A: Drink full-strength in small quantities or mix with fresh vegetable juice, apple juice or juice of wheat grass. For a delicious and healthy salad seasoning: mix half and half with the salad oil of your choice (nothing else!).
Q: I have a package of your fermented vegetables in my refrigerator and it's swelling. What do I do with it?
A: Because our products are unpasteurized, living foods, refermentation may occur, causing the package to swell. But this is a natural process presenting no health risk. Re-fermented vegetables will have a slightly higher lactic acid content. We suggest you use the re-fermented product within a week because, after a certain period of time, it will not be as moist. On the other hand, if the package has leaked, letting the protective gas escape, you should discard it.
Q: What do I do with it? It looks like a soup or a sauce!
A: The vacuum packaging may give this soupy look to our products. But don't be deceived. Our crisp, grated or sliced raw fermented vegetables can be tossed into salads, served as a side dish or in a sandwich or used in one of our recipes.
Q: How long can I keep the products unopened in the refrigerator?
A: Refrigeration will preserve our products unopened for several months.
Q: How long will the products keep after opening?
A: Providing you protect the product from contact with the air (oxidation), and keep the product refrigerated and immersed in its own juice, our fermented vegetables will keep for another full month or more after opening. You can do this by resealing the vacuum pack, or by using another container and compressing a good quality plastic film directly against the surface.
Q: Is it OK to freeze your products for long-term storage?
A: Yes. When vacuum-packed and unopened, our cultured vegetables can be stored frozen for up to one year. The high proportion of lactic acid protects them and prevents any degradation. Tests conducted at the Food Research and Development Centre (FRDC) of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada produced the following conclusions:
• There were no detectable decreases in the concentration of ascorbic acid; in fact, the maintenance of vitamin C in the frozen product facilitated the preservation of other antioxidants and nutritional characteristics such as vitamin E and poly-phenols. The conclusion of the research was that freezing does not modify the nutritional value of our lacto fermented vegetables.
• There were no discernible differences in taste, texture, colour, or aroma compared to products that had not been previously frozen. According to a panel of testers (and numerous satisfied customers), freezing does not alter the organoleptic properties of the products.
Q: Your products have arrived partly frozen. Is it safe to refreeze them?
A: Yes. Unlike many other products, laboratory tests have shown that our lacto fermented vegetables can be safely refrozen after thawing. Refreezing does not alter the nutritional properties of our products. Nor does it change their taste, texture or colour.
Q: Why should I eat fermented vegetables when I can have fresh vegetables?
A: Because fermented vegetables are somewhat "predigested", and contain a lot of enzymes, they will be easier to digest and your body will have an easier time assimilating all the nutrients the vegetables contain. They will also help you digest and assimilate the other foods you eat.
Q: Do I have to eat the whole package at once?
A: You can, and many people will do just that. However, since fermented vegetables are highly assimilable, you do not need to eat large quantities in order to benefit from them. A 50g (2 oz) portion taken daily with your meal is sufficient to improve the digestive tract and provide a proper environment for the body's own production of friendly bacteria.
Q: Which one of your products would you recommend the most?
A: It's a question of taste. All of our products have the therapeutic qualities enumerated in our flyer and web site. We would nevertheless recommend our Beets to anyone suffering from constipation, our Daikon Radish or Black Radish to people with a sluggish liver, our Carrots as a good source of assimilable vitamin A... etc.
Q: To what category of people should the product be recommended?
A: Anyone will benefit from the consumption of raw fermented vegetables, but they are particularly beneficial for the aging, people with digestive problems, and the convalescent.
Q: I suffer from candidose. Will it not make my condition worse?
A: Many naturopaths will recommend raw fermented vegetables to people with your condition. By the way, one of the main functions of our very own unique lactic bacteria starter is to prevent the development of yeasts.
Q: I suffer from diabetes, and I am not supposed to have root vegetables. Can I take your fermented vegetables?
A: The fermentation process transforms the sugars that are naturally found in vegetables into more assimilable forms. People like you should eat root vegetables only after they have been fermented.
Q: What are the health benefits of the juices?
A: The juices are full of friendly bacteria and can be used in small quantities to facilitate digestion and restore bacterial flora.
Q: Why "lacto"? Does it contain milk or lactose? What if I am lactose-sensitive?
A: There is no milk nor milk by-products in our fermented vegetables. The term "Lacto" comes from the name biologists have given to a broad family of "friendly" bacteria which have one characteristic in common: they transform sugars into lactic acid. Some of those bacteria are specific to milk; others are specific to the vegetable domain.
Q: Is there a risk that nonylphenol (EMC's) will leach from the plastic wrapping into the vegetable?
A: The plastic material we use for packaging our products has been tested by the Food Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Products that had been packaged for more than 8 months contained no trace of nonylphenol.
Q: Are there any irradiated ingredients in your products?
A: No! Our products contain no irradiated ingredients.
Q: Are your cultured vegetables and juices gluten-free?
Q: What is the sodium content of your products?
A: The sodium content of our products varies between 1.5% and 1.8%. This represents about 15% of the recommended daily allowance per serving.
A: Fresh organic vegetables are cut up and mixed with spices, salt, spring water and our starter culture. They are then fermented in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature until the desired acidity (pH) is achieved, at which stage they are moved to a cooler room for a 2-month curing period. They are then vacuum packed for maximum freshness, and the juices are bottled for sale.
Q: Can I make my own cultured vegetables?
A: Yes, certainly. Spontaneous fermentation, i.e. fermentation with only those micro-organisms naturally present on the vegetables, is traditional but can produce variable results. In addition, when vegetables are allowed to ferment with only naturally-occurring micro-organisms, there will be wide fluctuations in taste and/or conservation since there is no way to tell which bacteria or yeast will prevail over the others. A controlled fermentation process using an appropriate starter culture is therefore recommended. Inoculating the vegetables with our starter culture makes it possible to decrease the pH to a safe level in less than 24 hours, hereby ensuring the rapid destruction of harmful micro-organisms. This is not possible with spontaneous fermentation. Caldwell Starter Culture is formulated specifically for fermenting vegetables. Please visit this page herefor more information.
Q: How are your raw cultured juices produced?
A: The juices are collected from the fermentation containers when the cultured vegetables are packaged. They are unpasteurized and undiluted.