cafe every Tuesday morning for A Vet Together! Fre...

  • Breathe Easy: Sinus Seminar

    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Dr. Edward Dickerson, Double Board Certified Facial Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon, will ...

  • Thriller Dance Lessons

    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Ever wanted to learn the King of Pop’s famous Thriller dance? Now’s your chance! Head over to the...


    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Free event open to anyone experiencing dementia, their loved ones and/or their care partners. S...

  • CBC Trivia Night


    Cabarrus Brewing Co’s weekly Trivia Night hosted by KanePunch Comedy’s Patrick & Joel is held eve...

  • Namaste and have a Beer

    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us at Twenty-Six Acres every Wednesday for Yoga with Jill Falconer Yoga! Classes are $10 and...

  • Car lovers rejoice! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented ...



    • Children from walking age to three years old with caregiver. Songs, stories, finger plays follo...

  • Kannapolis Farmers Market

    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Kannapolis Farmers Market will be held every Thursday, 4-7pm May through September, at the co...

  • Music on Means

    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Music on Means is a free outdoor concert series in Downtown Concord featuring a variety of region...

  • Small Business Saturday

    08:00AM — 09:00PM

    Make a purchase in any of the participating businesses in Downtown Concord and enter a drawing to...

  • Car lovers rejoice! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented ...

  • Piedmont Farmers Market 2017


    • Open year-round. Fresh local produce, honey, free-range eggs, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef...

  • Beth Moore Simulcast

    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    <Fayetteville, NC>– <September 23, 2017>– LifeWay Christian Resources and Living Proof ministries...

  • Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest


    This event at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis will be hosted by the Duke Clinica...

  • CON2

    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    All ages - The worlds of Sci-Fi and Fantasy collide at the library! Come meet special guest of ho...

  • Cold-blooded fun Repticon

    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This premiere reptile show shares these incredible creatures with the world. Enjoy exhibitions, e...

  • 11th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour

    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Sponsored by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market, the 2017 Eastern...

  • Town Theatre's The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    08:00PM — 10:15PM

    Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre...

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

Get Cabarrus Magazine Delivered to Your Door!

Subscribe today!

Proudly Brought To You By These Community Sponsors