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Opposing Viewpoints

The Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA defines grass fed as grass being the only “feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal” and that the animals “cannot be fed grain or grain by-products.” On the other hand, the diet of conventional beef cattle may include grains.

The nutrients we get from beef depend on the diet of the animal. In short, we may be getting more if cattle is under one kind of diet and get less from the other. But is feeding cattle only grass truly beneficial? Are there any drawbacks at all?

List of Advantages of Grass Fed Beef

1. It is healthier and tastes better
Grass fed beef has more nutrients. Cattle that are fed only grass will have a range of flavors and the meat is very rich. Not only that, there will be taste differences as well depending on where the animal was raised. There are other health benefits of grass fed beef and these include:

  • less fat
  • more omega-3 fatty acids (which are good for the heart)
  • more conjugated linoleic acid (helps reduce risk of heart disease and cancer)
  • more antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E

Eating lean beef containing 10% fat or less has always been recommended – it makes up a heart-healthy diet.

2. It benefits the animals
Feeding grain to cattle creates a lot of stomach issues. If it’s uncomfortable to humans to walk around with stomach pain, the same goes for animals.

3. It is better for the environment
Raising animals out of confinement can reduce environmental footprint compared with beef that has been grain-fed. Grazing on grass minimizes the growth of woody plants that make grasslands inhospitable to grass.

List of Disadvantages of Grass Fed Beef

1. It is more expensive than regular beef
There are more packages of grass-fed beef in grocery stores these days and when you compare their prices to standard supermarket beef, you’ll notice that they are more expensive. The meat is pricier because it takes a while for farmers to get cattle to their desired slaughter weight. Grass fed cattle also tends to be smaller, meaning there will be less meat.

2. It isn’t proven to be healthier
There isn’t enough evidence to prove that grass fed beef is indeed healthier. Research is limited on whether or not cattle raised on grass alone are truly healthier than conventional beef.

3. It is harmful for the environment
Some say that grass fed beef is beneficial for the environment but there are others who argue against it. Their reason: consuming beef adds more damage to the environment than driving a car to and from work. Scientists at the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Japan estimate that 1 kilogram of beef emits more greenhouse gas than 155 miles of driving.

Grass fed beef has its own fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Consumers who have the means are the only ones who can afford grass fed beef. That being said, eating conventional beef is also better than consuming junk.

Gram staining, which is also referred to as the Gram’s method, is a scientific technique of staining that is used to differentiate the species of bacteria into 2 main groups, namely the gram-positive and the gram-negative bacteria. The differences between these groups of bacteria are considered to be important in determining appropriate treatments for infections.

Developed in 1884 by Danish physician Hans Christian Gram, this method is considered as the most important procedure in microbiology and is still the cornerstone of bacterial identification and the taxonomic division. Basically, a gram stain is a kind of laboratory or microbiology test that is performed to determine whether bacteria are present on a variety of specimens, which include tissue, blood, sputum and stool. While it is generally seen as having a lot of perks, this procedure also has its own set of drawbacks that is also important to look into. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Gram staining:

List of Advantages of Gram Staining

1. It gives quick results when examining infections.
In most cases, Gram stains are performed on biopsy or bodily fluids when infection is suspected, and they yield results much more quickly than other methods, such as culturing. This is especially important when infection would make a crucial difference in a patient’s prognosis and treatment, such as testing synovial fluid for septic arthritis or cerebrospinal fluid for meningitis.

2. It is simple and cost-effective.
This general stain is observed as the simplest, least expensive and most useful among the quick methods that used extensively in microbiology for the preliminary differentiation, identification and classification of microbiological organisms. The procedure is performed to produce precluding information regarding the type of organisms that are directly present from the clinical specimens or from the growth on culture plates. Unlike some other alternatives, it is cost-effective in identifying the presence of microorganisms in normal, sterile body fluids.

