I could find no information anywhere that Jerusalemn artichokes (Gerasole artichokes) , botanical name Helianthus tuberosus L., have toxins and need to be fermented. I don't think eating a fungus/bacteria-looking thing is a good idea.
Jerusalem artichoke is grown primarily for tubers which can be eaten fresh or raw, cooked in appetizing ways similar to Irish potatoes, or pickled.
I found the following information at http://www.wnetwork.com/expert_tips/health/ask_a_nutritionist/main.asp?UFBContentID=154
The artichoke is a member of the thistle family. Similar to the well-known herb Milk Thistle, artichokes are fantastic for aiding the liver in detoxification.
Jerusalem artichokes have the same benefits... they are a completely different type of plant. Jerusalem artichokes are part of the sunflower family and the roots contain fructooligisaccharides (FOS) which is fermented by bacteria in the gut. This fibre resists digestive enzymes and are particularly helpful if the gut flora gets upset by diet, stress, medication or travel.
You can find a recipe for pickled Jerusalem artichokes at http://nymag.com/restaurants/recipes/inseason/16087/
Grains & beans, however, have toxins and should be fermented. Fermenting, soaking, and sprouting help break up toxins in grains and beans / legumes.
For grains, just soak 1 c whole grains in 1 c water and 1 Tablespoon unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar, plain yogurt, kefir, whey, fresh lemon juice, or cultured buttermilk in a covered container overnight (preferably 24 hours). When you get ready to cook, add another cup of water and cook as directed per grain.
For beans/lentils, follow soaking directions for grains. When you get ready to cook, drain all the water and add 2 c fresh water per cup of grain, then boil for at least 20 minutes, then you can either continue to boil til they're done or put in a crockpot for the rest of the day (if putting in crockpot, add some cold water so you don't break the bowl). After the beans or lentils are cooked, then you add your salt (1 t sea salt per cup of dried beans), your oil, and whatever else you want (like sauteed onions, garlic, etc.). If you saute onions, you don't need to add oil separately.
Raw nuts should be processed, also. Place raw nuts or seeds in a bowl, add 1 Tablespoon sea salt and cover with water. Leave at room temperature for 6-8 hours. Drain water. Place nuts on cookie sheet, and dry on low heat in the oven. You can also air dry the nuts on a towel, but it takes much longer to dry them this way.
The toxins in food are not limited to man made chemicals. There are several natural toxins which are found in whole foods like grains and beans. Some of these toxins can be neutralized through the proper preparation techniques of soaking, fermenting or cooking the food substance. Others are poisonous in any form. Here are 5 of the most common natural food toxins:
1. Aflatoxin: a carcinogenic toxin which is produced by the Aspergillus flavus fungus. This fungus can contaminate foods such as grain, nuts and legumes such as peanuts. Aflatoxin-producing members of Aspergillus are common and widespread in nature. They can contaminate grain before harvest or during storage. Aspergillus lives in the soil, decaying plants, hay, and rancid grains and nuts. Crops which are frequently infected include grains such as corn, sorghum, pearl millet, rice, and wheat, oilseeds such as peanuts, soybeans, and sunflower seeds, spices including chile peppers, black pepper, coriander, and turmeric and tree nuts including almonds, pistachios, walnuts, coconuts, and brazil nuts. The toxin can also be found in the milk of animals which are fed contaminated feed. Virtually all sources of commercial peanut butter contain minute quantities of aflatoxin, but it is usually far below the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recommended
2. Ergot: a toxin produced when the Claviceps Purpurea mold infects rye and other grains. In medieval times, outbreaks of the disease "ergotism" were common and known as St. Anthony's fire. The name was in reference the severe burning sensations in the limbs caused by vasoconstriction of blood vessels. The vasoconstriction sometimes resulted in gangrene and loss of limbs due to severely restricted blood circulation. The neurological symptoms of an ergot infection included hallucinations and irrational behavior, convulsions, and death.
