Kimchi Is Not Magical
Kimchi is not magical.
It cannot make you beautiful. It won’t make you ugly, either, though.
It cannot fend off SARS. Lack of tourism fends of SARS.
It will not make hair grow on your chest.
It most definitely cannot cure H5N1 flu (that really scary “bird flu”), and I won’t believe it does till you show me the article in Nature, Science, or Epidemiology Today.
It does not make you a better person for eating it.
Not all Koreans like kimchi.
It’s true. And I don’t mean just kids.
Kimchi is not mystical.
It’s fermented cabbage, for goodness’ sake! Yes, with other stuff. Pepper powder.
I know how kimchi is made. Yes I do. Even if I’m not Korean. Yes. I was told the secret. It was very mundane.
Kimchi does not prevent stomach cancer.
Korea has one of the highest rates of stomach cancer in the world.
If you don’t believe me, just check.
Kimchi will not make your breasts bigger or smaller.
Kimchi cannot prevent fan death.
Because fan death does not exist.
Kimchi does not equal Korea.
You cannot tell the state of the nation by just tasting its kimchi.
Not liking kimchi is not tantamount to spitting on the Korean flag. It’s just not.
Actually, I like it fine. That’s beside the point.
Kimchi will not save your marriage.
It will not help you satisfy your woman’s desires more deeply.
Kimchi will not change the world.
Kimchi will not save the world.
– Gord Sellar, 24 Oct. 2006
Sorry for that vaguely Ginsbergian outburst. I just really, well, I don’t know what to do with the fact that some people take it as insulting that I refuse to believe such notions. Some people think you’re spitting on their nation because you don’t buy the notion that their national food has magical powers, and it drives me nuts.
Who do I blame? Well, isn’t it the press who publishes tabloid-quality articles claiming all the magical powers of kimchi? The only response I can offer is, “Try find something in a scientific journal.” Is there anything at all in any major peer-reviewed scientific journal about kimchi? At all?
I’m still waiting.
October 24, 2006