With new cases of Coronavirus infection spreading around the world, attention is being attracted to Kimchi in the U.S. as the immune effects of Kimchi during the past SARS outbreaks have gone viral. According to Lucid Kitchen, a Korean F&B company, the sales event of Kimchi held at the JJ Grand Hotel in Korean town, Los Angeles on Feb.1st was flooded with inquiries from American locals to buy Kimchi.
The orders for Kimchi were mostly requested by people from Asia such as China and Vietnam, but Americans and Latin Americans also showed interest. A source at the event explained that the company even broadcasted local home shopping channels so that people at the event could buy Kimchi without any trouble.
“Although there is a controversy regarding the actual effect of Kimchi on the immune system, there seems to have been a positive psychological effect,” said the CEO of Lucid Kitchen. “The reason why we decided the export of Kimchi to the U.S. market this time as we got the direct request from the local buyer from the U.S. They told us that they were deeply interested in the positive effects of Kimchi on immune-system.”
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Medical circles say that there is no scientific basis for the immune effects of Kimchi. The food industry and academia, however, are paying attention to the anti-viral effects of Kimchi Lactobacillus. The global death toll from the 2003 SARS outbreak reached 700, but there were no infections in Korea. And many analyzed that it was thanks to the effect of Kimchi.
At that time, exports of Kimchi to the Chinese market increased 348 percent year-on-year, which was cited as a “Kimchi effect.” In 2015, when the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome spread, sales of Kimchi in Korea also increased, hoping for an immune effect of Kimchi.
Academic opinions are divided on how much Kimchi can actually affect the immune system, but if we don’t stop our efforts to fight the virus, people all over the world can get through Wuhan Coronavirus.