New medical evidence suggests that sauerkraut may be to Bird Flu what chicken soup is to the common cold. And it’s big news all over the world.
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.
Could sauerkraut be the next chicken soup?
The fermented food has been getting a lot of buzz lately, after scientists in Seoul claimed that 11 of 13 infected chickens started to recover from the avian flu after being fed an extract of kimchi, a Korean dish similar to sauerkraut, according to a BBC report.
So: so far it has proven effective — if you’re a chicken. But it’s still a significant breakthrough. And it may do more than just help ward off that fowl disease:
There is no medical research showing the fermented cabbage dishes have curative properties against the avian flu, but researchers have found other reasons people should stop by the condiment aisle on their next supermarket trip. A recent study by the University of New Mexico indicates that eating sauerkraut’s main ingredient, cabbage, may help ward off breast cancer.
Researchers wanted to know why Polish women have low rates of breast cancer, so they compared Polish natives to Polish-American immigrants. They discovered that women who ate four or more servings of raw or barely cooked cabbage per week during adolescence were 74 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than the women who ate 1.5 or fewer servings of sauerkraut per week.
And guess what happens? Sauekraut sales are now a gas:
FREMONT (OHIO) — The Fremont Company produces 20,000 tons of sauerkraut each year. Kraut has always been touted as a healthy food — curing just about any ailment including intestinal problems.
Recently, The Fremont Company saw sauerkraut sales spike by 850% in some midwest stores. The reason may be found in a tank room where the sauerkraut is fermented. During the process, lactic acid bacteria develops. “The reports are that it’s good for you and fights off any bad bacteria that might be in your system,” said Chris Smith.
The reports came out of Korea where sauerkraut is being used to treat chickens infected with the Avian Flu. Scientists say the chickens were cured because of the lactic acid. Residents then rushed to stores to stock up sauerkraut — assuming it would make them immune from the killer flu.
“People are trying to be safe rather than sorry. Deep down inside they know it’s a healthy product and so they’re stocking up on cans of kraut,” said Smith.
Columnist George Chandler, writing in the San Diego Daily Transcript on Avian Flu adds:
“Even if bird flu isn’t the culprit, there almost certainly will be a disastrous pandemic of some sort in the next 20 years,” said Paul Offit, M.D., chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. “And if we continue on our present course, the U.S. will not be prepared to handle it.”
However, some households are stocking up on a common product that surprisingly has been found to fight various flu strains: Sauerkraut. Retailers in the Midwest are reporting a run on cans of the boiled cabbage after scientists at Seoul National University used sauerkraut to treat chickens infected with the Avian Flu.
“We saw our sales climb immediately as this news hit,” said Chris Smith of Frank’s Sauerkraut. “Men’s Health Magazine also advised constructing a pandemic kit containing sauerkraut because of its lactic acid bacteria. People are stocking up on sauerkraut like bottled water before a hurricane hits.”
Don’t forget the can opener.
I thought sauerkraut was exactly that…