3. It helps with determining appropriate treatments for infection.
In some cases, it would not be clear whether an infection is caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses, and these kinds of infection would be treated in different ways. Now, a Gram stain will let physicians determine whether a certain type of bacteria is causing the infection and what type of microorganism is present. This is why any person who is suspected to have bacterial infection or actually is having one is a candidate for a Gram staining test. The doctor would order this along with a culture if an individual is showing symptoms of infection.

4. It allows for various methods of testing.
To be able to perform a Gram stain test, there is a need to have a sample of body tissue or fluid, and the collection methods would vary depending on the types of the sample. For mucus or sputum, a patient is allowed to cough up a sample into a specimen container, and in other cases, a blood sample will be collected using a blood draw.

5. It is basically a key procedure in identifying bacteria.
As mentioned above, this method is a very important step in the preliminary characterization and classification of bacteria, and it is a key procedure in identifying bacteria based upon staining characteristics, which enables the bacteria to be examined with the use of a light microscope. Keep in mind that bacteria, which are present in an unstained smear, will be invisible when you view it using a light microscope, but once stained, their arrangement and morphology will make it able to be observed. Moreover, Gram staining is also an important step in the screening of infectious agents that are found in clinical specimens, such as a patient’s direct smear.

List of Disadvantages of Gram Staining

1. It has significant limitations when used for environmental microbiology.
The Gram stain is definitely not an infallible technique for identification, diagnosis or phylogeny, and it faces extreme limitations when used in environmental microbiology. While it is used primarily for making a preliminary morphologic identification or for establishing whether there is a substantial number of bacteria in clinical specimens, this method will not be able to identify bacteria to the species level. For medical conditions in most situations, it is not recommended as the sole method to use for bacterial identification. In laboratories for clinical microbiology, this method is used in combination with other molecular and traditional techniques in identifying bacteria.

2. It has a few side effects.
It is noted that Gram staining has a few side effects that can occur depending on the method used for obtaining samples and the type of samples. While some types of samples, such as stool, would not entail certain side effects, blood samples would lead to side effects, such as bruising, because of the blood draw.

3. It comes with certain types of risks.
Though there are no known risks of performing a Gram stain with some samples such as urine or mucus, one that uses tissue samples will carry a few risks related to the removal of tissue, such as infection or excess bleeding.

4. It might lead to misinterpretation.
During the process of staining, the iodine and crystal violet would form a complex within the heat fixed cell, and in organisms that are gram-negative, this complex would be readily washed out by agents, such as alcohol or acetone, but would appear red as they retain only the counterstain. On the other hand, gram-positive organisms would retain the complex after decolorization and would remain purple. This would result to over-decolorization from the loss of the complex and, eventually, misinterpretation.

Infections caused by bacteria should not be ignored even the symptoms are just mild, and one of the most commonly used methods to do this and find some treatments to address severity and spread is Gram staining. As you can see, ignoring infections can eventually lead to tissue and organ damage. However, based on the advantages and disadvantages listed above, do you think this method is best to use instead of some other alternative techniques to attain similar results?

As their name implies, geothermal power plant stations use geothermal energy — that is, the heat that comes from the earth. These stations obtain the earth’s heat by drilling steam wells or water wells, and they use this energy to heat water or any other type of fluid. This, in turn, is used to turn generator turbines, producing energy that is then distributed to consumers. The fluid is then cooled using a condenser and returned to the earth.

Geothermal power plant stations bring about several benefits, but they also have their own drawbacks. Check out the lists below to learn about their advantages and disadvantages.

List of Advantages of Geothermal Power Plant Stations

1. They are relatively environment-friendly
Unlike coal-powered plants, geothermal power plant stations use a renewable heat source that has a steady supply. In fact, the amount of heat they extract is only a small portion of the amount of present in the earth’s core. Studies have also shown that the industry has tapped only 6.5 percent of the overall global potential, meaning there’s enough energy to power the world for many more years to come. On top of that, the amount of greenhouse gas produced by geothermal power plant stations are only five percent of what coal-powered plants emit, meaning the former are much better for the environment than the latter.

