Like many fledgling businesses, Bodkin’s was born of necessity. When my son suffered stomach problems after taking antibiotics for an extended period, I began researching natural ways to help to restore gut health. My research first led me to probiotics, which can help to counteract antibiotic side effects like diarrhoea and stomach issues, and then on to naturally fermented vegetables which are a rich source of gut friendly probiotics.
I began making fermented vegetables for my son, giving him some alongside a diet full of different fruits and vegetables and low in sugar. We began to notice an improvement and within a few months his stomach problems had gone. Friends and family became curious to try the fermented vegetables I was making, and before I knew it, I was producing jar after jar, and local markets and food festivals were merely a logical next step on the road to what has become Bodkin’s.
Foods have been fermented for centuries in order to preserve them, but it is only quite recently that we’ve begun to understand their intrinsic health benefits. Research from people like Professor Tim Spector is shedding light on the importance of good gut health for overall health and the vital role probiotics and good bacteria play in supporting the gut as the first line of defense against illness and disease.
How are Bodkin’s fermented vegetables made?
A small amount of coarse sea salt is massaged into the raw vegetables, which are then placed in an airtight container and left for a minimum of 3 weeks to ferment. This is called lacto-fermentation and it encourages the good bacteria to thrive, which has the dual benefit of naturally preserving the vegetables and making them a probiotic food. Bodkin’s fermented vegetables are not pasteurised and are made from the raw vegetable. The heating involved in pasteurisation can kill off some of the natural goodness in raw vegetables, whereas fermentation enhances their health benefits.
What next for Bodkin’s?
Having seen first hand the benefits to my son, my aspiration for Bodkin’s is to keep spreading the word about the probiotic benefits of fermented vegetables, to continue to sell them through a growing number of independent health shops and delicatessens and to spread great gut health far and wide by selling online.