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Will unsalted, cultured vegetables give me botulism?

This is the question that I get asked the most in my cultured food workshops. People are always stumped as to how cultured vegetables will stay fresh and safe if they don’t contain salt. The short answer is that they do.

The cultured vegetables that I refer to are fairly new to our modern day culture. Yet, they’re really a long lost food that we’re bringing back to the dining room table! Everyone knows what sauerkraut is and many people eat it to get their daily dose of probiotics.

Here’s the thing…’sauerkraut’ (German for ‘sour cabbage’) didn’t originally contain salt. It was only when natives of Poland, Germany, and Russia began to travel to America by ship and added salt to preserve the kraut for the long travels. Somehow this way of doing it stuck.