Excellent guide to creating live, lactic-fermented food to improve your health. This is nothing like the modern sauerkraut we find in our stores, but does harken back to ancient traditions and the nutritional approach of Sally Fallon and others. Full-color photo illustrated. $11.95 retail.
The author(s) talk about why people make sauerkraut/pickles, a little bit about their use in various ancient and more modern cultures and how pickles saved the sailors from scurvy starting with 18th century, when ships started carrying them.
Sauerkraut/pickles are fermented foods, and the fermentation happens because of lacto-bacteria (named like that because they were first discovered in milk/dairy products). Actually, there are two types of them: for milk products and for vegetables. Organic products have more bacteria and ferment easier. Raw (i.e. unpasterized) milk sours by itself; pasteurized milk spoils... The white film you can find on organic veggies (e.g. plums, cabbage) is lacto-bacteria. Those bacteria - and fermented products in general - are beneficial for digestion.