Behind the hyper-modernization that South Korea is known for in mainstream media, this nation of 50 million people is a fascinating mix of ancient and modern, tradition and innovation. This fall, Oakland-based food think tank the Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First will bring travelers to South Korea to explore the country’s fascinating food and agriculture, for an experience rarely experienced by tourists.
Food Sovereignty Tours—a project of Food First—offers the public a unique opportunity to visit South Korea in August 2013. South Korea is an exemplary case of what is gained and lost in the pursuit of modernization and globalization, but also proves that there are alternative ways that are respectful to people, nature, history, and culture..On this nine-day tour, participants will travel to some of the most serene areas of the “land of the morning calm”, experience Korea’s unique food traditions, and learn about Korean struggles for food, land, and democracy.
Participants will experience the striking diversity of this country, from the dazzling urban center of Seoul; to Paldanng, the oldest and largest organic farming region in Korea; to Andong the country’s historical center of Confucianism; and Songnisan National Park, famous for its mountain vegetables and medicinal herbs. Along the way participants will meet the country’s most influential food sovereignty movements, experience its renowned culinary traditions, and explore the nation’s fascinating history.
Guided by a Food First expert, participants will speak with activists who are working to promote a democratic local food system. They will also have the opportunity to visit the contemporary and historical sites of peasant struggles, taste the rich heritage of Korean cuisine, and even take a cooking class at O’ngo Culinary School. Participants will also meet with representatives of the Korean Peasants League (KPL) and the Korean Women’s Peasant Association (KWPA), which are co-sponsors of this tour.
According to trip leader and Food First research fellow Anders Riel Muller, “South Korea’s small but resilient rural sector has garnered recent international attention for its commitment to food sovereignty. This tour experience will provide a rare opportunity to understand a complex mix of issues, including native seed preservation, local food, cooperative production, democracy, and women’s rights.”
The Food Sovereignty Tour to South Korea will take place from August 24 to September 1, 2013. Partial scholarships are available for qualified applicants on a first-come, first served basis.The mission of Food Sovereignty Tours is to build the global movement for food sovereignty through solidarity travel and immersion learning. Food Sovereignty Tours is a project of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, called one of the country’s “most established food think tanks” by the New York Times. The program also leads international delegations to Bolivia, Mexico, Italy, the Basque Country and more.
Tour registration is open to the public.
To learn more, visit the Food Sovereignty Tours website: http://www.foodsovereigntytours.org/international-tours/south-korea/