Fermented foods have been prepared for millennia and every society around the world has traditional fermented foods and/or beverages that are identified with that culture. This is an excellent opportunity to help students draw connections between their everyday lives and the microbial sciences. At the same time, this is also a great way to encourage cultural awareness and acceptance. This manuscript describes an active learning approach used in a general microbiology course to encourage students to learn about fermented foods from around the world and share their discoveries with their colleagues. As a group we also spend time discussing some of the lesser known roles microbes have in food preparation such as the production of food additives or in modifying starting ingredients. At the end of the semester, students have the opportunity to sample a variety of foods associated with microbes in a “microbe lunch”. We will also describe the use of similar activities in outreach to foster dialogue between scientists and the general public.


Biological Sciences

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1935-7877; 1935-7885

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2021 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Publication Date

29 Jan 2021

Included in

Biology Commons