Getting Started with Effective Microorganisms® (EMs®)
(To order the starter culture (EM-1® Agricultural Innoculant) for brewing your own batches of Activated EM’s, click on the banner above to take you to the Terra Ganix website. Also you can order the EM Gold Stone® to create your own structured water for drinking as well as for treating the water you use to make your Actived Effective Microorganisms®)
This is intended as an educational sample to help you get started right away with my own extremely powerful tried and tested version,. It will also let you know what to expect from your own brew as far as taste and effect. This is a food (drink elixer) and NOT a supplement or drug.
Activated EM-1® is a powerful detoxer. Do not underestimate it’s ability to pull heavy metals, flame retardant chemicals, pesticides, mercury, pesticides, glues, and hundreds of other everyday toxins out of your body. Some of the effect is “pulling” or “chelating” and some is “neutralizing” directly by adding electrons to the free radicals so they no longer are toxic and dangerous. Some of the effect is also “eating” the chemicals and converting the waste products into usable nutrients for the body. This is a powerful and not well understood, multidimensional and multiuse food that can cause some relief of symptoms and suffering and at the same time some flare up, or alternating between the two pretty quickly (hours or days alternating between pain vs. relief of pain.) The pain is considered a ‘detox reaction’ that can result in a host of symptoms including nasea, diarhhea, skin eruptions, mucous discharge, gas and bloating, lethargy, brain fog, and many others.
Therefore, is is wise to start with a small daily dose and very cautiously work your way up to higher doses.
Most people start at 1 tbsp per day. You can either dink this WITH meals one teaspoon three times per day.
Warning! Some people need to start with smaller doses. Use your judgment based on how toxic you think you are. Some people start with as little as one drop per day. If you experience symptoms you don’t like, reduce your dose).
Or you can mix one TABLESPOON in a quart of water with a teaspoon of salt and sip that throughout the day.
Eventually after weeks or months you can gradually increase you daily dosage by one teaspoon at a time.
After being on Activated EM-1 for awhile you may want to drink more. You can drink to taste at the point you are comfrortable with it’s effects and you understand what a detox reaction is like and can prepare for it if you want to invite it.
How to brew you own Activated EMs™
EM•1® microbial products can be grown one time for economical purposes. This “growing” or “brewing” process is called Activation (it used to be called “extension”). It does not mean the microbes in EM•1® are not active, they are. It is just a term EMRO developed years ago. Activation involves taking one part EM•1®, 1 part molasses, and 20 parts water. Numbers can be rounded up or down a bit according to the size of the container and are not crucial to the outcome of the final product.
As with beer and wine, the colder the temperature, the longer the fermentation takes to complete. And, the process is done without air. Any local home brewing supplier will have the materials you will need to have a successful Activation. These items include airlocks, carboys, tubing, etc. For an example of what an airlock looks like and costs, click here. Airlocks and other brewing equipment can be found online through many home brewing suppliers or at a local home brew supply. If you want to keep it really simple, you may use a clean soda bottle with a screw on top. These bottles are very good because they can take a tremendous amount of pressure and can be found virtually anywhere.
• Use a clean airtight plastic bottle or container or large tank with screw-on lid.
• Use a container about the volume of the recipe being made. Avoid containers that have large air space as the excess air tends to interfere with fermentation and do not use containers with loose lids such as 5-gallon pails.
• Be prepared to either make an airlock or manually release the pressure on a daily basis.**
• Use only fresh, clean water. Tap water is fine (yes, even if chlorinated).
• Use blackstrap molasses. Avoid using beet molasses or corn syrup as they tend to spoil easily.
Ingredients for One Gallon of Activated EM-1®
Basic Medicinal recipe:
3/4 c. mollasses
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. bentonite clay
3/4 c. EM-1® microbial innoculatant
You can also add papaya (highly recommended for enzymes) and herbs. Here are my favorites: ginger root, tumeric root, seaweed like kombu or wakama, orange peel, lemon peel. You can use powdered or dried versions of these or fresh, whatever you have available. Just a few pieces of each is all you need.
Mix all ingredients EXEPT the EM microbial innoculant. Fill the container almost all the way to the top. Add the EM microbial innoculant. Add water until there is about 1/2 inch space left from the top. Put the lid on.
• Ferment at room temperature for 3-5 days.