3. Lectins: toxic protein compounds found in most foods, but in heavy amounts in many seeds, grains and legumes. Large amounts of lectins can damage the heart, kidneys and liver, lower blood clotting ability, destroy the lining of the intestines, and inhibit cell division. Cooking neutralizes lectins to some extent, and digestive juices further destroy them. People living at high altitudes, where water boils well below 212 degrees should cook lectin containing foods in pressure cookers to avoid lectin poisoning. Lectin toxins in food are found in: grains, especially wheat and wheat germ but also quinoa, rice, buckwheat, oats, rye, barley, millet and corn, and all products made from them (oils, vinegars, alcohols, flours, etc..). Lectins are also found in legumes (all dried beans, including soy and peanuts and the products made from them), dairy foods, if the cows producing the milk are fed grains instead of grass (this would include most commercial
milk products), and plants in the Nightshade family, including potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. The lethal toxin Ricin is made from castor beans, which contain large quantities of a particularly deadly lectin. Raw black beans contain enough lectins to kill rats in one week.
4. Phytates and Phytic acid: compounds found in many foods, but especially soybeans, whole wheat and rye. In the human gut, phytic acid acts as an anti-nutrient. It reduces the absorption of valuable minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc by binding the minerals into an insoluble salt. Relatively high concentrations of phytic acid occur in the following foods: whole grain cereal foods (wheat, rye, rice, oats), nuts and seeds, soybeans, other types of beans, potatoes, artichokes, blackberries, broccoli, carrots, figs, green beans and strawberries. Soaking or sprouting the grain foods will neutralize much of the phytic acid, except in soybeans, which must be cooked for more than 10 hours at very high temperatures to remove the anti-nutrients.
5. Solanines: a toxic alkaloid found in high concentrations in the green patches on and just under potato skins and eyes. They are also found in tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. Solanine has both fungicidal and pesticidal properties, and it is one of the plant's natural defenses. The human body converts solanines into a poison called solanidine. Solanine poisoning is primarily displayed by gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning of the throat, heart arrhythmia, headache and dizziness. Hallucinations, loss of sensation, paralysis, fever, jaundice, dilated pupils and hypothermia have been reported in more severe cases.
When raw potatoes turn green--primarily from exposure to light--their solanine levels can reach 80 to 100 milligrams. You can keep solanine content under the recommended limit of 20 milligrams by storing potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place--conditions that are not conducive to greening. If your potatoes do green up, peel the skins and shoots in which the solanines concentrate.
FOR MORE ON FERMENTATION, SEE THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES:
(search for kimchee, etc)
ALSO CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING BOOKS:
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, Mary Engi, and Kim Waters
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, by Sandor Elix Katz
Probiotics, Nature's Internal Healers, by Natash Trenev
Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through Diet, by Elaine Gottschall
Beyond Probiotics, by Ann Gittleman
Acidophilus and Colon Health, How to Prevent Illness, Build Immunity, and Live a Longer, Healthier Life, by David Webster
The Book of Whole Meals, by Annemarie Colbin
The Natural Gourmet, by Annemarie Colbin
The Tempeh Cookbook, by Dorothy Bates
The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook
The Joy of Pickling, by Linda Ziedrich
Learn How to Cook the Way Grandma Did, by Dr. Weston Price & Sally Fallon
--- On Sun, 2/1/09, rambansal48 <rambansal48@...> wrote:
From: rambansal48 <rambansal48@...>
Subject: [pfaf] Fermentation of Gerasole Artichoke
Date: Sunday, February 1, 2009, 10:12 PM
To all friends at Pfaf,
On an advice from this group about 15 days back, I put clean artichokes
dipped in water, and added a little bit of natural vinegar in it. Now
after about 15 days, I found a grey fungus deposit on the surface of
the contents, all noddes of artichoke rising up from the bottom of the
water, and the water turned to creamish yellow color. I would like to
know from my learned friends -
1. Whether it is safe to take the liquid for gas problems, inspite of
the fungus growth on surface ?
2. What next I should do ?
3. For how long, I must wait for a full fermentation of the contents ?
Ram Bansal, the Theosoph
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