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Germs, Genes, and Bacteria: How They Influence Modern Life (Collection) by Joyce A. Schoemaker, Paul J. H. Schoemaker, Anne Maczulak, Greg Gibson, David Clark

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2. Bacteria in history

Other than infectious disease, humanity’s early dealings with bacteria involved mainly the production of foods. Wheaton College biologist Betsey Dexter Dyer once noted that a meal can be assembled completely from bacteria-produced foods, such as the following items.

Cheeses—Swiss from Propionibacterium and limburger from Brevibacterium

OlivesLeuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus

Dry sausagesPediococcus

Sourdough bread—Various lactic acid-producing bacteria

ButterLactobacillus

Cottage cheeseStreptococcus

A steak or a glass of milk results from the digestion of grasses by anaerobic bacteria in the rumen of cattle. The rumen fermentations are oxygen-free conversions of sugar into microbial energy with ...

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