Organic Food In Seoul, Korea

What's the first thing you do when you arrive in a new place? Usually, it's find something to eat. 
Nothing makes me yearn for good food like having to scarf down 3 airplane meals in a row. There are endless options of food here in Seoul. Amazing grocery stores are easy to find. My main concern was our families ability to continue eating organic food. I did a bit of research before we moved here and after reading articles about how eating organic may prevent cancer when eating in Korea due to the large amounts of pesticide used in farming, I became even more interested in how we were going to maintain our healthy eating habits.

Thankfully there has been a huge push by the Korean government to make organic farming, labeling, and consuming easier over the past years. This is what I've learned so far:

  • When shopping produce and meats look for these signs:

              I remember them by "go green" "yellow warning" and then "blue is between". 

  • Most Home plus, E marts, and Lotte Departments stores carry organic selections. Walk around the store because the organic food is usually in it's own section. A delightful aspect of grocery shopping here in Seoul is that every section of the grocery store is manned by an employee. English is not always guaranteed so download a translator onto your smartphone. (My Favorite: iTranslate Voice- No need to look anything up or type, just talk into it and show or hold up for the other person to hear/read.) There are also stand alone organic stores. I don't know much about these stores yet but when I find out I'll update. We ran into one on our way to take Sam to the Little Prince Cafe.
    Address: Seoul, Yangcheon-gu, Mok 1 dong, Hyperion II, 1st floor. This is also across the street from an E-mart.

  •  There are organic farms that deliver organic food directly to your door in Seoul. While we were apartment hunting we saw one of the delivery bags hanging from a potential neighbors' door. I was able to snap a picture and find the company's website.

  • Eating organic foods in Seoul is EXPENSIVE! Now, consider my perspective, I'm accustomed to buying all our food in Euro with Germany tax rates and I'm telling you it's expensive. I'll admit I have a bad habit of not looking at the prices when I grocery shop but when we got to the register the first time we went shopping I was taken aback.
    Here Sam and I are shopping/sleeping at the Coex Mall. We found some wonderful packaged and fresh products there.

  • There are a lot more USDA Organic imported options available then I ever thought I would find here. Back to price, the import costs are included in the price of the items but knowing the differences in organic labeling I find the added cost worthwhile.
    Baby food options at the Coex Mall.


    Semi unrelated but worth a mention, we were able to find our favorite cloth diapering detergent at the Coex mall as well!

  • Usually we accept the fact that while eating out we will be eating non organic food and that's okay. We mainly focus on eating fresh, organic food at home and eat out in moderation. I did recently find a wonderful blog post about eating raw, vegan, and organic food at restaurants here in Seoul. We are on a mission to check some of these options out. Once we do I will come back and give an update! I'm excited about the options!

Helpful Links:
The Korea Times


  1. Nicely written. I am going through similar aspects here in Hawaii however I am glad I can read in English. Organic is very expensive here and local even more so. Local organic strawberries were $8 at Whole Foods. Compare that to $3 Euro at a German Farmers Market.

    I did find the German brand Frosch in one of your pictures on the cleaning supplies. It's nice to see these imports and this is how you can tell that they are trying to change to cleaner and more organic foods.

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  3. Hi there, I'm a mother of two and we will be heading to Seoul in April when my number two is 6 months old. I was very happy to see the baby food options you listed in this blog entry. Please may I ask which store in the COEX Mall that was at. Was it the Hyundai Dept Store?


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