(And also help with decreasing plastic pollution!)
By Karen Wang Diggs
"Home made sauerkraut is amazing! So much better than store bought...I have a lot of cookouts in the summer and guests always love this."
-Leanne, New Hampshire
One of our customers, Leanne, shared with us her preference for homemade sauerkraut. While we think taste alone is enough of an incentive to make it yourself, there's now two more relevant reasons: cost and pollution.
A recent trip to my local independent grocery store gave me a sticker shock! And I’m pretty sure it has been the same for you, whether you shop at big-chain supermarkets or your local mom-and-pop. According to Bloomberg News, food prices have jumped by more than 10% in June 2022 compared to the previous year. This is the most significant food price increase since 1981!
I suck at math and budgeting but can ferment like a rock star. Recently during a beautiful and sunny (although hot) weekend in California, I am writing this blog post and using my math skills to compare the value of homemade sauerkraut against ready-made, store-bought sauerkraut. The tangible factor is, of course, saving money, but there's also the intangible essence of creativity, satisfaction, and quality when you make your own lacto-fermented vegetables at home.
I purchased two different live-culture sauerkrauts for nearly $14* at the store. I did it so I can sit down and do a price comparison and show you how much $$$ can be saved when you do it yourself!
As you can see, I saved between 7-25 cents per oz. with homemade sauerkraut. And if you're an urban gardener or homesteader and grew your own cabbage, you most likely saved even more $!
Beyond the benefits of saving money, we also need to consider the detrimental effects of single-use plastics on the environment, our health, and ultimately for future generations of humans, animals, and plants that will inherit the toxic chemicals leaching into our soil, oceans, and atmosphere.
One logical conclusion is that making sauerkraut (and other fermented foods at home) is much more economical while also enabling us to decrease the use of plastic and other resources that go into making single-use packaging.
Here are a few eye-opening links from The Story of Stuff to find out more about what plastic pollution is doing to our planet and our health:
Good luck (and have fun) saving money and Mother Earth!
Karen Wang Diggs
Chief Fermentation Officer
*The prices from this blog reflect the cost of food in the San Francisco, CA from August 2022.
"Food Inflation Jumps 10.4% in June, But Pain is Worse in Parts of US" Bloomberg News, July 12, 2022