Farm to Flight: Korean Air Grows Its Cabin Food From Its Own Jedong Ranch
Sure, Singapore Airlines will allow you to Book The Cook, but Korean Air is stocking its premium cabins with food from its own ranch. South Korea's resort island of Jeju – which, along with Seoul, holds the crown for the route carrying the most passengers per year – is also home to Jedong Ranch. The 3,700-acre facility has been operational since 1972, but today serves as the source for meals served to first- and business-class passengers onboard Korean Air flights.
More than 2,000 grass-fed Korean native cattle (known as Hanwoo) roam the ranch. "The organic, antibiotic-free meat from these animals, and from the farm’s flock of approximately 6,000 free-range chickens, is sent to Korean Air’s flight-catering kitchens in Seoul," USA Today reports. For AvGeeks nearby, there's word that some of the meat and eggs are made available for purchase locally – at a premium, of course.
Fruits, vegetables and even bottled water is sourced from the ranch. Specifically, "three high-tech, hydroponic greenhouses produce more than 210 tons of red peppers and cherry tomatoes and about a ton of blueberries" each year. As for future delicacies? Per Jedong Ranch Managing Director Jongdo Lim, passion fruit and olives.
Officials have stated that the farm to flight method enables Korean Air to "set and meet high quality-control standards that go along with being a premium luxury carrier." It's worth noting that JetBlue, Japan Air Lines and Emirates all either source, or plan to source, some of the sustenance served up to passengers from owned facilities, though Korean Air's extensive use of its own ranch is certainly impressive.