Bacteria Cafeteria

Today Sasha and I are fully on the Body Ecology diet, so I thought I would throw out some info/theory on bacteria.

Did you know that your body has 20 times more microbes than it has cells? That’s a lot of bacteria. Makes you wonder what, or who is really in charge? Our bodies are basically their microbial earth. Just like the macro ecology, there is a micro ecology in our bodies. More than 500 different species of bacteria interact in our body ecology. The bacteria that keep the body ecology healthy is called Commensal, such as and the kind help digest food. The bacteria that ruin the body ecology are called Pathogenic.

Civilization has done a number to the ecology of this planet, but also the ecology of our own bodies. Chlorine and fluoride in our drinking water kill the bacteria in our digestive tracts. The anti-biotics we take slaughter not just the bacteria in our guts, but all over. These actions amount to clear-cutting these microbial forests. Pathogenic microbes such as Candida Albicans thrive in sugar-filled environments. Gluten from grains, Lactose in milk, processed sugar, even the sugars in fruit are like fertilizers that help pathogenic microbes take control. We clear-cut the commensal bacteria and dump fertilizer for the pathogenic. None of these food sources other than fruit was available to hunter-gatherers.

This is what I ate on an average day growing up:

  • Surgary wheat cereal with milk for breakfast (Sugar + Sugar + Sugar)
  • Sandwich, synthetic fruit snack w/ pint of milk for lunch (Sugar + Sugar + Sugar)
  • PB & J sandwich for dinner w/ sugary desert (Sugar + Sugar + sugar)

If your body is 20 times more bacteria than cells… it makes me wonder who or what was craving this kind of food. Think about your favorite foods. I know mine are:

  • Pizza (bread and milk)
  • Breakfast Cereal (bread and milk and sugar)
  • Mac & Cheese (wheat and milk)
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich (wheat and cheese)
  • Cheese Burger & Fries (Wheat and Cheese and Potato starch, with sugary ketchup)
  • Doughnuts & Milk (wheat + sugar + milk)

Whose favorite foods are these? Are they mine or the Candida Albicans and other pathogenic bacteria/fungi? Who am I? Does this food nourish my physical cells… or does it nourish the hordes of pathogenic bacteria thriving in my body? At least I know the answer to that one; they don’t nourish me.


Candida overgrowth can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Often people may experience as many as 20 of the following list of symptoms.

Allergic and Upper Respiratory

  • Blurred vision
  • Bronchitis (recurrent)
  • Burning or tingling
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Earaches
  • Allergic rhinitis (hayfever)
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and tension
  • Nasal congestion
  • Head tension
  • Numbness
  • Painful, swollen, stiff joints
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throats
  • Swollen lips or face
  • Urticaria (hives, wheals or welts)


  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Poor memory


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness


  • Bloating
  • Oral thrush
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Gas
  • Halitosis (bad breath
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Inflammation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Rectal itch


  • Bladder infection (recurrent)
  • Burning on urination
  • Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)
  • Fluid retention (edema)
  • Frequent urination
  • Impotency
  • Infertility
  • Loss of sexual feelings
  • Prostitis

Glandular and Autoimmune

  • Adrenal and thyroid gland malfunction
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Low body temperature
  • Lupus


  • Acne
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Dandruff
  • Diaper rash
  • Dry skin
  • Eczema
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Facial rash
  • Fungous infection of the nails
  • Impetigo (skin infection)
  • Inflammation of hair follicles (candidiasis folliculitis)
  • Psoriasis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Tinea cruris (jock itch)

Women’s Issues

  • Cramps
  • Endometriosis (irregular, painful menstruation)
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pre-Menstral Syndrome (PMS)
  • Recurrent yeast vaginitis
  • Vaginal burning, itching or discharge


  • Conjunctivitis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Eye Fatigue
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Obesity
  • Symptoms worse upon waking
  • Tingling and numbness

Seems like a lot problems we think are other things might really be Candidiasis. Think you might have it? You probably do. You can take the quiz here.

So what do we do about this? I don’t know about you, but I want to restore my body ecology. The only way to get rid of the sugar-loving pathogenic bacteria is to starve them out. This can take months to years. That means no sugar. The second thing to do is fill your body with commensal bacteria, by brewing it up yourself. Since the beginning of the beginning humans have fermented their foods. Before refrigerators became all the rage, drying and fermenting was how people would store their food for long periods of time. Fermenting actually adds to the nutrition of food, while refrigerators don’t.

I’m looking forward to ridding my chronic fatigue, dandruff, numbness, etc. I’m also looking forward to learning how to ferment foods, then fermenting local edibles. This whole thing just makes me think that indigenous peoples were such geniuses…

Come join me at the Bacteria Cafeteria!


The Body Ecology Diet
Nourishing Traditions
Wild Fermentations

Current Questions:

1. Is Botulism a hazard of fermentation?

2. What primitive tools can be used in place of pots?

3. What are the purposes of epidermal mibrobials? Sunblock?

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11 Comments on “Bacteria Cafeteria”

