Have you heard of natto?
If you haven’t, Dr. Ann Yonetani, a microbiologist turned food entrepreneur, hopes you will.
According to an article published in the New York Times, http//www.nytimes.com/pages/health/nutrition/, the fermented soybean condiment has a mild, earthy taste and looks like small brown jelly beans floating in white goo. Popular in parts of Japan, natto hasn’t caught on in many other parts of the world, and Yonetani is hoping to change that.
Yonetani, who teaches food science at the New School in New York City, founded NYrture in 2015 to introduce New Yorkers to one of the most potent sources of healthy bacteria there is.
In our effort to steer clear of germs, Yonetani believes that we have gotten rid of many of the helpful bacterias that live in our guts and keep us healthy.
“Food used to be fresh and dirty,” she told The Times. “We lived surrounded by nature. Nowadays, we are exposed to too little microbial diversity.”
According to Yonetani, each tablespoon of her natto product contains a billion Bacillus subtilis, a healthful soil bacteria and natural probiotic. Introduced to natto as a child while visiting relatives in Japan, Yonetani makes natto in the back of the Organic Food Incubator in Long Island City, Queens, according to the article. Each batch she makes comes out tasting a little bit different from the previous one.
“That’s not something the food industry likes,” she told The Times. “But I think its beautiful, because that’s biology.”