Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Organic Food Delivery in Korea


My co-teacher introduced me to one of my greatest discoveries yet in Korea: iCoop. It's a cooperative of Korean farmers and food processors that are committed to producing sustainable, organic foods. They sell everything from eggs and milk to fresh fruits and vegetables to cosmetics and laundry soap.

Not only are most of the products actually cheaper than their non-organic counterparts on the shelves of E-Mart, but the best part about the company is that they deliver your entire order to your doorstep, on the day of your choosing. AND they'll send you a text message when they've made the delivery so you can go home and put everything in the fridge.

The only drawback, if you can call it that, is that the entire site is in Korean. (On the upside, it's a great way to learn Korean.) You'll need a Korean co-teacher or friend to help you set up an account, but luckily the process doesn't take long. After my co-teacher filled out my name, address, and ARC ID on the website, and made a couple of short phone calls to give the company my bank account number for direct transfer of funds, my account was active.

There are two membership options: one with no monthly payment, and another with a monthly payment of 20,000 원 and at least a 20% discount on all items. (So...if you spend about $100 a month on groceries, it's worth it.)

Did I mention that it comes with FREE delivery? You select the day you want the goods delivered, select the quantity of items you want, log out, and wait.

So far we've had two deliveries. The second time I ordered what I think is something similar to seitan, which was frozen, so they made the delivery in a big re-usable foam box. The next time I'm expecting a delivery I'll leave the box outside my door and they'll either re-fill it or take it back and use it for another delivery.

If you want any more info about it, please let me know. I'm quickly becoming one of their biggest fans.

15 comments :

  1. How cool is that! Now if I could just talk Wegmans and/or local organic farmers to doing the same for Ashburn ;-)

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  2. mamajonny10:51 PM

    I'm jealous.

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  3. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Thanks for that! We just recently arrived in Seoul and I was looking for exactly that! I will definitely give it a go!

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  4. How has this worked out for you? I've been looking for something like this for a long time. I miss Whole Foods!

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  5. It's been really great. We order food a couple of days before we need it and they deliver it to our door in cooler boxes so it stays fresh until we get home. We've ordered from them a dozen or more times already - we still do some shopping at E-mart for things we need immediately, but you can't find the same quality products that Icoop has. Though this month we switched from the premium (20,000 won) membership to the regular membership - we weren't spending 100,000 won/month, so the 20% discount wasn't paying for itself.

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  6. I'm very interested in learning more about this. I just read an article online saying that close to 90% of the food in Korea that is labeled "organic" is actually--NOT! My primary concern is in getting fruit and veggies that are free of pesticides, chemicals, and GMO's. Do you have confidence that this website really provides genuinely "organic" produce? I will return to Korea on August 1 and my colleagues and I work in Songdo and live in Well County. Several of us will be very interested if we can get truly "organic" produce. Please contact me. Thanks. Tedi

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  7. @tedi - i can't view your blogger profile so i couldn't send you a message. my co-teacher, who turned me onto this site, is a big advocate of organic foods. as the entire site is exclusively in korean, it was impossible for me to do research on my own. i trust her, though, and i took her word for it. she is quite knowledgeable about the state of agriculture and food production in korea.

    do you still have a link to the article you mentioned? i'd like to read it.

    shoot me an email at jonnyontheroad(at)gmail.com

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  8. I've been searching about organic food delivered in every houses, suddenly I arrived to this post. Very true. Thanks to this post. I enjoyed reading, though I have nothing to deal with this.

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  9. Anonymous1:14 PM

    Any idea if they deliver outside of Seoul - or is it only in the city??

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  10. It is not in Seoul - if you look at the webpage you will see a map on the left side of the page, where you can select the province in which you live. From what I understand they deliver everywhere in Korea. I live 4 hours from Seoul, and I had no problem with ordering or delivery.

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  11. Anonymous12:27 PM

    There's an English site that sells the same stuff for just a bit more won. It's http://freshfooddelivery.co.kr/

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  12. You can also get healthy organic foods delivered to anywhere in Korea by going through my site: organicdelivery.wordpress.com

    We just take your e-mail, and contact you regarding what you want. All in English. :)

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. I am so excited to hear it is possible to have organic foods delivered to SK. I am from Canada and I recently moved to South Korea and I have had difficulty finding a way to eat organic consistently. Thanks for spreading the word!

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  15. Anonymous8:42 PM

    I'm an expat and would like to join, but this looks like it needs some sort of korean SSN to join? is there a way around this?

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