Why Koreans Eat Boiling Hot Soup During The Hottest Days Of Summer


It is a little known fact that many Koreans love their boiling bowls of soup the most during the hottest days of summer, so it would not be unusual to find them downing steaming hot samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup) during an oppressively humid afternoon.

In Korea, they say, “fight fire with fire!,” restaurant owner Choi Mi-hee told Vice. “[Samgyetang] has benefits because when it’s too hot, we eat cold things. Our stomach gets colder but the rest of us stays hot. So we have to make it the same temperature.”


Such belief brings a flock of patrons to Choi’s Gangwon Toon Samgyetang in Ilsan, Korea during the three hottest days of Korean summer —chobok, jungbok, and malbo. It is widely believed that eating the soup three times in this period is good for a person’s health.

“When we eat samgyetang, we can get our stamina back,” Choi claimed.

The special soup is often consumed with ginseng liquor or soju.

Samgyetang is cooked with month-old chicken that fits whole into a bowl. The still tender meat is filled with garlic and rice and then cooked with ginseng, jujube, milk vetch root, and chestnut as basic ingredients with other ingredients depending on who’s cooking. Choi, for her part, includes eight additional special ingredients that she did not want to reveal.


The popular Korean specialty is getting more attention abroad. Canned and frozen samgyetang has recently been exported to and found popularity in China. Like in Korea, the Chinese believe that the soup can prevent illnesses.

Choi insists that while the meal itself may contain more than 1,000 calories per bowl, samgyetang is still a better option than what is available out there.

“Nowadays, a lot of Koreans eat a lot of junk food,” said Choi, “But samgyetang doesn’t have chemical ingredients and is natural and healthy.”

Written by Ryan General, NextShark


Study Suggests Canned Goods Spike BPA Levels — Possible Link to Cardiovascular, Diabetes & Obesity

In a recent attempt to quantify BPA levels in humans after ingestion of canned foods, Harvard University researchers have found that people who ate canned soup for five days straight saw their urinary levels BPA spike 1,200 percent compared to those who ate fresh soups. Is this scary? Let’s look into it more —

First off, BPA — bisphenol A — is an endocrine disruptor that has been “shown to interfere with reproductive development in animal studies at levels of 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight and higher, though it remains uncertain if the same effects cross over to humans.” (Canada/Environmental Protection Agency)

The study that was released earlier today by the Journal of the American Medical Association (November 23 Issue) measured BPA levels by micrograms per liter of urine, not by the earlier researched method of micrograms per kilogram of bodyweight. With this in mind, a direct comparison to the EPA-cited danger level in animals was not possible.

Researcher in the study, Jenny L. Carwile, noted that previous studies have linked BPA at lower levels than the ones found in the Harvard study in question to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity in humans. The BPA in question, found in the lining of canned foods, was highlighted in the study via a randomized study with 75 participants.

The study participants were broken into two groups who ate 12-ounce servings of either fresh or canned soup over a five day period (without other alteration to their regular eating habits). Following a two-day break, the groups switched and ate the opposite type of soup.

The resulting urine analysis showed the canned soup eaters had 1,221 % higher levels of BPA than the fresh soup eaters.

The U.S. Government has acknowledged such studies, but has yet to determine whether further action should be taken.

[via Canada/AFP/JAMA/FoodRenegade]



Souplantation: Buy One Get One Free Coupon

For fans of Souplantation, our champion Foodbeast DO BOY let us know that you can utilize this “Buy One, Get One Free” coupon before February 26, 2009. Apparently, you were supposed to take a survey…but we were told that you could go straight to THIS address, print that coupon, and use to your heart’s desire. Hope this works out for you all! Eat on!