Bad Apples

Since my foray into fermentation began, I've been searching for a grand unified theory on the phenomenon: not the mechanisms of the process itself, but why it's currently popular. Between the sliminess, the sour smells, the sharp tastes, and the implications of death and decay, fermentation invites the question of why we are expending resources, in various ways, for bugs in our food. In You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, Alexandra Kleeman's dystopia of embodiment, Kleeman's main character marvels at the impossibility of knowing one's own body. "Inside a body there is no light," she muses. "Anything could be inside." Fermentation cuts through the confusing substance of the body by facilitating an osmosis of bugs and guts into the mainstream discourse around food, health, and consumption.

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