Skip to comments.Sauerkraut could fight bird flu, say scientists
Posted on 11/14/2005 9:34:46 AM PST by Red Badger
Sauerkraut, the dish adored in Germany but much maligned in Britain, could prove to be a secret weapon against the threat of bird flu, experts revealed yesterday.
Scientists believe that the traditional recipe, which is made from chopped cabbage that is fermented for at least a month, contains a bacteria that may combat the potentially fatal disease.
Their findings follow a study in which kimchi - a spicy cabbage dish popular in South Korea and similar to sauerkraut - was fed to 13 chickens infected with bird flu. Just one week later, 11 of the birds showed signs of recovery from the virus.
"The feed has been shown to help improve the fight against bird flu or other types of flu viruses," said Prof Kang Sa-ouk, who led the research at Seoul National University, yesterday.
Prof Kang's team claims that lactobacillus, the lactic acid bacteria created during the fermenting process, is the active ingredient that could combat bird flu.
Health experts have already agreed that there may be some truth to kimchi's curative properties, prompting an increase in the consumption of the dish in South Korea.
Sales of sauerkraut in the United States have also soared as a result of the research, and now Britain is starting to catch on. Last night, importers of the dish to Britain said that sales were rising and they were increasing stocks in the expectation that demand could escalate.
Geoff Hale, the commercial manager for Euro Food Brands, said: "Sales are very buoyant at the moment. We bring in about half-a-million jars of sauerkraut to Britain from Germany every year and that number is definitely going up."
Sales of sauerkraut were up 20 per cent on this time last year at Sainsbury's, according to a spokesman for the supermarket.
Whether or not sauerkraut does cure bird flu, the dish is said to have a number of other health benefits, among them cancer-fighting and detoxifying properties.
It is also a rich source of vitamins.
One serving, which contains only 32 calories and has four grams of fibre, provides 102 per cent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, 12 per cent of iron and 35 per cent of vitamin C.
Prof Richard Mithen, from the Institute of Food Research, in Norwich, said: "Eating kimchi or sauerkraut may be good for your health and help fight off infections.
"I wouldn't recommend anyone rushing out to stock up on sauerkraut specifically to fight off bird flu, but it may help your immune system."
A further study on sauerkraut, carried out recently by Polish and American scientists, concluded that the meal might be the reason for the lower breast cancer rate observed among Polish immigrants in America.
I'm off to the store!
Can't really tell my wife of 40 years that her cooking is anything less than superb :) Not at this point anyway.
The "Hebrew National" brand "in bags" is available at Walmart. That's where I've been buying it lately. Right above the weiners and sausage.
Bush (the brand not the Prez) sucks...a better kraut brand is Frank's!
Try putting some apple cider in your roast too. Yummy!
Oh yeah, and onions.
In Pennsylvania, we eat kraut with pork on New Year's Day. Grocery stores here are full of pork and sauerkraut around New Year's. Pigs root ahead which is why we eat pork rather than something like chicken (a chicken scratches backwards when it eats). Pennsylvanians will definitely survive avian flu if it arrives after Christmas.
For Those Interested in the Research
of Dr. Weston A. Price
There are many who are not too thrilled with kimchi or sauerkraut. My mum is an example - she sees these as preserved food and will cause cancer. So, kimchi is no-no when she's present.
Try Polish Saurkraut. Naturally fermented and mindly tangy.
Also has the same half life as U235.
Had a jar at home for two years and it was still 'fresh'.
I don't know that I'd compare Kim Chee with Sauerkraut, other than they're made from cabbage. Kim Chee is very hot, although you can buy some milder versions. Are they sure it's not the nasal passage clearing spices in the Kim Chee?
I DO cut onion and I put a fresh apple in and all of it cooks along with the cut up potato, kraut and pork. Mmmmm, good. :)
Kim-chee is Korean HOT-SPICY (most places) pickled cabbage. I love it, too. It's like eating Cajun cole-slaw !.............as for Euro-Sauerkraut, They wash out they vinegar, and ADD a sweet wine, like a Reisling and some bacon or bacon drippings, mmmmmmmm gute!........
Your nasal passage isn't the only one Kim-chee will clear out!.........
I think you need an answer to that otherwise your mother is going to be making you miserable every time she visits and sees that bag of salted potato chips you keep around.
This stuff has staying power.
Kim Chi and Sauerkraut are IDENTICAL except that Koreans add spinach and hot spice.