Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hansalim, Siji

In addition to nationwide green chains like ICoop and Chorok Maeul, Daegu also hosts another of Korea's eco-giants: Hansalim. Hansalim has been around since the very beginning of Korea's organic movement and has been a key player in connecting organic farmers to urban consumers.

From the introduction on their website:

"Han" for big, one, entire, together: all the life in the universe.
"Salim" for delivering us out of danger.
In accordance with the teaching of these words, Hansalim strives to live together with all of life.

(I promise you, all the new-age corniness is a result of my poor translation skills.)

"Hansalim is a nonprofit organization that has forged a community, united under a common ideal, and begun a movement: to create a world where all life - people and nature, country and city - can live together.

It started in 1986 as a small rice store and, as of August 2010, has formed a community of over 2,000 member farms and more than 232,000 consumers in nineteen regions of Korea. Through the community's direct distribution network, sales of organic produce and livestock within the community reached $150,000,000.

In addition, Hansalim is devoted to reviving the countryside, incorporating environmentalism into everyday life, protecting the earth's environment, and other causes.

Amidst continuous food, energy, and environmental crises, we welcome all who wish to live together, treating the world and its life with respect and dignity."

Sounds wonderful (translation foibles aside), right?* Unfortunately, there's only one of these in Daegu, and it's located way out in Siji, just around the corner from Chorok Maeul, almost inside of Sinmae market.

Here you can find:

cosmetics, supplements, and snacks

rice, grains, flour, beans, sauces, extracts, shampoos, detergents, cleaning stuff

organic produce and domestic, antibiotic-free, or GMO-feed-free meat

To find these and other goodies, first make your way to Shinmae station (near the end of the green line). Come out of exit five and walk straight until the next big intersection. Turn right onto Sinmae-ro, walk south about a block and turn left, crossing the street and walking away from the KB bank. As you enter Sinmae market, Hansalim will be on your right. Alternately, you can head west from exit two of Sawol station, walk across the river, turn left at Sinmae-ro, and then follow the remaining directions above. (Visit this page for a map and a list of buses.) They're open from 10AM-6PM, Monday - Saturday. Make sure to bring your own shopping bag - they don't give out plastic ones. ^^

(It looks like this)

Shopping at and supporting Hansalim can be a little tough, since it's a membership-only organization, though they may let you slide on your first visit. Membership requires a deposit of W30,000 up front. There's no monthly fee, and you can reclaim the money when you leave the organization, or the country. Members receive bonus points, which accrue and can eventually be used as cash, for each dollar spent. Signing up takes a bit of dedication, as the registration office is somewhere near Apsan (4) Intersection. You can also do it by mail: instructions here.

*Silly me, they have an English section:

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