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
• Olives—Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus
• Dry sausages—Pediococcus
• Sourdough bread—Various lactic acid-producing bacteria
• Cottage cheese—Streptococcus
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 ...