by Jennifer Taylor
Creating a successful and growing fermented foods business wasn’t the original goal for Greg and Stephanie Ross, owners of Roots of Wholeness. Instead, they just needed relief from a number of family health issues including asthma, eczema, IBS, hives and symptoms associated with autism.
The Rosses discovered the secret of fermented foods when they visited a Korean naturopathic doctor who instructed them to eat kimchi, a national staple in Korea. Within days, their symptoms were gone.
Amazed at their health improvements, the Rosses learned everything they could about fermented foods. Their passion and knowledge is now available to local residents through Roots of Wholeness, which produces hand-crafted batches of fermented vegetables, Kombucha, kefir and kvass.
“We have always had a passion for health and wellness,” says Greg Ross. “Our dream and goal has been to educate people to live a healthy lifestyle focusing on deep healing and healthy eating.”
What the Rosses learned is a diet rich in fermented foods heals the gut lining and enables your gut floral to absorb nutrients. What makes kimchi unique, for example, is its fermentation process, which leads to the creation of beneficial lactobacilli bacteria. Fermented foods are extremely high in probiotics and vitamins A, B, C and K.
Lacto-fermentation is a natural preservation process that inhibits putrefying bacteria. Starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by the many species of lactic-acidproducing bacteria. These lactobacilli are ubiquitous, present on the surface of all living things. They are especially numerous on leaves and roots of plants growing in or near the ground.
Like the fermentation of dairy products, preservation of vegetables by the process of lacto-fermentation has numerous advantages beyond those of simple preservation. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.
The Rosses learned the art of making kimchi from their Korean neighbors. One of the results is their “Original Blend,” a refreshing mixture of cabbage, beet, carrot, garlic, ginger, turmeric and pink Himalayan sea salt.
“Our main focus is helping people get to the root of wholeness through healing emotionally and physically using fermented foods and essential oils,” says Greg Ross. “Some people believe that optimum health is unattainable and suffer with chronic illnesses but the truth is that our bodies were designed to operate like well-oiled machines and with proper nutrition, guidance and encouragement anything is possible.”
For more information about the Rosses and their fermented foods, visit www.rootsofwholeness.com, call 210-649- 9796, or visit with them in person at the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market ever Sunday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. You can also find their fermented foods at Juicer Heroes and Uncommon Fare. Jennifer Taylor is the managing editor for Natural Awakenings San Antonio.