Goal #3: Natto

As I continue making my way through my 12 goals for the year, I have now completed one of my most daunting: natto.

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans, using the culture bacillus subtilis. It is a popular breakfast food. (After tasting it, I'm not sure why.)

Natto is the only way I will integrate soy into my family's diet, for two reasons:

  1. Ninety-four percent of soy in this country has been genetically modified. USDA's Economic Research Service offers this graph showing the incredible rise in GMO production since 1996.
  2. Soy in its unfermented state contains phytoestrogens, trypsin inhibitors, and phytic acid. For an excellent explanation of the dangers of soy, see the Weston A. Price Foundation's article Confused About Soy?—Soy Dangers Summarized.
I purchased my natto starter from GEM cultures and the organic soybeans from Azure Standard. I used the recipe found on the website Cultures for Health.

I followed the directions carefully (something that does not come easily for me), and I'm glad I did. I knew to expect the "unusual" smell, as well as the white strands—as pictured in my first batch:

Because of the fermentation, natto can be stored for many weeks in the refrigerator, and even longer in the freezer. So far I have spiced it with turmeric and cumin and plan to incorporate it into our next Mexican dish.

I can tell the food is a boost to our digestive systems. As for the "acquired taste". . . time will tell!