The secret to immortality isn't found in some fantastical, story book fountain or potion, it doesn't come from the bite of your everyday vampire, and it certainly doesn't come from some outlandish story about drinking from a "holy grail" (where do we come up with this stuff?). Nope, while those crazy ideas have absolutely no basis in reality, science, or fact, Korea knows what truly brings eternal life... 3 daily servings of Kimchi.
Right about now you're probably scratching your head thinking "what's this crazy concoction called Kimchi?". Or if your Korean, and powers of English alliteration lag slightly, your probably just nodding your head with agreement and pride, while gulping down some homemade Kimchi. Kimchi is fermented cabbage (sometimes radish or other vegetables) made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chili peppers, and spices. It is a reddish color but countless different types exist because of the varying choices of vegetable, and amounts of seasonings that can be added. However, this accepted definition of Kimchi doesn't even come close to telling the whole truth (and nothing but the truth so help me Kimchi) about this ancient culinary delight.
Where do I start? First, some ideology:
A few posts back I commented about American life being one in the same with American Football, you can not tell the two apart. Well, in Korea they don't have football, they have Kimchi. In one of my Korean history books page one starts with Kimchi, and pictures of Kimchi appear on pages 1 through 3. Korea has a Kimchi museum (see the picture).It has been around for nearly 3000 years, eaten and written about in ancient scribes (probably at the same time). Some stories tell of it parting the Yellow sea so Koreans could leave China, while other stories have it at the center of the big bang theory. It is so ingrained with Korean lifestyle that when posing for pictures they say "Kimchi" to get themselves to smile.
Kimchi is served with every meal. That's right, breakfast, lunch and dinner; Kimchi, Kimchi, Ka-ka-Kimchi, Yum! So if your from America, we can compare it to eating, well, nothing. Nobody eats something for nearly every meal of their entire life, in America. But imagine McDonald's fries had health benefits, there, it's something like that. Most Korean families make their own Kimchi. Koreans consume on average about 40lbs of Kimchi a year, and after some research I found that the average Korean weighs 40 pounds, making them not entirely carbon based life forms but partially Kimchi based side dishes.
Health Benefits:After living in Korea for over 8 months now, I've come to realize that nearly all Korean foods are "good for stamina", so says Korean men. But Kimchi isn't like other foods, while being good for stamina, bragging about that would be like Micheal Jordan bragging that he can dunk on one of those little plastic children's basketball hoops. More impressively, it's loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, fibers and minerals such as calcium, thiamine, riboflavin and iron, it helps digestion, may delay the skin aging process, prevents yeast infections, retards cancer growth, protects against SARS, and most recently, DEATH.
All jokes aside, Kimchi is has been voted as one of the top 5 healthiest foods on the planet. I copied and pasted almost all of those health benefit facts above from reputable health websites. All Koreans and most ex-pats living in Korea end up loving it, and can't live without it. I'm sure Kimchi is a main reason why Koreans are so thin and healthy. That being said, I still can't stomach the stuff... but I didn't want to live forever anyway.
Don't wish me dead like Rachel is in this picture. I'm happy to make jokes about a healthy Korean habit, if I was commenting on the average American diet it most likely wouldn't be as innocent.
P.S. - If you like the "Evolution of Revolution" posting you should go back and check out the reader comments.