I spoke too soon when I said that the fermented green beans didn’t seem to be molding. I checked on them last night, only to find out that each jar had a healthy crop of mold on top. I skimmed off all that I could, but it has left the nagging question in my head: Do people really eat this? I know that the same thing happens with sauerkraut, but knowing it happens, and seeing it happening are two very different things.
I suppose that is the main dilemma with much of modern eating. Everything come to us neatly packaged, and looking perfect. Because we demand that natural things look unnaturally perfect, farmers spray our food with tons of pesticides and modify genetic codes all in order to provide us with perfection.
Unfortunately, this is anything but true perfection. It comes at the cost of taste, health, and the environment, while opening us up to risks that we as a society seem to be blissfully ignoring. Expecting perfection also leads to both a massive amount of food waste and an over-reliance on processed foods.
I will now get off my soapbox and say that this is something that I am struggling with. Do I continue skimming the mold off the top of the brine my green beans are soaking in, all the while being disgusted by the very food that I am planning on eating in a couple months? Or do I chuck that particular experiment in favor of something cleaner, but also of much less value?
I do consider these green beans to be of value. I bought them at a local farmers market, and spoke to people directly involved in their production. They were in season when I bought them and were produced not too far away from here. They are also allowing someone to make an honest living in an industry that often seems to have lost its soul. The only problem is that green beans are only available a couple months of the year, so if I value all that I have said that I do, shouldn’t I be able to suck it up and get over my queasiness? A couple people have told me how wonderful these green beans are going to taste, but does the memory of the mold kill all those values?
I haven’t decided the answers to these questions, but in the meantime I will go ahead and skim the mold.