As the temperature rises the probiotics in the Raw Cultured Vegetables become more active and begin consuming the starch in vegetables at a faster rate. The probiotics then release effervescence as part of their metabolic process. This is the zing you sometimes you feel on your tongue when eating Raw Cultured Vegetables. The effervescence can push the juice up causing it to leak out of the jar, it can make the lid puffy and it can even make the vegetables expand out of the jar when you open it. We call this process "expansion," and it does result in Raw Cultured Vegetables that are more potent with probiotics. The expansion will subside upon refrigerating to the coldest non-frozen temperature around 34 degrees Fahrenheit, because the probiotics are relatively dormant at cold temperatures.
We ship your Raw Cultured Vegetables either insulated (available in standard or premium) or non-insultated (except Live Ketchup which must be shipped insulated). Standard insulation is $9.95 and premium insulation is $35.00. Expectations on expansion and leakage are explained further below.
Year-Round Temperature Shipping Guidelines
Raw Cultured Vegetables are delicious to eat, even when they have been exposed to heat. How much heat and for how long? It depends on a myriad of factors, including an individual's taste buds. Requesting insulated packaging is a simple way to protect your order from heat-related changes that may occur while in transit during hot weather. For orders totaling less than $150 an additional fee will apply, which varies depending on the size of your order. A simple way to reduce shipping cost is to look at the projected weather temperatures for the states between California and the state where you will receive your order, and opt for non-insulated packaging when temperatures are expected to be under 90˚.
Regardless of whether you receive your raw cultured vegetables via insulated or non-insulated shipping method, we recommend that you refrigerate your cultured vegetables and cool them down to 33˚ or 34˚ before opening. This will minimize the risk of your raw cultured vegetables expanding beyond the jar when opened. Even if the vegetables expand, they are still delicious and safe to eat.
Understanding The Perishability Of Raw Cultured Vegetables
The culturing or fermentation process that occurs with raw cultured vegetables is a natural method of food preservation. When raw cultured vegetables are refrigerated, they may be safely consumed and enjoyed for many months. When unrefrigerated, raw cultured vegetables may be safely consumed and enjoyed for a number of days, depending upon how warm they get. When left unrefrigerated, such as during shipment, the natural method of preservation still allows for a multi-month shelf life when raw cultured vegetables are refrigerated at 33° or 34° upon receipt and then stored at this temperature. The lower refrigerated temperature increases the shelf life and minimizes expansion, although slightly warmer refrigerated temperatures (35˚- 40°) can be equally effective.
Here are the suggested guidelines for refrigeration: When the average temperature is below 60° during shipment, raw cultured vegetables may be left unrefrigerated for a much longer time period than when shipping temperatures are above 60˚. When shipping temperatures are between 60° and 70°, they may remain unrefrigerated for more than 2 weeks. When temperatures are between 70° and 80°, raw cultured vegetables may be left unrefrigerated for no more than two weeks. If shipping occurs when temperatures are between 80° and 90°, they may be left unrefrigerated for up to three days. When shipping occurs during temperatures between 90° and 100°, raw cultured vegetables may only be left unrefrigerated for one day. If shipping occurs when temperatures are over 100°, immediate refrigeration is recommended.
Due to the many variables involved in determining the time of refrigeration, we strongly encourage store personnel to think of raw cultured vegetables as being more perishable than dairy. To allow for enhanced marketability and a maximum shelf life of six to eight months, we strongly urge store personnel to immediately refrigerate raw cultured vegetables at 33˚- 34˚ upon receipt.
Expected transit time and temperature for your region
Please use these links to the FedEx and UPS Ground service maps
, as well as this weather map
to get an idea of the transit times and temperatures that your Raw Cultured Vegetables would likely experience if you choose the regular $7 flat rate shipping option. Expedited shipping is also available. You will be provided with the options and cost quotes for expedited shipping in Step 4 of the checkout process.
With all shipping options you never count the first day out as part of the transit time, you start counting on the following day. For example, if it is a four day transit time and it leaves on a Monday it will arrive the following Friday. Also keep in mind that you do not count Saturday and Sunday, even with expedited shipping. We recommend avoiding weekends if possible to minimize transit time and expansion, so feel free to request that your order be held for a Monday in the optional "Order Instructions / Comments" box in Step 5 of the checkout process. If we feel strongly that your order should go out on a Monday we will contact you before shipping it. Please note that for all transit times of five days (most states on the East Coast are a five day transit time with Ground service) it is not possible to avoid the weekend, and your order will take exactly one week to arrive after it ships out. So if it goes out on a Monday it will arrive the following Monday.