Stalking the Waiter

Riffing on foods, flavors and methods, that would be telling.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bird Flu Means No Star Anise???

I just read an article online about the anti-flu drug, Tamiflu. It's used in some countries to treat the flu, most notably Japan, which has the highest consumption in the world. There are some serious side effects, especially in children, like dementia, confusion, thoughts of suicide, but...right now, it's the silver bullet health organizations are hoping will save lives if there is ever an actual bird flu pandemic. Scary prospect any way you look at it.

Foodies may be interested to hear that the basis of Tamiflu's molecule is a compound found in star anise. According to the article, "Tamiflu production is now taking up most of the crop."

So, does that mean it's going to be harder to find star anise? Will it suddenly cost $10 for a single "star"? What about Five Spice Powder? Anyone seen any reflection of this in their shopping? (assuming anyone is still checking this blog)

I see that this is my first post in over six months. How embarrassing. I've thought of little blurby things, like this, to post, but haven't done it. However, I just don't have the time to devote to the big articles and fighting the image battle, so I'm going to post more often but less expansively. ;+)


At 6:01 PM, Blogger mrrsngrl said...

Star Anise huh,do you actually believe in this Tamiflu??

At 11:25 AM, Blogger b'gina said...

Hi, mrrsngrl. I'd only heard of it yesterday when I saw that article. It's only supposed to make the flu less severe and over quicker, but you have to take it in the first two days. Which seems pretty vague to me because, really, when does the flu officially start? When you're too sick to move, after attributing your exhaustion and feeling lousy to overwork and stress for how long??? A week? But it's been in use for a couple years, at least, with horrendous side effects, but perhaps saving lives. I'd like to know if the confusion, suicidal thoughts and so on go away when you stop taking the meds. If not, then maybe it's better to take your chances. Let's hope we never have to find out.


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