Zen and the Art of Eating Part 2: Fermentation is the Key to Transforming Your Food

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One thing I recommend that you eat is fermented food because it is said to release good bacteria into your intestines.


In Japanese traditional medicine, intestines are vital and are regarded as the second brain. The intestines are located in the belly area that the Japanese people know as “hara.” The place is so significant that it is central to all martial arts like karate and Aikido. The importance of intestines is also recognized by modern medicine that states many bacteria in the intestines are essential to our health.


The Good Gut is a good example of books written by Western medical professionals to discuss the significance of intestines.



Fermented food such as Miso; soy sauce; Natto, fermented soybeans; and pickles are very good for intestinal bacteria. You can get these foods from natural food stores or macrobiotic stores. You can also make them at home; it isn’t so difficult to make them. If you can make them at home, it is much better because, through the process of fermenting them, you release good bacteria in your house, which can help you stay healthy from outside, too. Due to the spread of germicides, we have eliminated bacteria from our life but they included those effective bacteria as well, and it weakened our immune system.


I recommend that you make Natto, since it is easy to make and it can be a good meat substitute. Many people complain that they can’t stand eating it because it is sticky. Well, I can confidently promise you that, at first it will taste strange, but after eating it 10 times, the stickiness will get you hooked.


First, you soak soybeans in water for about 8 hours in summer and 12 hours in winter.


Next, you boil the beans until they become soft.


Then you put them in a yogurt maker while they are hot.


You also put a few sticks of straw because straw contains Natto bacteria. If you can’t get hold of rice straw, you can try using wheat straw. Make sure that you sterilize the straw in boiling water. In this way, it kills other bacteria but not Natto bacteria since it doesn’t die in boiling water; Natto bacteria is powerful.


After putting the boiled beans with sticks of straw in the yogurt maker, you cover the top with a paper towel and put the lid on top of it. Have the lid slightly open to let some air in.



You set the temperature of the yogurt maker to 45 degrees Celsius, and you leave it like that for 24 hours.


After 24 hours, check to see if the beans are sticky. If they are, Natto bacteria must have spread to entire beans.


Finally, you put the fermented beans into a container (the one in the yogurt maker is also okay) and put it in the refrigerator for another 24 hours.


I just found a good video. It is easier to understand-haha.


Thanks to YouTube. That means you can find how to make other fermented foods as well.


Anyway, eating fermented food is another way to deprogram yourself and help you get back to who you really were.


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