[EDITORIALS]Kimchi Reigns!It is fortunate that Korean kimchi was finally acknowledged as an international standard at the Codex Alimentarius Commission in Geneva, defeating kimuchi of Japan. Korea maintained the reputation of the "suzerain state of kimchi" as it was recognized as an international food standard by the commission, which has 165 member countries. The food recognition of the Codex is the standard in the international community for trading processed agricultural and fisheries products. Therefore, exports of Japanese kimuchi and similar products of other countries will be regulated based on the standard and no one can possibly challenge the reputation of Korean kimchi. Korea will overcome non-tariff barriers that prevented exports due to the lack of international food standards. The reputation of kimchi as an export product will be heightened.
It is not clear when Koreans started eating kimchi. Scholars estimated that the history of kimchi dates back almost 700 years ago, based on a document from Koryo, which mentioned pickled radishes. Despite the history, Korea competed against Japan for six years to be recognized by an international organization. Koreans argued that kimchi is a food made with pickled cabbage and various seasonings and fermented by lactic acid, while Japanese kimuchi was simply pickled vegetables. Such a belated contest of strength shows how negligent Korea has been of globalization.There are no more fences in the world. The Internet connects the world and allows countries to share information. We never know who will come up with another kimuchi if we stay idle, believing that our ancestors handed down original kimchi to us. The government should come up with a systemic strategy in order to obtain world recognition as the controlling state of this traditional food and heighten its popularity.
Fortunately, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry submitted documents to Codex secretariat last month in order to set an international standards for three other traditional foods. In addition, the government should set standards for other traditional foods and hurry to obtain international recognition for them.