2. They produce large amounts of energy.
One of the biggest advantages of these geothermal power plant stations is that they have a large power capacity. This means that they can greatly help in meeting energy demand, which is rising every year both in first-world countries and developing nations.

3. They result to stable prices.
Conventional power plants are dependent on fuel, so the cost of the electricity they produce fluctuate according to the market price of fuel. This isn’t the case with geothermal power plant stations; since they don’t use fuel, they don’t have to rely on fuel prices and they can offer their consumers stable electricity costs.

List of Disadvantages of Geothermal Power Plant Stations

1. They can’t be built just anywhere.
Although the earth’s heat is found almost everywhere, prime locations (i.e. those have all the components needed to support geothermal power plant stations) are only found in selected areas. These areas are usually far away from urban and industrial communities, which are the places that have the highest need for electricity. Because of this, certain infrastructure would have to be built before the electricity that the plants produce could reach the consumers.

2. They can be expensive to build.
Geothermal power plant stations require specially designed heating and cooling systems and other equipment that can withstand high temperatures. As mentioned above, they’re also usually located in isolated areas, and enough money is needed to build the appropriate infrastructure that would deliver electricity from these far-flung areas to populated communities.

3. They can cause environmental damage.
Although geothermal power plant stations are more environmentally friendly than other energy stations, they can still cause some damage. One of these is their high consumption of freshwater, which is heated to power generator turbines and can make potable water more scarce for people. The fluids that are drawn from the earth through the drilling process contain high amounts of toxic chemicals (including arsenic and mercury) as well as greenhouse gases (like methane and radon). If these are improperly disposed or handled, they can escape into the atmosphere or seep into the water table and wreak havoc on the environment and on people’s health.

Geothermal power plant stations are already existing in many countries around the world. Still, it’s worth considering the advantages and disadvantages above to ensure we reap the benefits of these stations while minimizing their drawbacks.

Geothermal heating is the process of using the earth as a heat source or a heat sink. Specifically, it obtains heat from the earth to warm homes and other buildings during winter. In the summer, the system deposits heat into the earth to make domestic and commercial structures cooler. Geothermal heating usually uses a special pump to accomplish these tasks, and it’s often paired with solar heating to create a more efficient system.

Like any other heating and cooling system, geothermal heating comes with both pros and cons. Some of them are listed below:

List of Advantages of Geothermal Heating

1. It helps lower electricity bills.
Most geothermal heating systems can meet 60 to 80 percent of a building’s overall demand for electricity (the remaining 20 to 40 percent is provided by another source, such as propane or mains electricity). The amount of electricity that geothermal systems can generate is enough to lower utility bills and help homeowners and tenants save a substantial amount of money.

2. It harnesses renewable energy.
Geothermal heating uses the energy generated by the earth, which is considered to be renewable since it’s always present as long as the earth is still standing. This makes geothermal heating a more environmentally option compared to other forms of heating and cooling systems, particularly true for those that use coal, gasoline, and other fossil fuels.

3. It can last for years.
As long as a geothermal heating system is properly designed and built, it has the potential to last up to 50 years. This makes it a sound investment, especially for those who are planning to live in their home for a long time.

List of Disadvantages of Geothermal Heating

1. It requires electricity to function.
Even if a geothermal heating system meets most of a building’s energy demands, some of these demands are met through other means, such as electricity that’s produced through fossil fuels plants. These plants are only 30 percent efficient, which means the energy they produce can cancel out the environmental gains that geothermal heating provides.

2. It can be costly.
A geothermal heating system requires a specialized pump as well as other equipment. It must also be installed by fully trained and certified geothermal heating experts who know how to properly set up the system. All of these can result to high initial costs, which are between $5,000 to $20,000 for domestic systems — an amount that not all homeowners can afford. The only consolation to this is that the high upfront cost can be offset over time through substantial savings on utility bills as well as the fact that the system can stay functional for decades.