• Some time between days 3 and 5, remove the lid and check the pH of the liquid using a pH meter or pH paper. If the pH is 3.8 or below, allow the fermentation to complete for an additional 5-7 days.
• Toward the end of the fermentation, check the smell of the product. It should have some alcohol smell, some white flakes on it and look and smell similar to the original EM•1®. If all these are true, it is ready to use.
The initial fermentation process takes roughly 3-5 days. During this time sugars are being digested by the microbes. As they do this, they produce various acids that cause the pH to drop. pH is the measurement of Alkalinity (bases) and Acidity (acids). You can easily measure this using some pH paper. The pH paper we sell has a perfect range for testing this. It goes from 3.0-5.5. (Electronic pH meters are sold through scientific companies, however, they require maintenance and calibration and can vary in readings between meters. If you choose to use an electronic meter, maintain it well and use the same meter every time.) The pH paper we sell is very accurate and consistent. There is a color chart on the side of the package that you use to gauge the pH. You generally do no start checking the pH until about 3-5 days after you mix and start the fermentation. However, if you would like to know the starting point and the finishing point, you can check the mixture before fermentation.
When the pH of the solution drops to 3.8 or below and has rested at this pH for 5-7 days, the Activated EM•1® is ready to use. The target pH is 3.5.
You will have about 45-60 days to use it at this point.
**During the fermentation process pressure builds up in the containers as the microbes digest the sugars. To avoid rupturing the container, “burp” it and reseal. Burping may have to be done one or more times per day. You may also use airlocks or blow off tubes similar to what is done in brewing wine or beer.
Activated EM•1® should be kept in an air-tight container to keep it anaerobic and used within 45-60 days after the pH drops below 3.8.
Store Activated EM•1® at room temperature, 68ºF to 86ºF (20ºC-30ºC). Refrigeration is not necessary.
Speed of fermentation: Usually larger batches ferment faster than smaller ones. Sometimes the pH drop will only take 24 hours. Usually we plan for the pH drop (below 3.8) to take about 3 days.
Temperatures and seasonal changes in fermentation times: EM•1® likes warm conditions. Keep the material in a relatively warm area while it is fermenting. (for example, a cellar is too cool for it to ferment quickly.) In the winter, when the temperature is low, place the fermenting mixture somewhere to keep it warm. There is no need to incubate or heat the product as this actually tends to prevent the pH from dropping.
Type of Molasses: Organic molasses tends to have some type of pH buffer in it, which sometimes prevents the fermentation process. You can add in an equal amount of vinegar (apple cider, wine, etc.) to the molasses to help break the pH buffer.
Air causes the Activated EM•1® to spoil. This includes extra air space in the bottle. Be sure to leave as little airspace in the bottle as possible when fermenting.
Try not to make too more product than you can use within a month or two to avoid wasting product.
If Activated EM•1® has a foul smell, or the pH rises above 4.0, the solution is likely contaminated with something and should be discarded. This material is fine to pour into a long-term compost pile or down a household drain.
Fun Fruit Juice versions:
These are less strong but have incredible health building minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and sugars nonetheless and you can enjoy these as everyday energy boosters with or between meals.
Take any fresh or reconstituted fruit juice like grape, cherry (the exception–do NOT use citrus juice).
Add abou 3/4 c. of EM microbial innoculant and about a teaspoon or two of salt and a teaspoon of bentonite clay (optional).
Put the lid on and let sit at room temperature either in the sun or not. When you see bubbles forming after a day or two you need to ‘burp’ the brew by making sure the lid is screwed on tightly and turning the jar upside down to mix the ingredients. Then set the jar right side up and unscrew the lid to let the gasses out. BEWARE this can cause the mixture to get excited and squirt and fiz out of the container. Therefore it is wise to hold the container over a bowl or something to catch the overflow. Then you can pour it back in (or drink it).
Production of health drink using effective microorganisms and medicinal plant extracts
Cultured Vegie Super Salad
This recipe was invented in an attempt to find a fresh and living food, which is travel ready, and can keep for several days without spoiling or loosing its vitality, unrefrigerated. Also I needed something that would sustain energy and boost metabolism in the harsh elements. I studied ancient Paleolithic cultures to see what could sustain people that live in harsh outdoor environments. The answer is simple in this order (based on calories not volume or weight) 1—Fat 2—Protein, and 3–lactic acid cultured foods. What I came up with (this recipe) was far beyond what I hoped for. This recipe has changed my diet and lifestyle, allowing an active nomadic existence without compromise on health or on quality of diet.
