chapter  8
12 Pages

- Fermentation Ecosystems

ByRobert Scott

In everyday usage, the concepts of environment and ecology are generally associated with large, natural systems such as the global ecosystem. This leaves microscopic ecological processes in the blind spot of the quotidian observer. Yet, humans encounter fermentation ecosystems everyday in their food. In this paper, I explore the potential for looking at fermentation processes ecologically and culturally. I would like to highlight the importance of the indoor, microbial ecology of fermented foods, such as beer, cheese, bread, yogurt, and other foods that constitute microbial ecosystems. Beyond describing fermentation as a human ecological process, I suggest that fermentation is a suitable vehicle for teaching ecological concepts in science classrooms.