“Many people outside Korea subscribe to the belief that Korean food contains mystic healing properties. The SARS bird flu epidemic of 2003 made kimchi ubiquitous throughout Asia. SARs raged throughout China, Southeast Asia, and even Canada and parts of Europe, with about 8,000 reported cases and about 750 deaths. Meanwhile, South Korea experienced zero bird flu–related deaths (there were two cases, both nonfatal). Many theories as to South Korea’s immunity have been postulated; none were conclusive. One study suggested that the enzymes contained in kimchi strengthened immunity in birds; some people made the mental leap to assume that this also protected them from bird flu. Through”

Euny Hong, The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation Is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture
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