With all the news on the coronavirus today,I figured it was time to write this article, No where else will you find not only how certain fermented foods, no not referring to wine folks and worm castings might actually assist in preventing the Coronavirus i.e. COVID-19 or at least perhaps minimizing the seriousness of the sickness and length of time. Now the term COVID-19 is extremely important. In the past there have been 6 other versions of coronavirus known to mankind. Yes hence why it is on the back of many Lysol cans which may help to disinfect on hard non porous services and again may not.Cannot hurt to try!
The COVID-19 is a new version of the coronavirus that was only discovered or released the end of last year in China.
First off corona viruses come in different strains of a similar virus much as influenza has multiple strains. Both influenza and corona viruses have many more similar effects with some differences as was explained recently by Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention at John Hopkins.They both can have many of the same symptoms in patients. Basically some differences she mentions is the possibility the time frame one is contagious, the concept COVID-19 might also be spread by water vapor hanging in the air,major treatment as none is known at present as a new virus to date. Also the fact influenza currently is infecting people with different strains while with COVID-19 we are dealing with a single virus strain that we have much more to learn about .
What does this have to do the fermented foods?
A few years ago there was an article by Professor Sang-Moo Kang at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State concerning influenza viruses and a study they had run on mice. The results were fascinating. In short they tested two batches of mice both interjected with lethal doses of influenza virus. However one batch had been pretreated with a type of Lactobacillus bacteria (lactic acid).
In short,the mice that were just injected with the virus had all died after weight loss and viral infections in the lungs. The mice pretreated with the Lactobacillus bacteria were not only protected the lethal primary infections but from secondary infections as well. At the same time they were found with 18 times less of the virus in their lungs. Even more stunning was 100% survival rate and weight loss prevention!
It has been found some of the lactic acid basically in the Lactobacillus family offer partial protection against the common cold, bacterial infections and viruses! These can be found in fermented vegetable and dairy products such as kimchi, tempeh, kefir, yogurt, cultured butter, cured sausage and fish.
What in the world can this have to do with worm composting?
Before I get into this further, you may have heard how worm castings are beneficial readily available food source for plants. I am going to get a little more scientific here so you get an understanding as not just what they do but rather how it works and why! First thing I need to to is introduce one more scientific term into the equation,beneficial mesophilic bacteria. Reason I need to bring this up is due to the fact lactobacillus bacteria is one group that fall into this category. Mesophilic bacteria thrive at temperatures between 60-110 degrees Fahrenheit and grow in composting degradable materials, water and soil.
Let me start with a worms digestive system, First they have no teeth but rather gizzards much like chickens hence the material needs to be broken down for them to consume. A unique factor is the way food is then further broken down in a worms digestive tract. Worms have beneficial microbes and bacteria in their digestive tract which in part permits a fermentation process to take place during the digestive process. Under ideal circumstances raising red wigglers at 70 degrees Fahrenheit produces beneficial mesophilic bacteria and fungi, the exact family that the mice experiment was performed with which proved in mice that it was beneficial when pretreated.
Starting to see a trend yet? But wait, there is more.
Mucus excreted through the worms digestive system stimulates competition between some microbes resulting in production of some antibiotics and hormone like biochemicals hence boosting plant growth and more disease resistant plants. From the mice experiment above it would appear that the immune systems of those pretreated was increased over those that were not.
The worm castings are readily available plant food full of beneficial microbes, entering into the plant, vegetables and fruits that we consume rather than man made harmful fertilizers and pesticides being consumed by our families. Their plant food is basically fermented under ideal conditions same as lactobacillis ferments vegetables and dairy products that we consume.In the end helps build immunity to some plant diseases and has been proven numerous times in labs and university studies over the years.
To find out more about worm composting and worm castings be sure to visit our book store. For beginners I would recommend the red wiggler book or eBook as well as red wiggler worms. They are the easiest to raise and can survive a larger temperature range then most others.
Happy Worm Farming