Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Cure for Bird Flu

And I don't even like cabbage!

From the Honolulu Star Bulletin:

...and on kim chee?
Cabbage: Recent research has caused a fervor, as people start to stock up

Midwesterners are stocking up on kim chee and sauerkraut, but not for parties, hot dogs or Reuben sandwiches.

They're storing it in case there's a bird flu pandemic.

The sour-cabbage craze was triggered by news reports that SeoulNational University scientists in Korea used "kim chee sauerkraut" successfully to treat chickens infected with avian flu. The researchers fed a kim chee extract containing a high level of lactic acid bacteria to 13 infected birds and 11 were still alive the next week, Chris Smith, marketing vice president for Frank's Sauerkraut, said in a telephone interview. The Franks brand is produced by the Fremont Co. in Fremont, Ohio.

Smith said the Seoul report was picked up by BBC, then CBS affiliate WCCO in Minneapolis. The week after the story hit Minneapolis, overall sales of Frank's Sauerkraut climbed an average of 77 percent over the same week last year at 54 Midwest retail stores surveyed, he said.

Although the company had no promotions or commercials, nine stores reported a sales increase of more than 150 percent and one reported an 850 percent jump, he said.

"People are stocking up on sauerkraut like bottled water before a hurricane hits," Smith said.

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