South Korea: Land, Food and Democracy

August 24, 2013September 1, 2013

This is a Food Sovereignty Tour  brought to you by Food First/the Institute for Food and Development Policy in partnership with Global Exchange Reality Tours.

Known as the  “land of the morning calm”, South Korea is a fascinating mix of ancient and modern, tradition and innovation. This unique Food Sovereignty Tour allows you to explore South Korea’s world-renowned cuisine and the centuries-long struggle of South Korean farmers for land and democracy. This fall, join Food First, the Korean Peasant’s League and the Korean Women’s Peasant Association for a once in a lifetime experience. 

On this tour, you’ll experience the ancient culinary traditions that set this region apart, from famous regional dishes such as “Chuncheon Dakgalbi”, a spicy red chili barbecue, vegetarian meals at a serene Buddhist temple, and the age-old tradition of kimchi- a Korean staple of fermented vegetables spiced with flavorful seasonings, considered the country’s national dish.

Today, South Korean peasants are at the forefront of the global food sovereignty movement promoting local food, native seed preservation, democracy, and women’s rights. South Korean farmers have also become famous for their persistent struggle against global trade liberalization. In recognition of these struggles, the Korean Women’s Peasant Association was awarded the 2012 Food Sovereignty Prize in New York City.

On this tour you will visit the contemporary and historical sites of peasant struggles that have defined the modern history of Korea. You will also visit farmer operated cooperatives and speak to peasants and activists who are working to promote a democratic local food system that respects the history, tradition, and food culture of the Korean people as an alternative to the hyper-modernization that Korea is known for in mainstream media. Along the way, you will get to taste the rich heritage of Korean food, visiting fish markets, Songnisan National Park, famous for its mountain vegetables and medicinal herbs, and even take a cooking class to learn the basics of Korean cooking.

This Food First tour is brought to you in collaboration with the Korean Peasant’s League, the Korean Women’s Peasant Association and the highly acclaimed Seoul-based culinary tourism agency Ong’o Food Tours. With a Food First expert as your guide, you will experience a Korea rarely seen by outsiders. You will explore some of the most serene areas of the “land of the morning calm”, experience Korea’s unique food traditions, and meet the people of this beautiful country to learn about their struggles for food, land, and democracy.

Program Highlights may include: 
  • Visit to traditional local food markets in Seoul
  • Experience the culinary traditions of Korean food and try the famous regional cuisines of Korea such as “Chuncheon Dakgalbi”, a spicy red chili barbecue
  • Take a Korean Cooking class
  • Visit a beautiful Buddhist mountain temple and share a vegetarian meal
  • Meet with leaders of the Korean Peasant’s League, Korean Women’s Peasant Association, and law-makers supporting Food Sovereignty in Korea.
  • Learn about the historical struggles of Korean peasants since the Donghak Peasant Revolution of 1894 that shaped the modern history of the Korean peninsula.
  • Learn about the devastating impacts of neoliberal trade liberalization and Free Trade Agreements and how small farmers resist.
  • Meet the inspiring women of a CSA cooperative in Sangju run by the Korean Women’s Peasant Association
  • Visit the Native Seeds program, a farmer initiative to protect native biodiversity as well as offering farmers access to non-GMO seed varieties from the US corporations dominating the Korean seed market.
Price Includes: 
  • All in-country transportation during the tour including airport transfer to and from Incheon International Airport, outside Seoul
  • Three-star hotel accommodations
  • 2-3 meals per day
  • Food First trip leader (country expert/policy analyst), local guides, guest speaker honoraria, translators and drivers
  • Preparatory reading materials (“Reader”) and Orientation Packet
  • All scheduled program activities, presentations and workshops
  • Food First membership
  • NOT INCLUDED: International airfare, most beverages, tips, insurance, personal expenses
  • *Partial scholarships are available for qualifying individuals. Please inquire.
How to Register: 

Please register Online with Food Sovereignty Tours

For more information, contact Katie at or call (510) 654-4400, ext. 223

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