Page 56 - The Montecito Journal Winter Spring 2009

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spr ing
Major Max C. Fleischmann
hey float unseen in the air, inhabit the soil, and
fall onto plants and our food, where they consume
starches and sugars to reproduce madly by primitive
budding. Weighing in at 3,500 billion to the pound, these
microscopic fungi are ancient and essential food processors.
They are yeast, one-celled organisms that come in a host of strains and are the oldest
plants cultivated by man. Without them the world would have no bread, no beer, no
wine, and no whiskey.
Ruins in ancient Egypt reveal the earliest records of the use of yeast for leavening bread
and fermenting beer. Brides in Colonial America received a crock of yeast starter from their
by Hattie Beresford