Slow Food Ventura County is a chapter of Slow Food USA - part of the global Slow Food network of over 150,000 members in more than 150 countries. The mission of the international grassroots membership is to insure access to good, clean and fair food for all.

As the Ventura County chapter we seek to call attention to local farmers, ranchers, growers, food artisans, chefs, bakers, fermenters, brewers, vintners and businesses that represent the regions bounty with their daily commitment to feeding us through the regions soils.

Profits from SBFF and Wild Brew Fest will support collaborative microbiome projects that Slow Food Ventura County is spearheading to further our understanding of the billions of microbes that live within our immune system, the role that they play, and how fermented foods and probiotics contribute to the health of our immune system.

Slow Food MICROBIOME Project:

What Slow Food chapters do best is bring people together around food and drink to build community. Yet with every gathering is an underlying story we seek to explore. In this case it’s the microbiome of the human gut.

50 people have volunteered to be part of a short term study seeking to know what bacterial communities from locally produced fermented foods will make their way into their guts when added to their diets.

Starting Sunday, March 12th participants will begin taking fecal matter samples across a 14 day period. Sunday March 19th a Slow Food gathering takes place where a dozen of SoCal’s most well known fermenters will distribute their wildly fermented items to the study group. Across the next 7 days, participants will be adding these foods to their diets with an eye towards detecting which microbes survived all the way through to their guts.

Upon completion of the study, samples will be genetically sequenced at UCSD, which is a well established base for supercomputing resources. Both the American Gut and Rachel Dutton labs reside at the university and will analyze and eventually provide results – showing which foods contributed to the beneficial communities associated with positive human health.

American Gut is one of the largest citizen science projects currently underway and seeks to build an extensive database of the microbial populations residing in the human gut and it’s specific microbiome.

Slow Food Ventura County is grateful to the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival for creating an environment where knowledge and relationships around the topic of fermentation are so graciously nurtured. The Slow Food/American Gut project is a direct result of that environment. Thank you SBFF for the inspiration!