The answer to the question is yes, it goes bad if not stored properly.
If you are wondering why do I say this?
Because kimchi is fermented with yeast and bacteria. Yeast produces alcohol which makes your breath smell funny after drinking it. Bacteria produce harmful toxins when they grow in contaminated water or food (like spoiled meat). You can get sick from both of these things even without eating kimchi!
So what’s the solution?
Store kimchi at room temperature. That’s right, don’t eat it. If you want to drink it, then put it into a glass jar and keep it away from sunlight. And if you really want to enjoy kimchi, just use a bottle or jar instead of eating it!
So what about the other questions?
Well, first of all there is no such thing as “kimchi” or “fermented cabbage”. There are many different types of cabbage. Some have been fermented longer than others. Some have been left out for too long, while some were simply picked before they had matured enough to ferment fully. All of them will taste good once fermented properly, but the key is to avoid letting them sit around too long!
The other questions can be asked because both long strands of the macroscopic world and the microscopic world are constantly conspiring against you. Your body is a battleground between the world around you and the world inside of you. Sometimes it is beneficial to your body, sometimes not so much.
Once in a while it is harmful, sometimes even deadly. There is no right and wrong. Most of the time it is just good sense to be aware of your surroundings. For example, if you find something that smells rotten or looks rotten, don’t eat it. If you are in a place with no refrigeration, eat fresh vegetables and fruits that are sealed in packaging. Eat meat that has been cooked thoroughly. Don’t go swimming in stagnant water. It is as simple as that.
That being said, let’s move on to the answers to the other questions. First of all, kimchi can go bad as well as good. The biggest factor in whether it goes bad or not is the ingredients used to make it.
If you use old, rotten and unpasteurized ingredients then you are much more likely to get sick from eating it (let alone the fact that it tastes horrible). This doesn’t mean that you are always 100% safe from eating it if you go and buy everything fresh and just hours old! If you don’t follow the proper procedures for making it then you can get sick. This means keeping it out of the sunlight when not in use, making sure it is fully submerged in its own juices and using clean utensils every time you handle it or do anything to it. (This includes your hands)
Does kimchi expire?
Yes, it does expire but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad right away. It is at its best and safest (and even at its most delicious) when you first make it. Again, using the proper procedures to store it in a cool place (like your basement) will keep it safe for a longer period of time. Once again though, the longer you store it, the greater the chance that harmful bacteria has grown in it making it unsafe to eat. As I said, using the proper procedures should keep you safe from this fate but as with all foodstuffs it is always up to the individual to be aware of their surroundings and make common sense judgments in whatever situations they may find themselves.
The best way to store kimchi (as well as many other things) is in a root cellar. This can be as simple as digging a hole in the ground (like our ancestors did before fridges were invented) or building something more elaborate. The soil acts as a natural refrigerant and will keep your food from going bad as quickly.
(As long as it is sealed up from the air) In this day and age there are many other ways to create a root cellar. Many people have refurbished old freezers or even built new ones that are specifically meant for this purpose. They are relatively inexpensive to buy or build and usually end up paying for themselves after a year or two. (If you slaughter your own animals then a root cellar is almost essential if you wish to preserve the meat without having it go bad before you can sell it or eat it yourself.)
Your last question, about if kimchi is harmful or deadly is completely up to the individual. If you follow the proper procedures for making and storing kimchi then it is completely safe. There have been no recorded deaths or illnesses caused by properly stored and prepared kimchi.
At the same time, if you don’t follow those procedures properly then there’s a chance that harmful bacteria could grow in it and make it dangerous to eat.
Personally, I think kimchi is an excellent food stuff and has many health benefits. It isn’t just me either, there are many other people who swear by its health benefits as well as professional chefs. I hope that this information has been helpful.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Turn to “Bad Koreans” Transforming Televisual Ethnicity by TK August, CH Kim – Television & New Media, 2016 – journals.sagepub.com
Increasing the acceptability of HIV counseling and testing with three C’s: convenience, confidentiality and credibility by N Angotti, A Bula, L Gaydosh, EZ Kimchi… – Social science & …, 2009 – Elsevier
Perioperative outcomes of pancreaticoduodenectomy compared to total pancreatectomy for neoplasia by …, JL Miller, G Ortenzi, JT Kaifi, ET Kimchi… – Journal of …, 2014 – Springer
J-horror and kimchi western: Mobile genres in East Asian cinemas by VPY Lee – East Asian Cinemas, 2011 – Springer