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"Worked great!"

I used my juicer to make cabbage juice for GAPS Intro diet. I then used this to ferment it. The juice turned out perfect! I will be using this again soon to make actual Sauerkraut.

- gogirlusa

Body Ecology Starter Culture

SKU: 2556
Body Ecology Vegetable Starter Culture

Availability: In stock

You Can Do This
When you buy this product you get FREE ACCESS to: 200-page Lacto-Fermentation eBook including 64 recipes plus hundreds more articles, recipes, and how-to videos



While you can ferment vegetables at home using salt or whey, using a starter culture like this one can add bacteria to the process and can get things going more quickly. It's also a good option if you are looking for a salt-free ferment. Check out our collection of Cultured Vegetable Expert Advice Articles for more information on fermenting vegetables at home!

  • Each box contains 6 packets of starter culture.
  • Usage: Direct-set (single-use culture). Use 1 packet per batch to culture vegetables or to culture cream for making cultured butter or crème fraîche (see instructions below).
  • Storage: Store extra packets in freezer until ready to use.
  • Safety Notes: Not appropriate for culturing fruit, according to the manufacturer.
  • Additional instructions and recipes are included in box.


How to Ferment Vegetables with the Body Ecology Starter Culture

  • Add 1 packet culture to any vegetable ferment - 1 packet will culture up to 6 quarts (1.5 gallons) of vegetables.
  • Follow recipe instructions or ferment each batch at 70°F. 
  • Taste test your fermenting vegetables after 3 days. Ferment for up to 1 week or until they taste good to you.
  • Note: The instructions booklet will specify to use EcoBloom™ with this culture, but is not necessary for a successful vegetable ferment. [EcoBloom™ is a prebiotic from (and suggested by) Body Ecology made from 100% natural powder chicory extract.] You can use an alternate form of sugar like rapadura, Sucanat, honey or agave instead if you wish to supplement the starter culture though supplementation is not required.


How to Make Crème Fraîche & Cultured Butter with the Body Ecology Starter Culture

  • To make crème fraîche, add 1 packet starter culture to 1 pint heavy whipping cream.
  • Culture at 72-75°F for 24 hours.
  • To make cultured butter, make crème fraîche and follow the instructions in our article How to Make Cultured Butter.


Body Ecology Starter Storage and Shipping Information

Store in refrigerator or freezer. This product is shipped in a dehydrated state and keeps:

  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 12 months
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 12 months or more


Actual product may differ from image shown above.



Additional Information

UPC 00758000100229


13 Reviews For "Body Ecology Starter Culture"

  1. great for cultured vegetables

    by Mary on 12 Mon,2013


    Works well for cultured vegetables, good instructions but i modified slightly (didn't make the brine - used water just to cover) and cultured quickly.

  2. Interesting stuff

    by Eh? on 03 Mon,2014


    Made a batch of cabbage using a packet of this culture and no salt whatsoever. It's good! We just each sprinkle salt to taste on our own serving. Nice to have home-fermented kraut that's not so salty. Works great in my fermenting crock.

  3. Worked great!

    by gogirlusa on 04 Wed,2014


    I used my juicer to make cabbage juice for GAPS Intro diet. I then used this to ferment it. The juice turned out perfect! I will be using this again soon to make actual Sauerkraut.

  4. Great product

    by Maria on 02 Mon,2016


    I just made a batch of sauerkraut that was terrific.

  5. For a beginner… very satisfied

    by Lomad on 04 Wed,2014


    After my second attempt, I was very happy to make my own sauerkraut. (My first mistake was to not use the air lock on the jar and the first batch rotted). As the previous reviewers said…it is salt-free and very tasty. I appreciate the comment that it works without making the slurry of ground up cabbage. Looking forward to make more variations with this starter.
    I am very happy with this starter culture.

  6. good stuff

    by Rich on 07 Tue,2014


    This is my first time fermenting vegetables but I am pleased with the Body Ecology so far. I've made two batches: (cabbage, carrot, beet, red onion) and then (fennel, cabbage, leek, & ginger). Both were quite tasty after a week fermenting. I think I need to ferment longer, the fennel was a little tough.

  7. Very good product

    by Mickey on 10 Sat,2014


    I am very happy with the taste and texture of my veggies: celery, red cabbage, broccoli, onion, and carrots. This is my first attempt at fermenting veggies, and I will will be fermenting more when these have been gobbled up.

  8. Good product. Good service. All good

    by HIW on 02 Fri,2017


    I usually use South River miso for fermentation but decided to try the cultures. They seem to work fine and are a little more "neutral" in flavor in the final product.

