All About Kombucha

In this episode of Healthy Family Project, we talk to Michelle Mitchell, co-founder of Humm Kombucha. Over the last few years, kombucha consumption has grown in popularity and we turned to Michelle to answer all of our questions around health benefits, alcohol content, pregnancy safety, and more. 

Michelle’s passion for kombucha started over a decade ago and led to her founding Humm. She is the primary driver of Humm’s amazing culture and brand ethos within our staff-centric organization. She is instrumental in creating an air of positive energy and forging a culture of joy  and freedom at Humm.

Michelle worked for 6 years in sales and fundraising for Great American Opportunities and the Southwestern Company, earning top sales awards each year before founding Humm.

She is fluent in Spanish and studied Arabic extensively while spending time in the Middle East. She has competed in three Ironman triathlons and spent 3 years traveling around the world before settling in Bend, OR. Michelle is a graduate of Central College where she studied Music and Spanish and Biology.

Healthy Bites Featuring Pero Family Farms

Today, we’re snacking on the perfect summer dish – Rainbow Italian Pasta Salad featuring Pero Family Farms® mini sweet peppers. This recipe is flavor-packed, loaded with nutrients, and perfect to add to your summer cookout rotation.

Mini sweet peppers add a pop of color and delicious crunch to this super tasty recipe. Prepare a large batch ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week. Click here for more delicious recipe ideas from Pero Family Farms.

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Want to skip straight to a hot topic? See time stamps below. But of course, we recommend listening all the way through!

  • 1:03 T-Shirt Fundraiser 
  • 5:01 How Michelle got her start in the kombucha world
  • 6:54 What is kombucha?
  • 8:23 Kombucha health benefits
  • 11:20 How much kombucha should you drink per day?
  • 13:40 Kombucha alcohol content
  • 14:36 Healthy Bite Featuring Pero Family Farms
  • 16:06 Can you drink kombucha while pregnant?
  • 17:42 Do added flavors diminish the health benefits?
  • 18:48 What’s new at Humm?
  • 20:00 Where to buy Humm Kombucha

Other Podcast Episodes to Check Out:

Healthy Family Project Podcast

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Transcript for Episode 53

This transcript was produced by Otter.Ai. Please forgive any misspellings and grammatical errors.

Welcome to the healthy family project by produce for kids covering the hot topics in the world of health,
food and family with a dose of fun. Hi everyone. I’m your host Amanda and glad to be back with you all
today. Hopefully you’ve joined me over in the healthy family Project Facebook group. If not, please do we
are talking everything healthy, family food, family, things going on current events, you name it, I remind
everyone it’s a safe space for voices to be heard. And I really hope it allows all of us to help each other
be better and more thoughtful people in parents. We also have new recipes on the site. So be sure to
check that out at parties for kids calm, the weather is heating up. So I know many of us don’t want to be
in the hot kitchen. So some no cook recipes, salads and snacks are over there. And then big news and
an effort to support feeding America’s effort to help those in need during the Coronavirus. We are selling
our fruits and veggies and giving back T shirts. With 100% of those proceeds going to the Feeding
America COVID-19 Response Fund. You can check out our shirts on our Instagram and Facebook pages
with direct links so that you can grab one we do have youth sizes too. So that’s exciting too for the kids
will link up to it in the show notes as well. I every time I wear mine I’m stopped and asked about my shirt
and I’m so glad we can sell them to make a difference. Alright, on to today’s topic. I know I’m always on
the hunt for immunity Boosting Foods. And last year my daughter and I started drinking kombucha. We
kind of just started to get excited seeing the different flavors and what was available in our grocery store.
And so we’ve just been fans and really haven’t looked back. So I realized when I was mentioning
kombucha to other parents or friends, I would sometimes get a puzzled look and didn’t realize how many
people had not ever tried kombucha or did not realize what it was or the health benefits. So I thought it
would be fun to get a kombucha expert on the podcast to talk to us through what Kombucha is and
answer a few of the questions that I know I’ve received from other parents out there. So of course,
Kombucha is available for sale at most grocery stores. But if you have specific health related kombucha
questions, please do contact your health care professional. Just a little disclaimer there so that you know,
everybody can really check in with their health care professional if there is a direct health question. So
today we are talking to Michelle Mitchell, co founder of hum kombucha. Just a little funny story before I
tell you about Michelle. I have been posting my kombucha finds on my personal Instagram. And a friend
in my neighborhood here in Orlando reached out to me saying I needed to meet her college flatmate
Michelle, who lives across the country. So we guess why should I meet Michelle? Well, my friend in the
neighborhood said, you know, she was my college flatmate and you need to meet her. And I guess the
rest is history. I met Michelle via email and instantly knew she had to be on the podcast, and also
instantly felt like I knew her forever. Her passion really shines through every word. Michelle’s passion for
kombucha started over a decade ago and led her to funding home. She is the primary driver of hums
amazing culture and brand within the staff centric organization that they have at home. She is
instrumental in creating an era of positive energy. I can vouch for that just having talked to her a few
times and forging a culture of joy and freedom at home. Michelle worked for six years in sales and
fundraising for great American opportunities in the southwestern company, earning sale top sales awards
each year before founding him. So she’s award winner. She is fluent in Spanish and studied Arabic
extensively while spending time in the Middle East. She is complete competed in three Ironman
triathlons, my goodness, and spent three years traveling around the world before settling in Bend,
Oregon. Michelle was a graduate of Central College where she studied music and Spanish and biology
and she’s a mom. So there you have it. She’s She sounds pretty amazing. Right? So let’s talk to Michelle
and learn more about kombucha. Welcome to the show. Michelle, this is a topic we get a lot of questions
on coming through our website and social channels. Everyone wants to know about kombucha so we’re
excited to have you on today to get the inside scoop. But before we jump in, can you tell us a little about
yourself and how you found your way into the world of kombucha?