This is a very powerful, convenient and delicious super food. It is great for people on the go because it’s robust and savory flavors combine to turn a simple meal into a feast. It is not spicy like Kimchee or Sourkraut. It is almost sweet, but with a mix of all the different flavors.
This living foods salad will aid digestion and cumulative use will help the body with deep tissue detoxing, especially when combined with high quality raw fats. It is stimulating to the liver and gall bladder
This delicious, gourmet nutrient-dense super food acts as a highly bioavailable multi-vitamin, mineral, enzyme, and antioxidant supplement.
Cultured Vegie Super Salad can be used as a meal replacement OR as a hor deur or condiment. It goes very well with some kind of fat like butter or heavy cream and cheese. It integrates very well with the paleo diet by assisting those seeking to get off grains and carbs.
One experiment I performed to verify the effectiveness of this food. A cheaper version of this food, EM Bokashi, was fed to a small dairy goatherd. Milk production went from 2 gallons per week to 3 gallons per week almost immediately—for pennies per day! This was also in the fall when milk production normally decreases.
The minerals in the clays and seaweeds and salt are activated by the Effective Microorganism’s and using their ‘magic’, the ingredients are is transformed into something beyond the sum of their parts.
Store in the refrigerator when available. There, it will keep several months.
Carrots, Beets, Radicchio, Endive, Dandelion greens, Parsley, Zucchini, Yellow squash, Celery, Red onion, Daikon Radish, Salt, Kelp powder, Bladderwack powder, Bentonite clay, Molasses, EM Super Ceramic Powder, Effective Microorganisms, Celtic Sea Salt, Anise Seed
Here’s some really incredible info about the health benefits and how-to’s of Culturing Your Own Vegies
The Phenomenal Health Benefits of Fermented Vegetables Cultured or fermented foods have a very long history in virtually all native diets, and have always been highly prized for their health benefits. The culturing process produces beneficial microbes that are extremely important for human health as they help balance your intestinal flora, thereby boosting overall immunity. Moreover, your gut literally serves as your second brain, and even produces more of the neurotransmitter serotoninÑknown to have a beneficial influence on your moodÑthan your brain does, so maintaining a healthy gut will benefit your mind as well as your body. Fermented foods are also some of the best chelators and detox agents available, meaning they can help rid your body of a wide variety of toxins, including heavy metals. This is part of what makes Dr. McBride’s GAPS Nutritional Protocol so effective. It effectively restores your own detoxification system, and the fermented/cultured foods are instrumental in this self-healing process. And you don’t need to consume large amounts either. Caroline recommends eating about a quarter to half a cup (2 to 4 oz) of fermented vegetables or other cultured food, such as raw yoghurt, with one to three meals per day. Bear in mind that since cultured foods are very efficient detoxifiers, you may experience detox symptoms, or a “healing crisis,” if you introduce too many at once. Caroline recommends beginning with very small servings and working your way up to the quarter- to half cup serving size. This way your intestinal microbiota has the chance to adjust. “If they introduce too much, too fast, they will experience some die-off symptoms that can be uncomfortable and confusing. This is where we lose people. The innate intelligence of their bodies tells them to eat more cultured foods because they’re in such a state of dysbiosis. So, they go to town and eat a whole jar of veggies. Then they go into a healing crisis and they are afraid to try cultured foods again,” Caroline warns. “… Start slow, and that way you won’t have a headache or you won’t have that outbreak… you will start to see yourself eliminating more naturally, and the proper stool will form, the shape will change, and it will be all be beneficial to you. Let your innate intelligence guide you, and if you see something or feel something that’s not so right, don’t dismiss the cultured foods and say, “Oh, that was bad for me, it caused a reaction.” That’s not what your body’s telling you. Your body’s telling you, “Slow down.” There are Many Varieties of Cultured Foods Ideally, you’ll want to include a variety of cultured foods and beverages in your diet, as each food will inoculate your gut with a variety of different microorganisms. Fermented foods you can easily make at home include: Cultured vegetables (including pureed baby foods) Chutneys Condiments, such as salsa and mayonnaise Cultured dairy, such as yoghurt, kefir, and sour cream Fish, such as mackerel and Swedish gravlax In this interview, Caroline discusses the process of fermenting your own vegetables in some detail, so for more information, please listen to the interview in its entirety, or read through the transcript. According to her, most people are very intimidated, if