Kindred Cultures Water Kefir – This Water Is Extra

Lyndsay Scott is on a mission to make water kefir as mainstream as yogurt.

by | Sep 17, 2020 | Food + Drink

A line up of Kind Kulture Water Kefir bottles against a pink backdrop.

When Lyndsay Scott was in her early 20s, she travelled to Ghana and, like most foreigners, got horrendously sick. So sick that she recalls lying on the floor in too much agony to remember the antibiotics she packed a few feet away. Then she went to India and was floored by illness again, but this time someone was there to give her some sound advice – eat the curd. 

‘The curd’ is fermented buffalo milk yogurt that’s known to be rich in probiotics or the ‘good bacteria’ that aids intestinal health. As she travelled around the country, she sought out the local curd – the logic being whatever bacteria was in the curd would ward off the unfriendly bacteria specific to each region to prevent it from wreaking havoc on her system. 

“That was the first time I directly connected food with how my body functions,” said Scott. “Even though at that time, I was deep into my deep Oregonian roots and had grown up with a mother who was the ‘echinacea lady,’ I was still mindblown at the fact that I hadn’t made that connection.”

Lyndsay Scott, Owner of Kindred Cultures Water Kefir, sits on a bench with two bottle of kefir by her side.

A Son is Born And So Is Kindred Cultures

Fast forward several years, and Scott, now a mother, was having many sleepless nights over her son’s food allergies. His cheeks were bleeding from a terrible rash, and he was clearly in a lot of discomfort. Doctors prescribed her creams that she nervously slathered on his skin, to little effect, so she sought alternative advice. 

“I spoke to my naturopath, and she recommended that we try natural kefir with him and within three days, it was gone,” said Scott. “He slept through the night for almost two years. It was like a miracle.”

She gave some to her husband, who struggled with undiagnosed IBS, and the ‘miracle’ happened twice. That’s when Scott knew she was onto something, and Kindred Cultures Water Kefir was born. 

Scott opted to make water kefir over the more traditional dairy-based products known in parts of the world like India and the Middle East. You’ll find Kindred Cultures next to the kombucha, but unlike kombucha, it’s uncarbonated and has the consistency of, well, water. It also comes in many flavours, like cranberry turmeric and lemon turmeric ginger. She also uses ingredients loved by health-nuts, like activated charcoal and spirulina.

A line up of Kindred Kulture Water Kefir bottles against a pink and yellow backdrop.

But What Is Kefir?

The origins of kefir are a bit of a mystery, but there is a consensus that it originated somewhere in the Caucasus hundreds of years ago. It’s unusual because it can’t be grown from scratch like other well-known bacteria cultures, like SCOBY, which is the bacterial basis of kombucha. Instead, kefir grains have been passed down from generation to generation and the original source remains mostly a mystery. 

What is known about kefir is that it’s high in probiotic bacteria and yeasts that might improve gut health. (Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, Lactobacillus kefiri, and Leuconostoc mesenteroides, as well as yeasts such as Kluyveromyces marxianus, Saccharomyces turicensis, and Pichia fermentans and a lot more if these means anything to you.)  

Some studies suggest that fermented foods, like kefir, can even improve mental function and mood as research continues on the connection between gut health and brain health. For Scott, the evidence is often anecdotal. 

“I was selling it at farmers’ markets, and I started having people come back to you and say this makes my body feel better, or I felt like crap for years, and I had two bottles of this,” said Scott. “It’s insanely compelling.”

Scott steers clear of making broad claims about kefir’s benefits so that she can continue to market it alongside other fermented beverages, like kombucha, that have become common in the grocery store. 

“One of my greatest goals is to make it a mainstream product that is accessible to people so they can think about it like yogurt,” said Scott. 

Scott’s dream is slowly being realized as her Kindred Cultures can now be found on shelves all over BC, parts of Alberta and the Yukon, and online.

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Excellent work. Well done you. Bravo.

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