With reports of growing Tamiflu resistance**, readily available alternatives become more attractive. One possibility is kimchi; Mark Thoma cites a Washington Post story that more people are buying it after reports it may help cure avian flu.
Blame it on the Internet ... publication of a minor study by a South Korean academic last spring has apparently triggered a minor run on kimchi, a daily staple of the Korean diet that the bland-of-palate are likely to avoid ... Which presents a potentially difficult choice given the work of Kang Sa-Ouk of Seoul National University, who took 13 chickens infected with avian flu virus and a couple of other diseases, fed them kimchi juice and found that 11 of the birds recovered.
That is not a surprise. But this quote was:
[T]he National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where callers have turned seeking validation of the idea that kimchi may ward off avian flu... said. "Although it certainly sounds interesting, NIAID, unfortunately, can't comment on the dish's effectiveness as we have not studied it," ...
Why on earth not? Considering a major avian pandemic could easily kill millions, shouldn't someone be investigating this lead? Likewise other products based on fermented cabbage, such as sauerkraut? I would have thought Korean and German health authorities would see it as a wonderful opportunity to promote their national cuisine.
** For a contrary view, see this post by Eclectic Economist.