3. It can affect water tables.
A type of geothermal heating system called ground loop system requires water to be pumped out of the ground to maintain the right temperature and ensure the heat pump doesn’t freeze. Unfortunately, this can lower the water table in the area over time and makes it difficult to obtain fresh, potable water.

Geothermal heating comes with a wide range of benefits, but the disadvantages must also be considered to minimize the damage that they bring.

Fractional distillation is the process of separating a mixture into its different components. It’s similar to simple distillation in that it uses heat (evaporation) and cooling (condensation) to separate substances; the difference is that simple distillation does this process once, while fractional distillation repeats the process several times within the same system. Simple distillation is ideal for a mixture whose components have vastly different boiling points, while fractional distillation is ideal for a mixture whose components have very close boiling points (less than 40 degrees Celsius).

Fractional distillation is advantageous since it’s used in a wide range of industrial process. However, it also brings about several disadvantages. Read on to know about these benefits and drawbacks.

List of Advantages of Fractional Distillation

1. It’s easy to implement.
One of the biggest benefits of fractional distillation is that it’s easy to use. As long as you set up a fully functional and well-designed system, you can leave it as is to do its job. You only need to check the system on a regular basis to ensure it’s functioning properly, find out if it needs repairs, and fix whatever needs fixing. Modern fractional distillation setups are automated using microprocessors, which make the process even easier.

2. It’s highly effective and efficient.
Fractional distillation has been proven by countless experiments and actual processes to be effective. In fact, it’s widely used in many industrial settings to create the products that modern society needs. Fractional distillation is also highly efficient, especially for systems that use stacked distillation columns, which produce more output at lower costs.

3. It helps produce much-needed fuel.
Fractional distillation is used to refine crude oil and produce diesel, kerosene, gasoline, naphtha (used in creating chemicals), and bitumen (used for roofs and roads). With this in mind, it’s easy to conclude that fractional distillation has greatly contributed to the advancement and modernization of human life.

List of Disadvantages of Fractional Distillation

1. It can be expensive.
On an industrial level, fractional distillation is expensive because it requires large structures, heavy-duty materials, and specialized machinery. It also requires staff to be fully trained in the operation of systems to ensure they know how to use the distillation equipment and won’t make mistakes. So, before an oil refinery or industrial plant can be put up, the owners must first raise a substantial amount of money.

2. It comes with operational hazards.
Just like any process that uses heat, fractional distillation presents a wide range of risks for the people who are involved in it. One of the biggest hazards is explosion, which can take place if the system is not equipped with the appropriate precautions.

3. It can contribute to environmental pollution.
Fractional distillation in itself is not harmful to the environment; its ecological damage depends on the types of mixtures that are distilled. Refining crude oil, for example, can lead to the release of large amounts of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. It can also contribute to the pollution of rivers, streams, and other bodies of water, which can happen when refineries improperly dump waste water.

Fractional distillation has several advantages and disadvantages, and governments and industrial companies must learn how to find a balance between these pros and cons.

Forensic accounting is a branch of accounting that focuses on investigating business and financial records to determine if fraud, money laundering, or other crime has occurred. “Forensic” means “belonging to or suitable to use in a court of law”, which is why forensic accountants strive to produce findings that can be used in court. These professionals are also called on to give evidence during trials.

Forensic accounting offers several benefits at first glance but, if you look closer, you’ll see that it also has its drawbacks. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of this practice area.

List of Advantages of Forensic Accounting

1. It helps solve financial crimes.
As mentioned above, forensic accounting can greatly help in solving financial crimes. These can involve bribery within government offices as well as fraud and money laundering within business organizations. Forensic accounting not only helps with gathering evidence for crimes but can also be used in detecting and identifying crimes.

2. It helps monitor professionals.
Forensic accounting can be used to assess the work of professionals, including accountants themselves. The findings from this assessment, in turn, can be used to file professional negligence claims against those who have been proven to have made critical errors (whether intentionally or not).