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks to me. And I’m super excited that we connected. This is great. Yeah, I
accidentally found my way into kombucha, actually. And it was kind of early 2000s 2002 ish. And it was
from my mother in law. She had been brewing since the 80s. And actually, when I first met my husband,
he, his mom had been brewing kombucha in her kitchen, and she had this what looked to be a science
experiment on her counter, and she served me the strength and at the time, honestly, it was so hard to
get down. It was really, really strong. And I didn’t love it at first taste, but she swore by it. She swore by
the health benefits. She like I said, I’ve been brewing since the 80s and would have a drink every single
day. So then when I started kind of diving in a little bit more, one of the things about me is I just I just love
to learn whatever it is, I’m interested in a lot of different subjects and when I found kombucha I just
started diving in and doing as much research as I could, and then started tinkering around with it and
thought, Okay, if it really is this amazing, surely he can make it a little bit more palatable. So that was my
first intro to it. And then I just started tinkering around at that point.
Wonderful. I love that. That’s for sure. I know, I had that similar. First, kombucha experience myself. I
wasn’t as motivated as you though. I just figured out someone down the road come up with something
like you did. Amazing. So Alright, so let’s get basic for a minute before we travel down this kombucha
path. Can you explain to us what Kombucha is? Exactly. I know you are in the thick of this world, but
maybe give us the layman’s definition. For us newbies?
Yeah, for sure. It’s a sparkling bath, a fridge. It’s filled with probiotics, B vitamins. And you know, it is
there it goes through a fermentation process. So that is part of where the probiotics come from. And it’s
just really an alternative to you know, something that you can drink in the middle of the afternoon or in
the morning, but it’s an alternative to maybe less healthy, sugary drinks.
Yeah, so my daughter, she has a sweet tooth, my older daughter and she does, you know, over the years
has been like, Oh, I’m gonna have Sprite, you know, she I can see that she leans towards some of those
sodas. So when we started with a kombucha, it was perfect for her because she she now reaches for
that, as opposed to some of those other alternatives, which is great. And she loves the taste too. Now
that there’s so many fun, you know, different flavors out there. So, okay, so now that we kind of have an
idea of what Kombucha is, you know, I know right now in the world, we’re all looking for ways to build our
immune systems and keep ourselves healthy and you know, a lot of people are exploring different new
ways to do those things. So new foods, new drinks, our family like I said, we drink a lot of kombucha
especially for those probiotics. What do you what can you tell us about the benefits of drinking
kombucha? And then is it good for everyone?
Yeah, it’s a good question. So I as far as is it good for everyone? I think that you know as a blanket
statement, I would say yes and then you know certain i I’m sure there are certain conditions are people
have asked us for example, okay, if I have diabetes, can I still drink kombucha? Well, then you just want
to make sure that you are monitoring your sugar intake, etc, you know, working with your, your health
professional like that, but um, yeah, my kids have been drinking it since. I mean, since they were little
little I would, I would at first water it down, you know, kind of do half and half with when they were two
with kombucha and water. But even still, they’ve been they drink it every day. I drink it every day. You
know, my parents, grandparents, everybody kind of in between. So as far as what it does, it’s, it has a ton
of probiotics like I mentioned, and really, that is just the best thing that that does for your body is just
keep your gut healthy. And I think that you know, you can go down the whole rabbit hole of research on
healthy gut and what that does for your life overall, but really, that is kind of the this balancer in your body
that keeps everything working properly. So it’s really really good for your gut. Um, it’s got B vitamins,
some of some of them have other vitamins pending on the juices maybe that they’re flavored with like
vitamin C, etc. And then a lot of times people will say, um, it gives them a little burst of energy. There’s no
caffeine and it but it does again, it does go back to the beer. vitamins as far as the energy burst. And,
and, you know, it’s one of those things where you just kind of try it out and see how you feel a lot of
people will say, Okay, once I started drinking kombucha, I just felt better, or I slept better, or, um, you
know, I used to have reflux, and I don’t have that anymore, whatever it is, we’ve heard it kind of across
the board, but usually, the, the overall statement is I just feel better.

