This month, South Korea’s capital city Seoul issued a guide to the city’s vegetarian restaurants and options. In order to compile the guide, the city government researched Seoul’s dining scene between July and December of 2020. The guide contains information about 948 restaurants, some of which are vegetarian and others that offer meatless dishes. Copies of the guide—which also denotes vegan dishes and restaurants—were distributed to health centers in all of Seoul’s districts along with stickers to label meatless options at restaurants. The guide was also published online, along with an interactive city map to help residents locate vegetarian options. 

“We planned the guidebook to help citizens increase vegetable intake to prevent chronic diseases through a more balanced diet, and to guarantee their right to choose eating options,” Park Yu-mi, head of the public health department of the Seoul government, said. “Vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise in the country as citizens are interested in healthy food due to the prolonged pandemic. We will continue to create an environment where citizens can access various food options.” 

Vegan labels in South Korea

Consumer goods in South Korea are in the process of getting clear vegan labels. This year, the country’s product certification body, the Institute of Global Sustainability Certificate (IGSC), adopted the global BeVeg vegan trademark to help consumers identify vegan products and services. IGSC—composed of International Standards Organization (ISO) auditors qualified to carry out the BeVeg vegan logo and license in accordance with vegan safety standards and integrity—provides certification services for vegan products, manufacturing facilities, and services based in South Korea. Vegan products range from food and beverages to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles, fashion, accessories, household goods, and furniture.

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