A revealing look at the 300 trillion microorganisms that keep us healthy—and the foods they need to thrive
These days, probiotic yogurt and other "gut-friendly" foods line supermarket shelves. But what's the best way to feed our all-important microbiome—and what is a microbiome, anyway?
In this engaging and eye-opening book, science journalist Katherine Harmon Courage investigates these questions, presenting a deep dive into the ancient food traditions and the latest research for maintaining a healthy gut. Courage’s insights include:
• Meet your microbiome: What it is, how it works, and why it's essential for our immune system--and overall health • Gut-friendly food traditions: A guided tour of artisanal makers of yogurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, olives, cocoa, and other vibrant, ancient foods from around the world that feed our microbiome (along with simple recipes for curious at-home cooks) • Cutting-edge science: A first-hand look at some of the top lab facilities where microbiologists are working to better understand the human gut and how to feed it for good health
Equal parts science explainer, culinary investigation, and global roadmap for healthy eating, Cultured offers a wealth of information for anyone interested in making smart food choices in our not-so-gut-friendly modern world.
About the Author
Katherine Harmon Courage is a contributing editor for Scientific American and a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wired, National Geographic, and Popular Science, among other publications. Courage has been covering the microbiome beat since 2009. Her first book, Octopus!: The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea, was published in 2013, and her writing about experimental immune treatments was featured in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013. She lives in Colorado.
“From Greenland to Greece, Courage explores the ancient gut-friendly foods that have become integral parts of many food cultures, and offers suggestions on how to diversify the kinds of foods we feed our microbiome.” —NPR
“Deeply researched but conversational and even funny, Cultured is the guide we need to make sense of the hope and hype of microbiome science and what it means for our everyday lives.” —Maryn McKenna, author of Big Chicken, Superbug, and Beating Back the Devil
“This enthralling book sounds the clarion call to end the senseless onslaught of warfare waged against our microbial symbionts. It is time to embrace the world within us and feed the ferment that keeps us happy and healthy.” —Ken Albala, Professor of History University of the Pacific