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  • Super Waygook

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    • March 08, 2018, 07:04:54 pm
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WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« on: October 15, 2018, 07:12:49 am »
I went to Lotte Mart the other day and that is what the price was.

Are these people shitting me, or what?  Do farmers here drive around
in Bugatti Veyrons?  One of my students just got back from the UK. She
said six tomatoes there would be about a pound.

Something is seriously wrong with food production in South Korea.


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 07:48:17 am »
Both above comments, I agree, WTF? Did we all forget the 18-25k watermelons in the summer?

But with the drought and also the typhoon that then destroyed many crops prices are really high and the news had been saying this would happen for a while. I noticed while shopping this weekend that the variety and also the amount of produce in lottemart was much smaller than I have ever seen. Prices also ridiculously high. 


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 08:01:04 am »
I think natural weather patterns are often used an excuse to inflate prices and make some extra money.


  • nzer-in-gyeongnam
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Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 09:12:01 am »
Supply and Demand.

There is a limited supply, and people who really want them will pay the price on offer.

I buy a staple of potatoes weekly, usually 6-8 for my husband and I. We eat potatoes maybe 3-4 times a week with our evening meals. If the price continues to go up, will I continue to buy them? Well... probably not, because to me its not that important, but when I can buy 2kg of potatoes for 5,000w at Homeplus, Emart or GS supermarket then that's okay by me.

Lotte mart is well known to be more expensive than other stores, but they do have higher quality stocks too. If you went to a different store, you may find things cheaper?
"It's better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all!"
Teach this to your students... they'll thank you for it later!


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 10:01:06 am »
I really miss doing my weekly food shop in Aldi  :sad:

I used to think the cost of living in Korea is quite low but the money you save on cheap things like transport is completely obliterated every time you go to the supermarket.



Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 10:34:32 am »
Supply and Demand.

There is a limited supply, and people who really want them will pay the price on offer.

I buy a staple of potatoes weekly, usually 6-8 for my husband and I. We eat potatoes maybe 3-4 times a week with our evening meals. If the price continues to go up, will I continue to buy them? Well... probably not, because to me its not that important, but when I can buy 2kg of potatoes for 5,000w at Homeplus, Emart or GS supermarket then that's okay by me.

Lotte mart is well known to be more expensive than other stores, but they do have higher quality stocks too. If you went to a different store, you may find things cheaper?

Not sure about the variance by location of big box stores but I find e-mart to be more expensive than lotte. I have shopped at both many times. By "well known" do you mean in your experience or that people checked prices and they are always more expensive at lotte? Actually curious. 


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 10:48:02 am »
Let's see, you have one of the most densely populated countries on Earth, with like 60% of it being non-arable land, and is what amounts to an island in terms of trade. It's two closest non-at war neighbors are the most populous country on Earth, and a similar densely populated country. These two countries are as much rivals as trading partners.

Your product is a non-staple, affected by weather and natural disasters and pests.

Lastly, someone decided to raise the minimum wage, thereby raising costs. Want cheaper produce? Vote conservative and not throw money at minimum wage workers and help deregulate things.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5542

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 10:51:38 am »
Let's see, you have one of the most densely populated countries on Earth, with like 60% of it being non-arable land, and is what amounts to an island in terms of trade. It's two closest non-at war neighbors are the most populous country on Earth, and a similar densely populated country. These two countries are as much rivals as trading partners.

Your product is a non-staple, affected by weather and natural disasters and pests.

Lastly, someone decided to raise the minimum wage, thereby raising costs. Want cheaper produce? Vote conservative and not throw money at minimum wage workers and help deregulate things.
If you show me how I can vote here in Korea, I'll show you why the price of luxuries and non-staple food products are not directly affected by small hikes in minimum wage.  :smiley:


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 10:54:02 am »
Let's see, you have one of the most densely populated countries on Earth, with like 60% of it being non-arable land, and is what amounts to an island in terms of trade. It's two closest non-at war neighbors are the most populous country on Earth, and a similar densely populated country. These two countries are as much rivals as trading partners.

