Don't Panic! Feel Free to Eat Chichen.

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Due to the outbreak of AI in Korea, there is the decrease in chicken consumption. Concerned about current situation, we are informing people the right conceptions about AI and the nutritional facts about poultry. Moreover, we recommend Korean traditional food made of chichens.

Submitted: July 07, 2008

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Submitted: July 07, 2008



Summer is the best season for ice-cream or air-conditioner sellers; however it is also the happiest season for chicken restaurant owners. Normally in the past, about 30 percent of chicken dishes were sold in June and July due to Koreans’ common belief that chicken dishes, especially Samgyetang, which is a Korean traditional chicken soup simmered with ginseng and glutinous rice, are good for overcoming the hot weather[1]. Contrary to last year, this year’s statistics are not good for chicken restaurant owners because of the out-break of AI(Avian Influenza), commonly called Bird Flu, in Korea. Even though scientists and the government continuously point out eating poultry species is safe based on scientific facts, people still seem to have some misconceptions. Then let’s face the rumors on AI.
1. People can be infected with AI by eating the poultry.
The virus breaking out in Korea is the highly pathogenic Influenza A virus subtype(H5N1). 243 people have died from H5N1 in fifteen countries according to WHO report[2]. However, all of them were reported to be infected while dealing with the rare poultry, not eating the meat.
If you are still worried about eating the poultry, you should know that AI virus will die if the food is cooked to 75 Celsius for more than 5 minutes.
2. There is a Korean, who was infected with AI.
AI was found first in December, 2003 in Korea. Since then, no human infection has been confirmed. The soldier, who was deployed in killing the infected poultry in Jeonlabookdo last April and suspected to be infected, was proven to be uncontaminated.
3. We cannot eat eggs.
People sometimes eat half-cooked eggs. They think that if eating rare poultry is dangerous, the same rule is applied to eating half-cooked eggs. However, the infected chicken can’t lay eggs, meaning that it is impossible to eat infected eggs. If you are still worried about eggs which can be contaminated by touching other chicken or their secretion, it is also advisable to wash eggs and your hands after touching them.
4. My pet birds can be infected.
Since the virus can be transmitted to other birds by direct contact with infected ones or their saliva, nasal secretions, and feces , you don’t have to worry about your pet birds. However, if your pet birds suffer from diarrhea or high fever like the symptoms of human flu, report it to the government.
As you know, chicken is full of nutrition like protein, fat, etc. However, chicken is more nutritious than we know. Chicken has 65~75% of water, around 20% of protein, and 5~10% of fat. Chicken comparatively contains a large percent of vitamin A. And it has rich protein, fat, and vitamin in the internal organs or the skin.
1. Protein & Fat
Chicken breast has 22.9% of protein, by far higher than other animal protein, which is used as essential diet food for the women trying to lose weight. Also its flavor is plain because its fat doesn't lie in the muscle, as well as its fiber is thin and tender. Therefore, chicken is a good source of protein for the weak stomach or the young.
Because its fat is mainly on the skin or the belly, if you skin the chicken, you can remove the fat easily. As compared with other meat, chicken is low in calorie, 151Kcal per 100g. Especially chicken breast has a very low fat (1.2%), and a plain favor. Chicken contains higher unsaturated fatty acid, and linoleic acid in the chicken fat has a function to reduce the amount of blood cholesterol.
2. Efficiency
Chicken is an efficient food because we can intake much more protein and amino acid with the same cost as compared with other meat. Chicken is about 3 times cheaper than beef and about 4 times than pork, while being well-known for higher quality of nutrition.
Then why don’t we have safe and healthy food, Samgyetang, for today’s dinner?
Chickens (600g), 2 cups of glutinous rice, 2 garlic, 5 dried seeded jujube fruits, 1 green onion, 1 ginger, 1 ginseng, salt and pepper. (Adding other medicinal herbs such as wolfberry (gugija), Codonopsis pilosula (dangsam), and Angelica sinensis (danggwi) may also be recommended.)
1. Cleanse glutinous rice and soak it in water for 1 hour.
2. Wash the chicken and trim garlic, ginger, and green onion.
3. Stuff the chicken with glutinous rice and cross the chicken legs so that the rice does not fall out.
4. Place the chicken in a big pot with green onion, garlic, ginger, and jujube. Pour enough water and boil it over high heat, and then infuse over low heat for more than 3 hours.
5. Season it with salt and pepper before eating.


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