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Pocantico Hill Science Students Taste Energy-Giving Fermented Foods

Pocantico Hills students learned about fermentation in science.
Pocantico Hills students learned about fermentation in science. Photo Credit: Contributed

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. --- Science students in eighth grade at Pocantico Hills School in Tarrytown got a lesson in fermented foods.

The students put their taste buds to work and tried some examples in the Family and Consumer Science (FACS) classroom with science teacher Vince Cook, FACS teacher Ilana Brennan and CIA-trained lunch chef Kassie Arcate.

Students tasted sauerkraut, sourdough bread, and kombucha, a fermented sweetened tea.

“Fermented and cultured foods aren’t fad foods. Humans have been fermenting and preserving for thousands of years. All fermented foods, kombucha included, are packed full of probiotics and nutrients," Arcate said. “Perhaps kombucha is becoming popular because it is a caffeinated, nutrient and probiotic-packed soda alternative, a sweet tea treat with the added nutritional value.”

The class was part of a science unit on fermentation. The students learned that fermentation produces energy from nutrients without oxygen. It then converts sugars into acids, gases or alcohol, and occurs in bacteria, yeasts and oxygen-starved muscle cells (lactic acid fermentation).

Students learned that fermented foods are important because of their nutritional value and levels of healthy bacteria.

Pocantico Hills Central School is located at 599 Bedford Road, Sleepy Hollow.

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