One of the main reasons for the collapse of the food industry in this scenario is antibiotic resistance. In the Collapse scenario, Big Pharma can no longer provide us with the weapons to fight bacteria. Instead the old tradition of (wild) fermentation is thriving again, led by bio-hackers and militant fermenters. As farming above ground isn't an option any longer, people are cultivating mushrooms in squatted bunkers and pickling them in post-apocalyptic fermentation vats. People in the world of collapse use fermentation to encourage “good” bacteria to grow while keeping the “bad” ones at bay, thereby minimising bacterial infections. We served simple button mushrooms (“champignons” in Belgium) that are easy to cultivate, and fermented them for a few days.
- 500 g large white button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) cut in quarters
- 5 garlic cloves, cut in half
- 1 red chilli, sliced
- 1 branch of fresh thyme
- 1 tsp juniper berries
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 700 ml filtered water
- 1 large sterile glass jar with a lid
Brush the mushrooms to remove sand or earth residue. Dissolve salt in the water. Place all the ingredients in the clean jar. Make sure the mushrooms are covered by the salty liquid. Close the jar and leave it to ferment out of sunlight for three days. After the fermentation period place the mushrooms in the refrigerator. Consume within a day or two. Note: in summer the fermentation process goes faster due to the higher temperature, which means that the mushrooms might be ready sooner.
Strain mushrooms and serve them in a soup bowl or a small jar. Reserve the juice (for the following dish).
Most ingredients came from the organic supermarket Bio Planet, except for the mushrooms which were sourced in the Delhaize supermarket.