3. It helps businesses with their finances.
Businesses can use forensic accounting to detect anomalies among their staff and with third parties they’re working with. For instance, a company can ask a forensic accountant to check an employee’s purchasing records to see if all of his purchases were for business use or if he diverted some for his personal use.

List of Disadvantages of Forensic Accounting

1. It takes a lot of time.
Forensic accounting is never easy. It requires accountants to go through every piece of document to ensure that their investigation is complete and that they’ll uncover every evidence that will solve the case. This can take many days and can even stretch to many weeks or months, depending on the magnitude of the case, the size of the organization involved, and the number of documents to review.

2. It can be expensive.
Because of the lengthy period of time needed, forensic accounting can turn out to be expensive. This isn’t a problem for huge corporations that have more than enough funds, but it can be an issue for smaller businesses that have limited budgets.

3. It can be distracting.
Forensic accounting can cause a distraction among employees, particularly when outside accountants are brought in. The process can disrupt the staff’s normal routine and cause their productivity and efficiency to suffer.

4. It can affect employee morale.
Forensic accounting can cause employees to feel like their integrity is doubted, which can lead to lower staff morale. It’s the responsibility of managers and business owners to make their people understand that forensic accounting is done not as a sign of distrust but as a way to improve business efficiency.

These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of forensic accounting. Weigh these first to know whether you’d get forensic accounting services or not.

There is no question that there is a great deal of controversy on the subject of food irradiation advantages and disadvantages. With food irradiation, the goal is to establish safe food supplies. In doing so, people will be able to maintain confidence in the foods that they have eaten. However, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Food irradiation also suffers from something of an image crisis. Although people are in fact exposed to radiation all of the time, any concept that has the word “radiation” can serve to make them nervous. However, when it comes to the subject of food irradiation advantages and disadvantages, you are going to find the subject to be far more complex than mere perception.

List of Advantages of Food Irradiation

1. Immune Deficiency Benefits
Those who suffer from a disease that depresses the immune system, which can occur through meds or the disease itself, can become ill from the most general food contaminants. With food irradiation, you have something that will remove those contaminants.

2. It Kills Dangerous Organisms
The best food handling measures in the world aren’t a guarantee that all of the dangerous organisms will be avoided and/or removed. Food irradiation obliterates ninety percent of these organisms.

3. A Proactive Measure Against Insects
As most of us know, moths and similar insects love grains. Storing them in your home certainly isn’t going to deter them. Food irradiation makes the products less appealing to the insects. This in turn makes it less likely that the insects will leave eggs in the grains, which can cause a variety of health problems.

List of Disadvantages of Food Irradiation

1. No Promises
One of the problems with food irradiation is that there is no definitive way of killing all of the organisms that can come into contact with our foods. Some organisms are in fact resistant to the mild radiation that is utilized.

2. Animals
Studies going back several decades come to the same conclusion over and over again. Irradiated foods can cause health problems with a variety of animals. Rare cancers, chromosome abnormalities, and even premature deaths can occur.

3. Colors and Textures
Both vitamins and minerals are at risk through irradiation. Worse yet, the textures and flavors can also be altered through this process. For many people, these changes are unpleasant. The smell of beef after irradiation is one example.

It doesn’t matter how much money you make, its always important to have a budget. Without determining the proper amount to save and spend each month, it can be easy to fall into credit card debt or incur other adverse financial penalties. For those who fluctuate in monthly expenditures, flexible budgeting can be a great solution but there are also some drawback to this practice.

Advantages of Flexible Budgeting

1. Seasonal Expenses
Winter coats cost more than swimsuits and you don’t take beach vacations in the fall. These are examples of seasonal expenses that do not recur throughout the year. Flexible budgeting can be used to adjust for these large purchases when they occur without requiring any adjustments in following months.

2. Irregular Earnings
Holiday bonuses often recognize a year of work but they also come at a convenient time. Many families have increased expenses at this time of year which is also why many employers choose to give out bonuses when they do. Flexible budgets incorporate these irregular payouts in a way that allows them to be used when the funds are most needed.