Right? I can, I can definitely attest to that. I feel like, I definitely feel better having you know, drinking
kombucha regularly. My belly is grateful for it, for sure. Am I like I said, my older daughter too. She also
has commented with her stomach as well, where she’s like, You know what, I just feel better when I drink
it, so Well, I guess that kind of leads into the next question. Is there a recommended amount? So say
you’re, you know, like, you want to have these great effects. So is there a recommended amount to drink
per day? I know, we’ve seen this as a highly searched question like we we sometimes dive into like the
Google searches what people what are people searching for about kombucha? And that was actually
one that popped up. That said, people were just wondering how much to drink a day? What’s
Yeah, well, I think it’s different for every body. And I would say start with a glass a day and see how you
feel. I mean, I know people that drink, you know, multiple, multiple glasses a day, and they feel really
good for me, I just drink one glass a day, because that’s what works well for me. And we have we’ve
done this before, where we have what’s called our seven day challenge, the one seven day challenge
where you could drink a bottle of hum every single day and at the end of it you write into our social media
and just let us know how you feel. And then you know, we send coupons and so on and so forth. And
that’s when I was talking earlier about what people say when they drink kombucha a lot of it has come
from responses of people just drinking one a day and how we describe it is don’t change anything else
you’re doing like if you are you know if you’re not exercising very much and you’re eating oatmeal cream
pies, and you just want to add a kombucha to that right you don’t have to reinvent the wheel you don’t
have to change everything about your life. Just drink a glass of kombucha a day and see if it makes an
right yeah, it’s like what I did when I was kind of going through some stomach things a couple years ago I
I kind of pulled every what I did was I pulled everything out and I gradually added things back in and I
would journal how I felt every day so that way you know I could kind of tell like what was the factor today
that you know made the difference? So I like that in not changing anything and just really being able to
say like this was the only kind of there’s a science word for it and I swear I just learned it because I’m
homeschooling my kids right now.
Variable yes variable yes yes, I’m homeschooling as well.
So yes, believe me I know I have revisited algebra Honors Algebra. And I know all about molecules,
physical honors physical science. And yeah, so Anyway, okay, so what about ages I had this noted so I
know sometimes I’ve you know, especially you know, my 14 year old is like, there’s no alcohol in here.
Right? You’re giving me alcohol.
Okay, yeah, um, let’s start there on the alcohol because I think that that’s a super important thing to cover
and it’s a question that we get a lot um, our product is verified non alcoholic for you know, from a third
party verification. Entity and Kombucha is non alcoholic. I mean it’s it is in the category of under point 5%
Alcohol. There are a few computers on the market that you do have to be 21 to buy and they’re marked
as such because they have a higher alcohol content. And I know that there’s been a lot of talk of okay,
well is it actually under point 5% Or if we brought it home is under point 5% You know, there’s a lot of
tools and measurements that go into that that probably, you know, homebrewers don’t have the
equipment to to really verify but it is it is certainly low alcohol and ours is absolutely non alcoholic.
Now it’s time for a healthy bite brought to you by Piro family farms. I’m excited to see what Grace has to
share today.
Hey Amanda. So today I’m bringing you the perfect summer dish. It’s a rainbow pasta salad featuring
delicious pero familyfarms Mini sweet peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and a great easy

