Kraut Maker Facing Felony Charges for Stinky Mess
Google “sauerkraut” and “stink” and you will find countless recipes from kraut lovers (and haters) recounting the lengthy and smelly fermenting and cooking process leading to the tasty (or inedible, depending on your perspective) cabbage treat. So if you’re the world’s largest sauerkraut producer, you might be expected to know that sauerkraut can make a real mess.
But in Shortsville, New York, environmental authorities are charging that the world’s leading sauerkraut producer, Great Lakes Kraut Company, with a felony for fouling the area waterways with their illegal discharge (surely not the first foul discharge following sauerkraut production, or consumption).
Neighbors of the kraut plant noted that the odor of “rotting cabbage” could be smelled for miles, but generally favored keeping the plant and its many jobs in town. Sauerkraut boosters point to the health benefits of the fermented dish; indeed, in 2005 Korean researchers noted that sauerkraut was shown to “speed recovery of chickens infected with avian flu” (no indication is given as to how they got the chickens to eat sauerkraut).