  9. Love this starter.

    by Sarah on 04 Sun,2014


    I love this starter and always like to have some on hand if I can. I too like the taste of cultured vegetables that aren't too salty. Even though the price is somewhat high,I think it is well worth it.

  10. High Quality High Price

    by liverlover on 06 Mon,2014


    Love the Body Ecology Starter~! I have made delicious crisp sauerkraut and fermented carrots. It is a little expensive, so I am gonna work on my salt and water only method skills.

  11. cultured butter

    by ferne on 05 Thu,2016


    So far I have only made cultured butter with this and it turned out perfect! Can't wait to try more things!

  12. High quality but high price

    by Jim on 04 Thu,2014


    This product works great but is pricey...would love to be able to buy it in a greater volume at a significant discount...100 or 200 gram jar, perhaps?

  13. I was really quite shocked that the "recipe" in the box flyer was so poor.

    by D on 07 Sat,2016


    I had high hoped to start this new lifestyle of eating. I was shocked the recipe was so poor on the flyer in the box. I had to make several calls to check on details and check online recipes, too. Then, after 3 days I checked the 6 jars, and low and behold the top cabbage roll was moldy! (with a bit of gray below) I was SO disappointed because it had been a lot of work. So I dumped it all out! I called the company again and the fellow said, "Mold is OK. It is common. Simply replace the cabbage roll with another." WHAT? This seemed REALLY weird. If that is so, why don't they print that in the instructions?
    They had told me initially that I could use 1/4 tsp salt maximum per jar because more would harm the culture starter, so that is what I did.
    This experience did not make me think well of this product at all. Matter of fact, I was quite annoyed.

    Response from CFH: We are very sorry to hear of your experience. Working with living foods and its bacteria can seem so foreign! We are always happy to help, and to further troubleshoot.

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Body Ecology Starter Culture Ingredients and Allergen Information

  • Lactobacillus plantarum, pediococcus acidolactici, leuconostoc cremoris, and inulin.
  • This product contains no GMO ingredients.
  • According to the manufacturer, this product is dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. 
  • May contain trace amounts of dairy.
  • Inulin is derived from chicory root.


Questions on Body Ecology Starter Culture

Sort by Descending
Items 11 to 20 of 25 total
  • From Herby Irvine at 2/26/2012 11:10 AM
    • Hi, Can BE starter culture be used in making Kvass.
    • Yes, you may use the BE starter culture when making kvass.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Grace Kellermann-McLean at 4/2/2012 3:10 PM
    • Is this starter vegan?
    • The Body Ecology Starter Culture contains trace amounts of dairy.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Amy at 5/2/2012 12:24 PM
    • Can I add some of this BE culture starter to my veggie fermenting using whey and salt, just to beef up the variety of bacterial strains? Or is it best to use this starter without whey? Thanks!
    • It is best to follow the instructions included with the culture. This is meant to be used in place of whey. Freeze-dried cultures are also compatible with salt for taste, crunch, and some mold protection.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Richard at 7/11/2012 1:17 PM
    • How do you ship this product? I know it's temperature sensitive, so I was wondering if there's anything done to protect it during shipping.
    • Because it is freeze dried it will usually be just fine in the mail. We suggest that you watch the tracking and don't let it sit out in an overly hot mailbox or on the porch for too long though.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Jack at 9/5/2012 12:29 PM
    • I would like to pickle some whole dill cucumbers. The directions for the culture starter do not address this usage, only for shredded vegetables. Can the culture starter be used to make whole dill pickles?
    • Yes. You should be able to use the same ratios to make whole dill pickles.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Rene at 12/28/2012 12:37 AM
    • Are these packets reusable or are they just 1 time use?
    • Although it is quite common for people to reuse the starter, this is a direct-set starter so we recommend using a fresh packet with each new batch.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Sarah at 2/6/2013 10:02 PM
  • From Melissa at 2/8/2013 7:18 PM
    • I have been putting folded cabbage leaves on top of my veggies to help hold them down in the brine (I use celery juice brine). When the veggies are through 'curing', some of the folded cabbage leaves have a little mold on top. Should these leaves be left in place or discarded before I store my jars of cultured veggies in the refrigerator? Or does it matter?
    • Usually fermenting enthusiasts discard any mold or veggies with mold on it, and continue fermenting or put their ferments into cold storage. I'd discard the leaves.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Marcia at 2/15/2013 4:37 PM
  • From Venetia at 4/17/2014 8:41 AM
    • This is the product used to make young coconut kefir, correct?
    • This product can be used for milk, coconut water, coconut milk, sugar water or juice.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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