homemade Italian dressing. Fun fact peros unique seed variety grows as sweeter mini sweet pepper
that’s great for snacks salads grilling and more.
Yes, we are definitely fans of the mini sweet peppers in our house. And this is gorgeous. So I’m going to
stop talking. I definitely need to try this now. Yes, dig
in. Enjoy. You’re gonna love it. I think we get the seal of approval from Amanda thumbs up. So kids and
adults will love this rainbow of tastiness. It’s so easy to whip up to. So you’re able to make a big batch to
snack on all week. Plus, just for many sweet peppers contain your entire daily value of
vitamin C. Well, that’s awesome. That’s a good fact right now. I love anything you can prep and eat all
week. Definitely cuts down on time in the kitchen. That’s a win especially during these hot summer
Exactly. And these Labor’s are just so refreshing together. You can
get the full recipe in our show notes today. And if you’re looking to find what grocery stores carry pero
family farms, you can go to their website pero family farms calm or we’ll link up to them in our show
notes. Another question that we had was what about drinking kombucha while pregnant? Like what’s the
deal? Or is that okay?
Yeah, we get that question a lot too. And here’s what I would say check with your doctor on it. I mean, I
drank kombucha when I was pregnant and, and felt great. Actually, my first pregnancy I really craved it.
And I wanted to have a glass a day. And so I would and second pregnancy. I didn’t want it at all,
especially during my first trimester, I was not interested and so I didn’t drink it. And I didn’t start drinking it
again until later on. So I think if you’ve been drinking it all along, it’s you know, I I did and both my kids
are healthy and great. If you’ve never drank it before. You know, I guess I would suggest maybe waiting
to till later on or just start with small sips and check with your doctor.
Yeah, definitely check with your doctor and and figure that all out. Now. I know there are different flavors.
And you guys have some some awesome flavors, just in the in the last year. I think these flavors across
the board have begun to become really interesting. Yeah, I mean, it’s just crazy. I’m over here I’m in the
Publix market area. We have a huge kombucha selection in in our public store. And so my daughter and
I have loved to like when we see something new like oh, let’s let’s try it out, you know, if something goes
on sale will pick up a couple and just, you know want to I mean, just across the board just really
interesting. So I don’t know this, the flavors, the flavors are great, but also does that diminish the like,
health of it like if we’re not drinking the raw kombucha?
Right that’s a good question. Um, so it depends on how each company brews kombucha for us we brew
one base kombucha, it’s the same kombucha every single time and then we add flavors after that base
brew. So for us, we use fresh juices, and it doesn’t diminish the the effects of it all in fact, is just adds to
it. Like I said earlier, if there’s a certain juice that has vitamin C or you know, whatever it is that that is in
addition to the other health benefits you’re already getting from the base. And you know, some some
companies brew just with different teas. Some use flavorings, which, you know, is it it doesn’t take away
from the base computer as long as you’re drinking a live raw
product. Okay, good. Cuz I love I love the flavors.
There’s so fun. I know. I love how creative people are.

Yeah, for sure. Okay, so you’ve shared with me a little, you know about some exciting news that you
have going on over there at home. So can you let us our listeners know what you have going on?
Yes. Oh my god, I’m so glad you asked this on the show. Because I’m really really excited about it. Um,
we have just come up with zero sugar can do chia, and it’s the first live raw kombucha with zero sugar
that is shelf stable, which means that you can buy a whole bunch and put it in your pantry and then you
know, put it in the fridge when you’re ready. I think that’s one of the things especially now when we’re all
pantry loading. Yeah. And all this stuff. You know, there’s only so much room in the refrigerator. So yeah,
so that is that’s what we have been working on over the last many, many, many months and have just
launched it. It’s not it’s in very, very few stores. We’re just starting to get it into stores. Because as you
can imagine, a lot of stores haven’t been taking in new products in the current environment. However, we
did get it on Amazon so you can go Oh, Amazon and order 100 That’s awesome.
Yeah. Good. And then I guess, you know, before we we close out today, I did want to ask too, if listeners
want to know where they can find him. Do you have that capability on your website to like find a store?
Yep, can Okay
Yeah, you can go on the website and just type in your zip code, and then it has it up to date.
Okay, awesome. And we’ll link up to the website in our show notes too. For sure. And then is there
anything else you wanted to share with us today? You know, I know, we’re just all trying to stay as
healthy as possible while staying at home and social distancing, and everything else. So anything else
that you have to share with the listeners?
Oh, gosh, I don’t know, Amanda, you know, you’re right. Like, we’re all just kind of this crazy
environment. And, you know, I think if anything, what I would say is just get outside and do things that
make your heart happy. Because in the midst of all of the change in the crazy, I think I know, for me,
personally, I just, you know, to go outside barefoot, put my feet in the earth is so so revitalizing.
It’s amazing what that can do for you. And I know that I’m fortunate to live in a place that we have a lot of
sunshine in great weather for all year long. But I know I’m from the northeast, so I know that it’s starting
to warm up there. And I just hope that we can all get some fresh air and get outside and and, you know,
you know, I guess we’re not allowed to say silver lining, I guess because that’s worn out. But my
youngest said we can say the sunny side if there’s a sunny side to this situation. I have certain phrases
that have been banned at my house. Pandemic and silver lining is one of them. But yeah, so get outside.
Well, Michelle, thanks so much for joining us. Today. We are we will link up to him on our show notes so
you can get more information. And then before we close out, can you tell listeners where they can find
and connect with them?
Yeah, absolutely. You can go to Edu Or go to our Instagram or Facebook links as
well. Kombucha
and I can vouch they have some fun Instagram giveaways. So we do ice packs are amazing. I don’t
know if I’m disqualified for entering like, oh, I don’t know if I can enter because we’re friends. But there’s
some great, there’s some great prize packs over there. So definitely go check them out on Instagram.
And I’m so glad to chat with you today, Michelle, and we’ll have to have you back again soon.
Likewise, Thanks, Amanda.

Thank you everyone, for continuing to join us in our healthy family project mission to create a healthier
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