3. Less Stress, More Fun
Budgets are helpful but they can also become oppressive if an individual consistently cannot stay within the limits or passes on opportunities in order to save money. By designing a budget with flexibility in mind, you won’t find yourself stressed out at the end of every month or telling your friends you can’t join them all the time. Just be sure not to use it an excuse to lose the boundaries entirely.

Disadvantages of Flexible Budgeting

1. Confusing
Budgets are simple because they provide one figure within which someone must remain. Flexible budgets require more planning in order to track expenses and adjust for any differences between periods. A range that changes over time can make the budgeting processing overly confusing for some users and therefore reduce the odds that they will successfully follow it.

2. Enables Cheating
The rules of a traditional budget are straightforward: don’t spend more than the limit. Flexible budgets complicate things by include more rules that can easily be bent or broken by someone who is struggling to stay within the boundaries.

3. Less Discipline
The whole point of a flexible budget is to make it easier to adhere to, however, by not following the same rigid program every month, such systems are unlikely to foster the same discipline or long term habits as more traditional alternatives.

According to great authors, such as Stephen King, first person narration is usually the first method of writing for new authors and is still even used by many established authors. As you can see, this style comes with certain strengths, such as simplicity, accessibility and directness. However, it also comes with its own set of drawbacks that should be taken into consideration. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of first person narration:

List of Advantages of First Person Narration

1. It is accessible.
It has been claimed by many authors that this style of writing is accessible as they can use their voice for narration, which means that they will have an immediate connection to their creations. As for the narrators, they will have a better understanding of the characters who might otherwise they have to imagine, giving them a strong starting point for the story. Generally, accessibility comes automatically with this style.

2. It will put readers inside the narrator’s mind.
Immediately, narration places readers inside the narrator’s head, allowing for an intimate portrayal of emotions and other thoughts—the narrator will be able to communicate effectively how every moment feels and deliver sight, smell, sound, touch and taste all through his prism. His love, hopes, fears and despair will be brought to the readers directly with maximum impact. He can also put across the motivations of the main character, and his reactions to situations will be effectively imparted, creating a strong sense of empathy in the readers.

3. It is direct.
The directness in first person narration will make the author’s work so easy that he would often repeat it. For example, “Interview with the Vampire” has used character Louis as first person narrator, which made the novel ran itself off speedily that the author duplicated such a feat with “The Vampire Lestat”, which sees the vampire Lestat as the first-person protagonist this time.

4. It provides clear identity to the text.
By writing in first person, an author will be able to deliver an entire story in his narrator’s voice, which can give a clear identity to the text and submerge readers further into a world he is creating. He can also hide expositions within a stream of consciousness and turn them into musings and thoughts.

5. It makes it easier for the narrator to say whatever he wants.
One great advantage of first person narration is that a narrator can say whatever he wants, which is impossible with third-person narration, and he can be completely excused for this because it can be part of his character. Also, the narrator would not even have to be the writer’s protagonist, though he would be the protagonist in his story. Taking for example a narration of the life of Christ—Jesus would be the protagonist and Satan the antagonist, while Judas would be the lead character and narrator in his own story arc.

List of Disadvantages of First Person Narration

1. It is limited to a single story thread.
While King agrees that first person narration is used by many new and established writers, he prefers third-person narration as this allows him to work on a large canvas, which is limited in first person narration. It would be difficult for an author who uses first person to move through a number of sub-plots and various narrative threads. Its disadvantage of being limited to a single story thread will also make descriptions of the characters and the narrator problematic if the story is stuck with only a single pair of eyes.

2. It would risk making the narrative self-indulgent in the narrator’s emotions.
This style of writing would risk narrative becoming self-indulgent in the emotions of the narrator, as it will see constant self-referencing and extreme emotional responses, which can drown out the story making it become too much. Unlike in passive narration, the narrator would be in the scene, but would not be doing too much, just watching the other characters with no feelings or reactions.

