Two months of public protests over US beef imports have sent South Korea’s consumers looking for meat-free alternatives for their meals.
Some vegetarian restaurants have reported a doubling in their customer numbers since the readmission of US beef into the country was confirmed in June.
US meat was originally banned in 2003 following a spate of BSE scares. South Korean consumers have expressed concerns that the human-affecting form, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, could be caught from eating infected beef.
These concerns have led to a surge in vegetable sales, according to KBS TV, with one Seoul market reporting a 14 per cent increase in sales over the past month.
Extra safeguards set up to ensure that the imported beef is free of disease have failed to stop protesters campaigning against the deal.