Your product is a non-staple, affected by weather and natural disasters and pests.

Lastly, someone decided to raise the minimum wage, thereby raising costs. Want cheaper produce? Vote conservative and not throw money at minimum wage workers and help deregulate things.
If you show me how I can vote here in Korea, I'll show you why the price of luxuries and non-staple food products are not directly affected by small hikes in minimum wage.  :smiley:

I got my voting card in the mail along with my AIDS test kit.
Who is here in 2019?


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 11:05:20 am »
Let's see, you have one of the most densely populated countries on Earth, with like 60% of it being non-arable land, and is what amounts to an island in terms of trade. It's two closest non-at war neighbors are the most populous country on Earth, and a similar densely populated country. These two countries are as much rivals as trading partners.

Your product is a non-staple, affected by weather and natural disasters and pests.

Lastly, someone decided to raise the minimum wage, thereby raising costs. Want cheaper produce? Vote conservative and not throw money at minimum wage workers and help deregulate things.
If you show me how I can vote here in Korea, I'll show you why the price of luxuries and non-staple food products are not directly affected by small hikes in minimum wage.  :smiley:

Touche.

However I do think produce us affected by minimum-wage- pickers.


  • kyndo
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    • 5542

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 11:18:18 am »
I got my voting card in the mail along with my AIDS test kit.
:laugh:
However I do think produce is affected by minimum-wage- pickers.
I was being a bit disingenious: I agree that it often does -- but certainly not always.
 Case in point, most of the foreigners I know who work on the farms in my area are paid either a salary, or at the end of the day. Minimum wage doesn't really apply, unfortunately, especially considering how many of them have... irregularities... with their visas...  :sad:


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1245

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 11:30:18 am »
But with the drought and also the typhoon that then destroyed many crops 

Quote from: DMartino
Your product is a non-staple, affected by weather and natural disasters and pests.

Nonsense, these crops are protected in greenhouses.

In case you hadn't noticed, most ricefields have been converted to greenhouse farms within the past decade. Did the typhoon blow away all the greenhouses? I don't think so.

Quote
with like 60% of it being non-arable land

Look, they were stupid. They used to have the concept of food self-sufficiency here but after they got into tertiary industry they converted large areas of arable land to infrastructure so that ajosshi CEO could make a quick buck. Greed and intrigue is the main driver when it comes to govt. planning.

Quote from: StillinKorea
I think natural weather patterns are often used an excuse to inflate prices and make some extra money.

Its moreso the protectionism.

They rig everything in their favor the whole time so that they can rip of their fellow Koreans. Why don't they let cheap Indian or Chinese tomatos in? because then they wouldn't be able to extort the customer.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 11:39:30 am by Cyanea »
Catch my drift?


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 01:01:31 pm »
I just want to buy one tomato. It's just me and my wife. We don't need 6-12 tomatoes.


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 01:12:48 pm »
Tomatoes are somewhat an exotic fruit over here, still don't understand why Korea insists on calling it a vegetable, but I digress.
토마토s, have never been a part of traditional Korean cooking, otherwise they'd have a Korean name. The earliest possible encounter Korea would've had with tomatoes would've been after the first contact with westerners. Before then, Korean cuisine was pretty much what it is today.

So, it comes down to supply and demand. Koreans eat and make Korean food, most of the country is Korean so tomatoes aren't in large demand. The low demand makes it a specialty and the price goes up.

On a related note, my CT was telling me that one of the biggest misconceptions in Korea is that all farmers are poor. Sure, the labourers are, but the folks who own the title deed to the land (usually the old farmers) have quite a few wons put away... this is particularly true for the fish farmers.

I have realized that fruit and veg is ridiculously expensive here, not to mention of pretty inferior quality. I eat meat everyday, only eat meat I've cooked myself and make a massive order of meat every month, from a butcher in Itaewon. Still, I end up spending more than double what I spend on meat on fruit on vegetables every month, particularly broccoli, which is the vegetable I probably spend the most on.


