Honestly, the first time I made sauerkraut I was a little scared. I knew all about the health benefits and wanted them, but the idea of something fermented by bacteria sounded gross and like it might give me food poisoning. What it took for me to get over that fear was the knowledge of how it worked, and then just going for it.
Cabbage, and many other foods, can be preserved and made more nutritious by the process of lacto-fermentation. A strain of bacteria, named Lactobacillus, lives on plants and in a healthy human digestive tract. During the lacto-fermentation process, Lactobacillus turn the carbohydrates in the food into lactic acid, a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Salt also preserves and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
Now that I make fermented foods regularly I'm not afraid anymore. I think it's an amazing process that preserves our food, is delicious AND benefits our health. It's a win, win, win.