Could raw beans be made edible if fermented?

Answered on October 29, 2014
Created October 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I guess fermentation is a sort of non heat based form of cooking. Heat eliminates toxic antinutrients and so do bacteria, so would bacterial fermentation be enough to convert toxic raw beans into a digestable food? 

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on October 29, 2014
at 01:55 PM

This is potentially a very interesting question. Can we tune our fermentation (temperature, salinity and bacteria, since humidity will always be 100%) so as to target specific toxins? In the case of beans we are mostly talking about protease inhibitors and lectins, which are themselves proteins, so a fermentation protocol that breaks down these before breaking down other, benign compounds. I think there is a lot of good, socially useful science to be done there. I had approached this from the point of view of sourdough starters. There are thousands of them worldwide. They all have yeast of course, but the flavor is given by different, small bacterial populations. Some must be more efficient than others at reducing wheat germ agglutinin. However, beans are probably the food that is detoxified the most by boiling.


Since I am usually the self appointed agricultural voice, I notice that many people who raise chickens or rabbits have switched to fermented foods. Basically, they fill a bucket with cheap cracked corn, add water and a cup of raw ACV, and let it sit two days. From animal enthusiasm for the food, appearance, grow rate and health, there is no going back after you start it. Chickens have always liked foraging under rabbit cages anyway, getting their probiotics from rabbit fecal pellets.


on October 29, 2014
at 02:17 PM

Lots of good info there. Thanks Glib!

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