  1. Scout- Check out “The Permaculture Book of Ferment & Human Nutrition” by Bill Mollison. It’s all about indigenous fermentations all over the word. Maybe it will give you enough ideas to innovate or reinvent something for your area. Seeing as how you gave up drinking are you into the homemade beer and stuff or not? Where I live they fermented maple sap. I reckon it wasn’t too alcoholic. The drug of choice here was tobacco. No evidence of drinking. Also “A corn food of which the iroquois of today have no memory is described by Sagard who calls it bledpuant. To prepare this viand the ear of corn before it was fully mature was immersed in stagnat water and allowed to “ripen” for two or three months at the end of which time it was taken out and roasted or boiled with meat or fish. The odor of this putrid corn was so frigthful that the good father either through imagination or from good cause related that it clung to him for a number of days from simply touching it. Nevertheless he adds that the indians sucked it as if it were sugar cane.” So yeah you might not be eating corn but my point is I just read books about local indians to get this info. Perhaps you could do the same. Have you ever heard of “stink heads”? I saw it once on that discovery channel “Taboo” show. It’s something they make in alaska by burying fish heads in a pit. You can die from eating it they said.
    -I’m not sure about them being poison antidotes per se but the mushroom idea seems like a good one for general health. Reishi in particular is not neccessary though its true you should be able to find that one species the other post mentioned in the wild. Herbalist Susun Weed who I studied with says that all mushrooms have medicinal properties, I don’t like such sweeping generalizations (or to be honest you could say the same thing about all plants and all foods so the statement becomes silly, even poison hemlock was used for medicine in certain ways) but check the book Medicinal Mushrooms by Christopher Hobbs. Specifically antitumor and immune stimulant properties seem to be common in the mushroom kingdom. You won’t even have to know how to identify them well to use them because some of the best for those properties are the hard conks (like the tinder conk and artists conks) and other shelf fungi that grow on trees as well as puffballs and oysters and other easy to identify mushrooms (and the conks are found year round!). As far as I know there are no poison conks. I can also send you mushroom material if you can’t find anything. Warning the tea is really bitter. But DONT take things in capsules, even if you make them yourself. Capsules=death.
    Other suggestions:
    -I can send you a bottle of milk thistle seed (Sylibum/Carduss marianum)tincture (seeds steeped in vodka) that will support and protect your liver. A dropperful is good for exposure to pollution, prior to binge drinking, and possibly from poisoning from a bad mushroom or overdosing on drugs. They say it works best when taken prior to exposure, not after. Though I read an article about a girl who it quickly recovered from an aspirin suicide attempt when they gave it to her after. For a more primtive approach you might study the milk thistle plant if it grows there, see if you can eat other parts if the compound is in the whole plant, see if the seeds are tasty and could be ground and added to food, etc. You might also find what the relationship is between the liver and pollution and find other liver boosting plants. But as far as I know there are lots of liver plants but milk thistle is most famous for this property. Okay I just went and ate some seeds. A little bitter, not bad. I think you could add them too foods or chew a teaspoon whole a day or some such thing.
    -I’ve heard some things about cilantro and removing heavy metals from the body. Since everything is so fucked up and you’d want to use any means necessary you could go ahead and plant/eat cilantro despite it being not native (but I don’t think it would last the winter outside). or you could start researching similar plants. I’d start with the Apiacea family which cilantro belongs to. Cilantro has a very particular taste too which is probably specific to its chemical compounds. If you recognize that taste in any other plant I would check it out. Dr James Duke also has a website where you can look up chemical compounds in plants and what they do. If you could find out what is in cilantro you could look for it in another plant.
    -Gosh. One question just leads to another. So much to learn. And it makes me mighty curious too even though I don’t worry much about pollution. Don’t spend too much time reading! Above all trust your instincts.

  2. I was also thinking that primitive containers like gourds or hollowed logs would be superior fermentation vessels to regular pots because if you get a good fermentation and you only use that container the little culture can live in the cracks and come back out to colonize your stuff again next time.

  3. Thanks for the tips Penny Scout!

    Also, Sasha sent an e-mail to the folks at about the botulism question: here her question and their response:

    I have no experience with home canning/jarring and I am worried about
    accidentally creating botulism in my sauerkraut! What is the likelihood of
    this happening, and what are the signs of botulism in jars?
    Thank You,



    Acid level is the key to successful culturing of vegetables and safety.
    Cultured vegetables are shredded and packed tightly into an airtight
    container. The friendly bacteria naturally present in the vegetables
    quickly lower the ph, making a more acidic environment. The vegetables
    become soft, delicious and somewhat “pickled”. The airtight container can
    be glass or stainless steel. Manufacturers make heavy-duty jars
    specifically for home canning. Do not use, say, empty peanut butter jars,
    because commercial jars are not strong enough to be safely used for repeated
    home cannings. “Mason” jars — which screw shut with a threaded neck are the
    most common choice. Do not re-use the lids: after a lid has been pried off
    once, a perfect fit can no longer be guaranteed. The jars themselves can be
    used many times, as long as the sealing rims are perfectly smooth and there
    are no scratches or cracks.

    Never eat, or even taste any home-canned food that appears to be spoiled;
    foams; develops a bad smell; the container has a bulging lid or is leaching;
    you are not sure whether the food was properly canned or not. Place any
    questionable containers and food in a waterproof container and throw it in
    the garbage. Do not feed the questionable food to your pets or any other
    animals. After throwing it away, wash your hands well with warm soapy water.
    Also wash any utensils or surfaces the food or container may have touched.

    Sasha I hope this information is helpful to you.

    Customer Service
    Body Ecology

  4. PB n J? I guess urban scout does not have an allergy to all nuts.
    seroiusly, though, I’ve ingested this filth since the womb. perhaps the time has arrived to cease. I think I encompass the entire list of symptoms. yes, all of them. my eyes always feel tired.

  5. unless you’ve recently devolped an allergy to all nuts, in which case, I admit my mistake.

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  8. yo buddy… i just wanted to say that my C64 is exploding when I click on the links… are you using some JavaScript or something?