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 01:16:54 pm »
I just want to buy one tomato. It's just me and my wife. We don't need 6-12 tomatoes.

Good luck with that.
I ordered an ice-cream tub at Baskin Robbins and after selecting my 3 flavours, the server was adamant that it was completely impossible to have my 3 flavours placed on top of one another, she insisted that I could only get them served side-by-side.


  • gideonvasquez
  • Super Waygook

    • 464

    • August 27, 2015, 08:42:34 am
    • Uisung - Gyeongbuk-do
Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2018, 01:18:42 pm »
I don't know what to say about the numbers they force you to buy but the price is mostly due to the heatwave. Greenhouses are nice and used to control environmental conditions for a tomato crop but they have limits. This article:https://www.msn.com/ko-kr/money/topstories/%ED%86%A0%EB%A7%88%ED%86%A0%EC%97%90-%EB%AC%B4%EC%8A%A8-%EC%9D%BC%EC%9D%B4%E2%80%A6%ED%95%9C-%EB%8B%AC-%EC%83%88-%EA%B0%80%EA%B2%A9-82percent-%EA%BB%91%EC%B6%A9/ar-BBNwAnp
is in Korean but explains that the cost of tomatoes have risen as a result of damage to the crop. In particular Gangwon-do, which produces the most tomatoes, had particularly high temperatures in late-July to August. On August 1st Gangwon-do was seeing temperatures of 41 degrees Celsius. Anything above 32 degrees can cause tomatoes to have difficulty pollinating and growing young fruits. The article above mentioned that only 50-60% of the normal amount of tomatoes is coming out of Gangwon-do. Other regions began production late-August and early-September but it takes 70-80 days from germination to harvest for the faster growing varieties.

The article mentioned above that the incentive exists to plant tomatoes and take advantage of the price. The lag between planting and harvest means that we will only see a decline in prices sometime late next month.

TL;DR - Gangwon-do makes a good chunk of the tomatoes in Korea but got hit very hard by high temperatures. They are only shipping 50-60% of normal quantities. This means higher prices until other crops come in some time next month.


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2018, 01:22:03 pm »
I just want to buy one tomato. It's just me and my wife. We don't need 6-12 tomatoes.

Good luck with that.
I ordered an ice-cream tub at Baskin Robbins and after selecting my 3 flavours, the server was adamant that it was completely impossible to have my 3 flavours placed on top of one another, she insisted that I could only get them served side-by-side.

Ever heard of an ice cream cone?

Who is here in 2019?


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2018, 01:27:48 pm »
I just want to buy one tomato. It's just me and my wife. We don't need 6-12 tomatoes.

Good luck with that.
I ordered an ice-cream tub at Baskin Robbins and after selecting my 3 flavours, the server was adamant that it was completely impossible to have my 3 flavours placed on top of one another, she insisted that I could only get them served side-by-side.

I buy by the separate pint. I hate having the flavors mashed together. If I want my ice cream pulverized to a pulp and tasting like a bunch of nothing stuck together, I'd eat at Crapstone.

No, I don't want to dive into a melting mash of Green Tea and Walnut.


  • CO2
  • Waygook Lord

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    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
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Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2018, 01:34:38 pm »
Before then, Korean cuisine was pretty much what it is today.

"Spicy food," which Koreans are so proud of, would have needed hot peppers which is a New World plant. Portugese traders took them all over the world.

This whole proud of spicy thing and foreigners can't handle it has no basis in reality or history. Hahaha


Re: WTF is up with 12,000won for six tomatoes?
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2018, 01:43:25 pm »
Glad I hate tomatoes. If they're not cooked into oblivion in a sauce, they're not welcome in my home.

EDIT: Btw, Baskin Robbins has a special currently running where if you add them on KakaoTalk they'll send you a coupon for 10k won off 3.5k won off a quart of their new Monster Marshmallow flavor ice cream. Normal price is 13.5k won, so you pay 10k won with the coupon. You can still mix flavors, too. Special ends on Oct. 16 (tomorrow).
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 06:22:01 pm by Chinguetti »