In the past, before the time of refrigerators, people fermented their food in order to preserve them. That is in my opinion one of the best ideas mankind has thought of. When fermented right, it is so delicious, and it turn out it is good for your gut flora, along with many health benefits.
The conservative power comes from the microorganisms, who turn sugars into lactic acid, fermenting the food. Also making the food easier to digest, full of enzymes aiding bioavailability of nutrients, and probiotics to support the good bacteria in our digestive tracts. With so much positivity, fermented food isn't that bad, or is it?
Well, there are some downsides to fermented food. In order to get the fermentation process going, salt is needed. So when eating fermented food, keep an eye to your sodium intake, too much sodium will affect your health.
Although pickling and fermenting have overlaps, the two processes are not the same. Both processes use an acidic environment to preserve the food in brine, which is called pickle. Fermenting is when bacteria transform the food and pickling skips that step.
Fermenting food can be fun, but also very frustrating. I have been there, enjoying the (fermented) fruits of my labor, and tossing out countless jars of failed endeavors, mostly due to mold. While some people will skim it off, and are perfectly fine, I play it safe and add it to my experiences. You need to submerge you picklings in the brine and use an airtight container. It is so easy to make a jar of you favorite pickles, and it makes your gut flora happy, which makes your body healthy. To me, nothing is more satifying than having a sour taste in my mouth, after eating my homemade fermented cabbage, knowing it is good for my microbial inhabitants in my intestines.