the beef on US beef

The hottest issue in Korea now is on the importation of US beef, as part of the Korea-US FTA. My husband has been sleeping late lately watching all the debates and documentaries on TV regarding this subject.
Koreans (not sure if they are the majority or minority) are against the importation of US beef due to mad cow disease. They argue that it is really the reason since they import Australian beef. Candle-light protests have been held since the beginning of May. My husband and I even attended one held last Saturday, May 10th. I asked him to go to the Hi Seoul Festival, and he agreed provided that we go to the protest. What a compromise!
I’m not really mad about the importation of US beef. What I have a beef on is the maddening prices of the meat in Korea. I’m a beef eater eversince I could remember. We lived near the US bases in the Philippines and my mother would sometimes ask her US military friends to buy prime cuts for me. And that’s why I look like I need diet pills. I thought that importing would somehow lower the prices here, then I could enjoy the great “han-u” 😉
Read also about the Anti-Korean protest by US cows.


  1. Most of my western friends have this notion that Filipinos love meat and eat very little vegetables, maybe its true especially if you look at the menu’s of most restaurants and fastfood courts in the Philippines consists mostly of meat. I’ve been trying to change my diet to include more veggies and it isn’t hard to do that in Korea.

  2. I heard about this from my friend. She said part of the reason this is such a big deal is the age of the meat: the tolerance allowed is much older than what the US allows, which means most-likely all Korea will get is expired meat.

  3. i hope koreans will fight for this. importing beef from the US is a big mistake. i live in the states and strictly avoid consuming US beef with a passion. Their beef is not even as good as the ones we have in Philippines. The texture is tough.
    Consider Australian or Argentina imports. Beef that REALLY graze grasses, free to roam in huge acres of grassland.
    If you only see videos of how horrible and inhumane cows are treated in cow farms across US you wouldn’t want to touch another US beef import again.

  4. @Emil >> i’d consider myself semi-vegetarian… i only consume meat whenever we have samgyeopsal or moksal… problem is, i almost always have a sick stomach after eating veggies…
    @AzureWolf >> that is nasty!
    @superwool >> my son enjoyed watching your videos… i like korean beef but it’s just soooo expensive… so hopefully that with more imports, it would a lot more affordable 🙂

  5. i read in koreanwiz news articles about gullibility of koreans re:us beef issue. there was an article about koreans being genetically susceptible to mad cow disease which was proven to be without factual basis. i think koreans are just being protective of their own very small korean cattle industry. however there some dissenting opinion , one of which was how come there has been no korean-american who has caught mad cow disease in the u.s. last sunday in ‘starweek’,supplement of ‘the philippine star’ lydia castillo wrote about her shopping in dajeon. she says that beef in seoul is outrageously priced i.e. $69.00for 100gms of beef which is not even wangyu or kobe variety. i think koreans are just overreacting because once u.s. beef imports hit the markets, korean beef prices will be pushed down and therefore affect the smalltime cattle owners. one thing i noticed about koreans, it’s ok if people around the world particularly the u.s.(biggest market in the world) buy samsung, lg electronics, hyundae, hanjin ships, korean dramas and movies but quite different when you open their market for something else. remember the big brouhaha about lifting restrictions on foreign movies because they feel their film industry needs protection? i am still a fan of korean dramas/movies but when i read about it, i thought how can they be so parochial about these things. you cannot have your cake and eat it too. during the height of popularity of kdramas here in manila, there were some people who thought that these imports are harming our own local industry and rightly so. annette gozon(daughter of gma7’s felipe gozon and president of gma films) said that an imported kdrama costs only a quarter of locally produced teledrama . and advertising rates are the same. advertisers are not nationalistic, they advertise on any show whether local or imported as long as they rate(which is the case for ‘fullhouse’,’coffee prince’,’kim sam soon’).

  6. @ellen >> the problem with Koreans is that they only speak and understand Korean… their only source of information is what is available in Korean… i’d realized this after so much frustration at having rational conversations with my sisters-in-law and other korean acquaintances… it’s so difficult to argue with them too… they believe their media so much… and whoever gets to their minds first wins! know what i mean? if media A already said that something is so harmful to them, they’d believe media A even if they used tricks… no explanation/research from media B or C could undo the harm done by media A…
    when i was pregnant… and we had dinner at a raw fish restaurant… i refused to eat raw fish and i said it’s because of listeria… just because they haven’t heard it from the media, they wouldn’t believe it’s harmful for a pregnant woman to eat raw fish… and when i had my son, they truly insisted on doing things the korean way… because that’s the only way they know works and it gets handed down from generation to generation… i had to explain that i’m filipino… i know i wouldn’t suffer from fan death like koreans would… LOL!
    with my korean friends/acquaintances, i could only talk to them about shallow topics like laundry, parenting (which i avoid because of differing views), cooking… make-up (they like this topic) and fashion (which i also avoid bec nothing fits me here)

  7. hi,
    i am in uni,
    and recently have been asked to critique on the recent news of Korea and US and the ‘beef situation’,
    because i am not in Korea, or the states, it has been SO HARD to track, see and understand what has been happening to even get a good idea to write an essay on ‘what is going on/happening’; reading bits of what you wrote and even the replies that came to you gave me SOME help, though it would not be enough for a uni paper..
    i need to know how the Americans think, how Korean’s generally feel, what the Govt (Korea) is doing and America (Govt) replies…sigh.
    very hard.
    im not even Korean/American.
    (and the paper is 2000 WORDS LONG, how to find so many words !!!)
    i just hope i can get a fair idea enough and then write my paper on it..
    i have looked all over, BBC news, CNN, Reuters, Korean local Newspaper…
    ashamed i must say even after all these effort, i still cant get a clear picture..i dont know why the Koreans are angry. is it because the beef is bad?
    if the beef is bad,
    it MUST NOT, CAN not be eaten in the first place, even to give to human should have to eat them.
    but if it is really so bad, how come the States get to sell them, the Koreans buy them too, if it is so bad, States wont sell right…Korean also wont buy…
    i dont understand why there is a protest.
    unless you are telling me someone is forcing the Koreans to eat bad beef,
    then i would stand up too and protest cos no body should be able to be forced to eat bad things/poison.
    but i dont understand,
    is the States beef bad?
    what is the issue/fight here,
    is it because the ban was lifted and beef was allowed to crossed your gates once more and you are offended because you (Korea locals) were not asked in the first place…? then beef is not the problem, someone being rude and did not ask your permission is the problem…
    but i dont understand.
    this is a very difficult assignment of 2000 words.
    =( honest, but handicapped student (i really want to do well/understand…
    but i just cant/dont!)

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