not downright frightened that the culturing process might lead to some horrific pathogenic infection… While understandable, this fear is undeserved. Caroline addresses this and other concerns in her article “Taking the Mystery out of Culturing Your Own Superfoods.”1 Clearly, educating yourself about the process will help alleviate concerns about eating fermented foods, which are very much “alive.” “If they could only grasp the important concept that it’s NOT the microbe; rather, it is the terrain (immune system) we should be worried about!” she says. How to Culture Your Own Vegetables While you can do wild fermentation, which is allowing whatever is on the vegetable or fruit that you’re culturing to just naturally take hold and culture the food, this method is very time consuming. Inoculating the food using a so-called starter culture speeds up the fermentation process. Although you can use a crock pot, Caroline recommends culturing your veggies directly in the glass Mason jars, which eliminates the need for a crock pot and eliminates a transfer step in the process. This also allows you to make smaller batches, and it eliminates the presence of wild yeasts which can occur when using a crock. These yeasts tend to give the food a cheesy sort of flavor, which many find unpalatable. Here’s a quick summary of Caroline’s recipe for how to make your own fermented veggies: Shred and cut your chosen veggies Juice some celery. This is used as the brine, as it contains natural sodium and keeps the vegetables anaerobic. This eliminates the need for sea salt, which prevents growth of pathogenic bacteria Pack the veggies and celery juice along with the inoculants (starter culture, such as kefir grains, whey, or commercial starter powder like our Complete Probiotics, all of which can be used for vegetables) into a 32 ounce wide-mouthed canning jar. A kraut pounder tool can be helpful to pack the jar and eliminate any air pockets. We hope to have our new starter culture which is optimized with strains of bacteria that will make high doses of vitamin K2 sometime in early 2013 assuming our testing goes well. Top with a cabbage leaf, tucking it down the sides. Make sure the veggies are completely covered with celery juice and that the juice is all the way to the top of the jar to eliminate trapped air Seal the jar store in a warm, slightly moist place for 24 to 96 hours, depending on the food being cultured. Ideal temperature range is 68-75 degrees Fahrenheit; 85 degrees max. Remember, heat kills the microbes! When done, store in the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process Here are a few of Caroline’s suggestion for how to store the jars for optimal fermentation. (Remember, they don’t require a heated environment and only need to be kept around 72 degrees): “Simply put the jars into a [portable] cooler and place the cooler OFF the floor (the floor is usually too cold due to heat rising away from it). Wrap the jars inside the cooler in an old towel and place an additional jar of HOT water into the cooler to make the environment warm. You can replace the hot water jar when you “think” about it – no need to obsess. You can also place the jars in a casserole dish or baking dish and wrap them in a towel and place them in your oven with the oven heat OFF of course, but switch the oven light on. The heat emitting from the appliance bulb will keep the veggies warm. Another option is to place as many jars as possible into a dehydrator and set it to the lowest temperature setting, but most dehydrators only accommodate a couple of jars max. It’s best to prepare many jars at one time due to the given fact that making veggies is a labor intensive process. I like the cooler or oven incubation processes best. They work well every time.” Last but not least, resist the temptation to eat out of the jar! This can introduce organisms from your mouth into the jar. Instead, always use a clean spoon to take out what you’re going to eat, then, making sure the remaining veggies are covered with the brine solution, recap the jar. One Dozen Tips and Tricks for Making Delicious Cultured Vegetables Due to my own interest, Caroline has shared a lot of information with me. Here are a dozen more of her tips and tricks that she didn’t share during the interview: Cabbage should comprise at least 80 percent of your vegetable blend. Carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips and other hard root veggies can also serve as a great base for your cultured veggies, but they’re not as economical. Five to six medium-sized heads of cabbage will yield about 10-14 quart-size (32 oz) jars of fermented veggies. You can use red or green cabbage, but make sure they’re hard and heavy, with densely packed leaves. The lighter, leafier varieties will tend to turn into mush that doesn’t ferment well. Add in other vegetables to suit your taste, such as: red, yellow or orange bell pepper, butter nut squash, dill, parsley, kale, collards and red or golden beets. Beware: use bell peppers sparingly as they have a very strong presence. One small pepper for 12 to 14 jars is