Thursday, October 20, 2005

I get press releases, Vol. 23: Kimchi!

As we've previously noted, the avian flu is not a particularly light topic (except if you're talking about the mass of the actual flu germs itself, in which case it's an extremely light topic), but that hasn't stopped the world's massive public relations operations from hoping to interest us in a variety of sidebar stories, which if nothing else, allow reporters to be distracted from the dreary thrust of the story, and -- as a side benefit -- possibly write ridiculously long lead sentences.

Therefore, we were thrilled to receive this news release in our 19 Minutes inbox this afternoon:

Scientists Find Kimchi Sauerkraut May Cure Avian Flu
A cure in a meal: U.S. Sauerkraut sales expected to skyrocket

It will not suprise you to learn that the press release was commissioned by the Fremont Company, which "produces nationally distributed consumer and food service products including Franks and Snowfloss Kraut and Mississippi BBQ Sauce." The release heralds the work of Korean scientists, who for reasons unknown, decided to try feeding kimchi to chickens infected with avian flu:

Fremont, OH- October 20, 2005- In yet another indication that Sauerkraut is the superfood of the 21st century, scientists at Seoul National University have successfully used Kimchi Sauerkraut to treat chickens infected with avian flu. Kimchi is a seasoned variety of Sauerkraut that shares Lactobacillus bacteria with traditional Sauerkraut, which may be the critical element in preventing Avian Flu. Both Kimchi and traditional Sauerkraut are made by fermenting sliced cabbage, producing a high level of lactic acid.

According to an October 2005 BBC report, Kimchi was fed to 13 infected chickens and 11 of them started recovering within a week. South Korean Kimchi consumption is up as a result of this report and U.S. sales of Sauerkraut are also expected to spike up.

This does raise a new theory related to our only other Korea-related post, in which we noted that Doosan Bears pitcher Park Myung-hwan had been barred from stashing frozen cabbage under his baseball cap. Perhaps Mr. Myung-hwan was only trying to ward off avian flu with this unusual uniform technique.

That would explain why this same news release goes on to note that

The Fremont Company maintains cross promotional relationships with several major restaurant chains and is distributed in various ballparks and stadiums including Yankee Stadium.
So if the avian flu is the pandemic that some health experts fear, the 19 Minutes staff is expecting to read headlines next year such as:

Public Health Officials Urge Residents to Attend Weekend Yankees-Blue Jays Series

Schumer Introduces Legislation Mandating Yankees Inclusion in Fall Classic
Finally, the news release invites us to
Check out other sexy and unique recipes at
To save you the time, we've already done this, and found the following sexy recipe for (yum!) Sauerkraut Jell-O:
One packet of Jell-O (Any flavor)
1 1/2 cup Sauerkraut
1 Cup cooked carrots
1 tsp of water

1. Make Jell-O according to package

2. Before Jell-O firms, add sauerkraut, carrots and water.

3. Let it firm and enjoy! It's lovely!
Quite frankly, the 19 Minutes staff can't think of anything more sexy than Cranberry-Raspberry Jell-O with sauerkraut and cooked carrots. In fact, we're looking forward to tucking some under our baseball caps this evening.


Carol Davidson said...

I think if you added cream cheese chunks to the sauerkraut jello recipe, and maybe put some chopped pecans on top, it'd be suitable for a Baptist covered dish supper.

Anonymous said...

If kimchi demand is expected to spike, what, then, will happen to the kimchi futures market? I would think the smart investor would snap up as much kimchi as possible on that futures market. There's money to be made from the Lactobacillus bacteria!