Korean Traditional Farming
Korean food continues to grow in international
popularity, however, few people venture outside of Korea's
major cities to have a firsthand experience with the true origin
of Korean food culture. With Korea's fast moving
economy, huge restaurant industry, and impressive speed of
industrialization, it is hard to think of an area that is not
expanding in the country. Outside of Seoul, the world's
second largest metropolitan area, you can find a culture of
people that continue the farming and food processing of their
ancestors. The majority of farms are still small-scale family run
operations with fields ranging from 2.5-5 acres. In these small
farm villages, kimchi and soy sauce are still fermented in clay
pots that have been passed down for generations. Restaurants
serve local food that is picked from Korean fields the same day.
Think about it!
• Do you have any experience with Korean
• Did your ancestors practice traditional
• Is it important to keep these traditions?
• In Seoul, many restaurants will serve kimchi made in China, beef from the
US, Chicken from Brazil and pork from Cambodia. Imported products are sold
cheaper than domestic products; and making a living from agriculture and artisan
food production is becoming increasingly difficult. Korean farmers have protested
the liberalization of agriculture for decades but the government is continuing to
pursue further free trade agreements with large food exporting nations/regions
such as Chile, the EU, Australia and the US. As a consequence, food self-sufficiency
has dropped to the lowest level in Korean history. Even rice, the staple of all
staples, has seen its level drop to the lowest level in modern history.
• In addition to free trade agreements, a number of other factors have contributed
to the country’s diminished self-sufficiency. Reduced agricultural subsidies, high
debt and low food prices are putting farmers under intense pressure. Farmland is
also decreasing at alarming rates as the government is incorporating more and
more of the country’s already limited farmland into commercial and industrial
mega-development projects and recreational “green spaces” for urban dwellers
seeking to get away from the city on weekends. As a result, South Korean farmland
has diwndled to the lowest levels since 1970.
Think about it!
• What do you believe is more important the
development the development of the free
trade agreement or sustainment of traditional
• What is your favorite Korean Food? Describe
it. Why do you like it?
• What is your least favorite kind of Korean
food. Describe it. Why don’t you like it?
• Fusion cuisine is cuisine that combines
elements of different culinary traditions.
Cuisines of this type are not categorized
according to any one particular cuisine style
and have played a part in innovations of many
contemporary restaurant cuisines since the
• Fusion food is a general term for the combination
of various forms of cookery and comes in several
forms. Regional fusion combines different
cuisines of a region or sub-region into a single
eating experience. Asian fusion
restaurants, which combine the various cuisines
of different Asian countries, have become
popular in many parts of the United States and
United Kingdom. Often featured are South
Asian, East Asian, and South East Asian dishes
alongside one another and offering dishes that
are inspired combinations of such cuisines
Talk about it!
• What is your experience with fusion food in
• What do you think about the concept of
Korean fusion dishes?
• What is your favorite kind of food?
• Describe a fusion eating experience if you