Talking to Hannah Crum is like experiencing the product she promotes: You are left with a strong, condensed version of a multi-facetted personality and you can’t help but react to her. Hannah, affectionately known as “The Kombucha Mamma,” is an entrepreneur, educator, advocate, Master Brewer and soon-to-be author. Since 2004, she, along with husband/partner Alex, has been brewing Kombucha and educating others about the bacterial benefits of that fermented drink. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea, using a symbiotic ‘culture’ of bacteria and yeast (referred to as SCOBY). Hannah discovered the “elixir” in a clothed vat in the San Francisco home of a college friend in 2003. She reacted so strongly to the drink that it became a lifelong passion and career path. From workshops in her home in 2004, Hannah launched a blog in 2007, and opened a store in 2010. Today, Kombucha Kamp caters to thousands of customers who receive personalized attention; every e-mail sent to Hannah & Alex is answered. She will also take your order and answer all your questions about the white, pasty near-lichen that transforms into a potent, bacterial-filled drink. Kombucha has detractors. The health benefits that it purportedly generates have not been well documented to date. There is potential contamination stemming from home fermentation. That process also produces trace amounts of alcohols which are however oxidized into acetic and other acids. This is why Hannah and Alex launched in 2014, Kombucha Brewers International, a nonprofit trade association committed to promoting and protecting commercial Kombucha Brewers around the world. The association educates about the fermentation movement and engages with organizations such as AOAC International, a forum dedicated to the development of chemistry standards. Conscious that more evidence is needed about the benefits of fermented food and drinks, Hannah and her husband will soon publish a 400+pages book that will address the science and research behind Kombucha, including published studies on fermented products.
So, why is what Hannah doing important to you, personal trainers?
- Because you are holders of essential information about human health and well-being;
- Because you are expected to impart that information to clients, in a way that let them assess what they should put in their body;
- Because the human body contains over 10 times more microbial cells than human cells. As such, the human microbiome may play a role in auto-immune diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and others;
- Because a poor mix of microbes in the gut may aggravate conditions such as obesity, and;
- Microbial presence in the human body can modify the production of neurotransmitters, which influences how the brain functions, or not.
Hannah has followed her passion for more than 12 years but she is still walking an uncharted path. As such, she is an innovator, a “trail blazer” that advances our knowledge and collective understanding of the human body. Want to learn more? Go to KombuchaKamp. You will receive helpful e-mails for five days on how to start preparing Kombucha. You can then decide if it is for you. By talking to Hannah, she left me with a strong, condensed impression, like Kombucha.
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