plenty. Always use ORGANIC vegetables! Peel your vegetables as the skins can add a bitter flavor. When adding aromatics, such as onion, garlic and ginger, remember that fermenting increases the flavor multiple-fold, so a little goes a long way. Don’t overdo it! A few medium-size cloves is enough to infuse a dozen jars or more with a mild garlic flavor. Onion tends to overpower, no matter how little is used, so Caroline doesn’t use it in any of her blends. When adding herbs, only use fresh organic herbs, in small amounts. Tasty additions include: basil, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Add sea vegetables or seaweed to increase the mineral, vitamin and fiber content. You can add pieces of whole dulse, or use flakes. Wakame and sea palm, which do not have any kind of fishy flavor, need to be presoaked and diced into desired size. Arame and hijaki do have a fishy flavor. Use two packets of starter culture for a 12-14 jar batch during summer season. In the winter, you’ll need three packets. During summer, veggies are typically done in three to four days. In the winter, they may need up to seven days. Just open up the jar and have a taste. Once you’re happy with the flavor and consistency, move the jars into the fridge. Tools of the Trade Having the right tools can make the process easier. You don’t need much, but canning jars, and a food processor to slice and dice large amounts of vegetables are recommended. Canning jars can be found at your local hardware store and at some grocery stores as well. Amazon.com and other online sources also carry them. The 32 oz jars work really well, but you can find both smaller and larger, depending on your needs. Do get the wide-mouthed version, as they are much easier to work with. It allows you to get your hand down into the jar, and it’s very important to pack the jar firmly with vegetables to eliminate any air pockets. Caroline explains: “You want to squeeze all the oxygen out, and you want your cultured veggies or whatever you’re culturing to be anaerobic, meaning oxygen-free. Underneath water is the best way to do that, or underneath the liquid in the jar. And that wide-mouthed allows you to keep pressing down… A kraut pounder [can be helpful]. It looks like a tiny baseball bat. You can go to krautpounder.com, I believe, and you can buy a little kraut pounder, and you just use that to press down to get all the oxygen out. That way, when you seal up this jar, you have this perfect, anaerobic environment within that vessel for it to culture.” Caroline recommends a couple of models of food processors, emphasizing quality and power for optimal performance: Cuisinart Home Kitchen Models, Elite series: This is for general home use and usually available on Amazon.com. Very reliable, powerful and it has a large 14-cup capacity so you don’t have to keep taking it apart to dump out the processed contents. Waring Cuisinart Commercial Food Processor with feed chute: Heavy-duty and high quality, this food processor is worth the investment ($599 and up) if you plan to make veggies often and in larger batches. This one is NOT available on Amazon.com. You will need to purchase online from a restaurant supply store. Another tip includes using the shredding disc rather than the “S” shaped blade. Make sure the food processor model you buy comes with a shredding disc, as some don’t. In worst case, purchase it separately. According to Caroline, “the shredding blade makes a “slaw/traditional kraut-like” texture to the veggies. The “S” blade finely minces veggies into a more pulp-like, crushed consistency. This can be too soupy and during the culturing process, become more like a mushy salsa. Definitely SHRED your veggies for the best results – unless you like the crushed version.” Additional Resources In addition to the wealth of information shared in the interview above, I highly recommend getting the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which provides all the necessary details for the GAPS protocol. We were finally able to convince Dr. Campbell-McBride to print it in the U.S., so I now offer it for sale in my store. It saves you a few dollars, compared to ordering it from the U.K.. www.Immunitrition.com is another helpful resource where you can learn more about cultured and fermented foods. If you’re so inclined, you can also find information about how to become a Certified Healing Foods Specialist here. Additionally, if for whatever reason you just don’t have the time, effort, energy, ambition, motivation, or discipline to ferment your own foods, but you understand and appreciate the value of them, Caroline has a company that sells them. I used hers for a month before I started making my own. So, if you just want to put your toe in the water and see if you like them, you can order a jar or two and try them out. You can find her products on www.CulturedVegetables.net or www.CulturedNutrition.com. I feel very strongly that if we can catalyze a movement to get more people to implement this ancient dietary wisdom to their normal eating patterns, then we’ll start seeing a radical change in health.