Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fermenting Miso to Prevent Radiation Sickness

I just learned that miso, a traditional Japanese fermented soup, aids the body in expelling heavy metals and radioactive elements, both very toxic things.

Here's an excerpt on miso's anti-radiation properties from Sandor Katz's Wild Fermentation:

One specific health benefit of miso is the protection it provides against exposure to radiation and heavy metals. The research that verified this was conducted in Japan in the wake of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and grew out of the observations of a Nagasaki physician, Dr. Shinichoro Akizuki. Dr. Akizuki was out of town the day of the bombing, and the hospital where he worked was destroyed. He returned to Nagasaki to treat survivors of the bombing. He and his staff ate miso soup together every day and never experienced any radiation sickness, despite their proximity to the fallout. Dr. Akizuki’s anecdotal account of this experience led to the finding that miso contains an alkaloid called dipicolinic acid that binds with heavy metals and carries them out of the body. In our radioactive world, we could all do with some of that healing.

Miso; image not mine. I'll make some someday - it takes months to years to ferment good miso.

The more I learn about fermenting and the various benefits and tastes of different fermenting traditions, the more excited I am to make it part of my diet. I just made my first kimchi recently, and I've got wines and vinegars coming soon!

Update: I wrote this before I saw Dmitry Orlov's article on the risk of nuclear meltdown in the 19 nuclear reactors in Ukraine as the looting and deindustrialization continue there. I may accelerate my miso-making plans...