The Origin of Kimchi:
In ancient Korea, there lived a young spiritual practitioner who studied under an enlightened master and attended to the needs of his teacher. In order to serve food to his teacher, he raised crops in the field and gathered wild fruits from the mountains. He was very devoted to his teacher and his sole wish was to serve his teacher well.
He knew that radish was very nutritious and thought about how he could use radish to prepare food for his teacher. He cut the radish into thin slices at first. He soaked them in water and added salt. He then floated flower petals on the water. His attempt to soak them in water just produced sharp and bitter taste for the radish. Then he tried salting the slices of radish first, but it did not taste good either. Finally, he put them in an earthen jar and let it sit for about 20 days to a month, fermenting it. That was how Kimchi first came into existence. People later put more flavor to it and used cabbage to make various types of kimchi.
Many nutrition experts have deemed Kimchi to be one of the top health foods in the world. Kimchi is prepared by fermenting vegetables that are seasoned with red pepper, garlic, green onion, ginger, and other ingredients. Kimchi contains a large amount of vitamin C and beta carotene, as well as substantial amounts of protein, calcium, and vitamins A, B1 and B2. Well-fermented Kimchi contains healthy bacteria that suppresses the growth of harmful bacteria and protects the body from diseases. Health experts have reported that Kimchi may prevent SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and may also function as a potential guardian against the Avian Bird Flu Pandemic. According to a BBC report, scientists in Seoul declared that 11 of 13 infected chickens started to recover from the avian flu after being fed an extract of Kimchi.
Last year, KAERI (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) concluded an agreement with the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center to develop “Space Kimchi.” In zero gravity, the air does not move and astronauts cannot smell, so their sense of taste, too, is dramatically reduced. Space kimchi is expected to be of great help in stimulating astronauts’ appetite with its zest and spices. In addition, it is effective in promoting the intestinal functions, which tend to be somewhat sluggish in space, with abundant fiber.