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Living the big life starts small...

The founder of Big Life KOJI Ferments is a former Macrobiotic Chef who cooks for health and longevity.

At the heart of this way of living and eating are foods fermented with KOJI...

Koji is the world's oldest domesticated fungus. Its transformative powers have been utilized by Asian cultures for around 9000 years. Koji, in the form of "koji rice" is the fundamental ingredient found in popular products that originate in Asia, especially in Japan. These include Miso, Sake, Soy Sauce and Tamari. Its traditional applications include vegetable pickling, sweets and various sauces. The three primary gains of agriculture globally are wheat, corn and rice. Each one has been a key staple in their respective civilizations and once established, most people have little desire to change or adopt foreign foods or ways of being. Therefore, very little is known about the practice of Koji fermentation in the West by common folks. The recent surge of fermented products made from Koji is being spearheaded by a small number of innovative Chefs in restaurants across America and is fostering a networked community world wide.


Susan Koch is the founder of Big Life KOJI. She is of Scottish and German descent. Her last name is German and it means literally: Cook. Susan was the Chef at the Organic Buddha in Toronto in the early 1990's.  She was given 3 stars in a review written by the 5 star celebrity chef, CORBIN, who was then the Chef at Holt Renfrew Cafe on Bloor Street after he visited the Organic Buddha and tasted her cooking! Prior to that Susan was a cook and consultant to the Plant Veg in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC and then to FRESH for Life on Queen Street in Toronto, Ontario. Susan has been practicing the Macrobiotic diet and lifestyle for over 40 years. Macrobiotics is a philosophy that means "great or big life". The idea of longevity based on whole foods and a predominately grain based diet originated in Africa. Versions of this philosophy can be found in India, Asia, Indigenous South & North America and Europe over the past 5,000 years. Macrobiotics arrived in North America, and was the spark that ignited the so called "health food" movement in the 1950's. Happiness through nutrition is the foundation of this way of living.


For decades it has been Susan's dream to make her own Miso. As a nursing mother she fell in love with Amasake as it is a naturally sweet and nourishing drink for mothers, children and elders. As a single mother Susan never had the time to figure out how to make her own koji ferments. Susan returned to her home province of Alberta a decade ago with the intent to one day make her own Miso.

With the increasing trend to healthy, locally grown and home made foods and the willingness to try new products in order overcome numerous ills of the standard American "fast food" diet Susan will be launching her line of Big Life Koji Ferments this summer at the UFA Farmer's Market.

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Susan's daughter and her Mother at the ENJOY Centre in St. Albert in 2012. Susan attended Junior and Senior High School in St. Albert in the 1970's.

Cutting Lime

"Koji is a million spores, a thousand knives, cutting up the cells of proteins to make a better eating experience"

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