3. It tends to be bias.
Since this type of writing is told from the perspective of only a single narrator, the story would naturally become biased by the filter of the character who tells the story, creating the literary problem that is known as “unreliable narrator”, which entails that the storyteller is either purposefully distorting the truth or having their own understanding of the characters and events.

4. It narrows the experience.
First person narration would limit reader experience, as the readers would only experience the narrator’s side of the story. It also restricts the writer, as he can only reveal what the narrator would see and think, considering that this character should always be on stage or observing it. As previously implied, this style would make it difficult to add a subplot to a story, as readers cannot entirely see into the minds of other characters. Moreover, the sub-plots would need to involve the narrator or switch narrators to another first-person perspective, which is not truly feasible.

5. It would be difficult to describe the narrator.
Describing a narrator would be almost impossible within a first person narration, unless there would be a scene where he needs to describe the way how they look, which is not advised in writing, as it is referred to as a terrible cliché and even completely unnecessary. Considering that the narrator tends to have less understanding of the story’s big picture, the writer needs to be careful of not giving him too much awareness or knowledge, while sufficiently hinting that readers will be able to surmise the overall plot at a certain point in time, which is difficult to pull off.

6. It would make it difficult for the narrator to capture the character.
To be successful, this style of writing should embody the way the narrator speaks, and some dialects would make the piece difficult to read. This means that the writer should ensure the narrator capture the character and carefully plan how he talks to the reader, which can be difficult.

So, there you have it! Based on the advantages and disadvantages listed above, would you go for first person narration when writing a story, or not?

It’s highly likely fermented foods are already in your diet, especially if you enjoy aged cheese, yogurt and wine – just to name a few. The practice of fermentation traces back to the old days and it’s essentially a way to preserve food. As such, fermented foods don’t lose nutrients and they don’t spoil all too easy. Foods of this nature usually have strong, pungent flavors. While fermented foods do offer certain health benefits, they do have some downsides.

List of Advantages of Fermented Foods

1. It helps restore proper bacteria balance in the intestines.
Probiotics are mostly part of a group of bacteria that produces lactic acid and are found in fermented milk, yogurt and other foods that have undergone the fermentation process. According to the June 2006 issue of the Journal of Applied Microbiology, the health of intestinal tracts can be improved through the consumption of food that has lactic acid bacteria. Not only that, consuming such foods can also improve the bioavailability of nutrients, minimize the symptoms of lactose intolerance and reduce the prevalence of allergy in those who are susceptible.

2. It improves heart health.
The consumption of dairy is associated with the risk of coronary heart disease. However, there are certain milk products that have undergone fermentation considered good for the heart. There is evidence to prove that fermented milk products can mildly decrease really high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), according to the February 2006 issue of Current Opinion in Lipidology.

3. It improves the immune system.
Eating foods that have been fermented can make the intestine stronger and thus less at risk for intestinal illnesses. The consumption of fermented foods can also boost the immune system as seen with kefir, an acidic beverage made by fermenting milk with grains. Kefir is easily digested but it also colonizes the intestines with microorganisms that help maintain a healthy immune response. Kefir has been used to treat tuberculosis and cancer, according to the United Nations University.

List of Disadvantages of Fermented Foods

1. It is linked with the development of gastric cancer.
A study was published in Cancer Science in January 2011 showing a connection between the consumption of fermented foods and the risk of developing gastric cancer. The study was a meta-analysis of reports showing the effects of fermented and non-fermented soy food consumption on the risk of gastric cancer development. The study indicated that a high intake of fermented soy foods increased the risk of gastric cancer while a diet that was high in non-fermented soy foods reduced the risk of gastric cancer.

2. Store-bought items lose beneficial bacteria.
Fermented foods sold in many stores are processed differently than those that are traditionally fermented. They have too much acid and have been pasteurized so they don’t spoil right away. Research has also shown that fermented cheese products contain way too much salt than water.

While eating fermented foods certainly has some disadvantages, this doesn’t mean you have to shy away from it. As they say, always eat a balanced diet and everything should be in moderation.