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Wednesday,December 11,2019
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When Health Meets Commercialization
This small country is flooded with broadcasting corporations. And TV viewers want exciting and useful programs. Each broadcasting corporation agonizes over how to seize more TV viewers and how to compete with its competition. That is why we now have Foodtainment (Food+Entertainment) and Healthtainment (Health+Entertainment). There are a lot of TV programs that deal with these new contents.
"The way to improve yourself," a documentary produced by SBS, introduced the trend among young people of vegetable diets and eating uncooked food. "Food Channel," a representative cable TV and "Sunday Night," televised by MBC, both present interesting ways on how to keep our health.
We can easily observe this health-food trend on and off our campus.
Recently, Cheil Jedang (CJ), a famous brand of food additives in Korea, commercialized a can of natural air this month. An official of CJ said, "This can of natural air is from Halla Mt. and has been popular in Japan like spring water since the 1980s. It helps remove mental stress and is beneficial to the health of examinees and workers."
Freshly squeezed juices, fruit parfaits, fruit salad, and fruit ice cream have become popular among young students. "Our freshly made juices are quite popular for takeout," says Jung Hyo-jin, an employee of Can More, a fresh fruit specialty shop near Ewha Womans University. She seems to be right. Every morning, university women can be seen walking out of the shop with Can More cups in hand instead of Starbucks' coffee cups. Because they are a healthy alternative to greasy fast food.
Buddhist temple food, which helps to clear the mind, is more popular than ever, thanks to the recently increased appeal of a healthy diet.
Rev. Sonjae, who teaches a course on Buddhist temple food at Dongguk University, informs us of the merits of Buddhist temple food in her book, "The Buddhist Temple Food of Reverend Sonjae."
"Food such as garlic, onions and scallions are banned from a monk's diet because it hurts men's health. Instead, temple food is seasoned with natural spices such as pepper, red pepper and powdered sesame mixed with salt and vegetable oil. Buddhist food satisfies three tastes: physical, spiritual and the taste that enhances the proper flow of the energy of life, called "ki." Her class, "The Buddhist Temple Food of Reverend Sonjae," is very popular on campus.
Kim So-young, a member of the Office of Information Research, said, "These trends speak eloquently of the mentality of the average traditional Korean. Koreans always said, "Health is everything." However, why is this a hot issue nowadays? There are two reasons why foodtainment and healthtainment got coined. One is that the radical change in our eating habits and social activities deteriorated our life style. The other is that TV audiences are interested in their health after learning about certain celebrities deaths."
Star comedian Lee Joo-il, 62, died of lung cancer after fighting the deadly disease for 10 months. The "emperor of comedy" spearheaded an anti-tobacco campaign after he was diagnosed last October with lung cancer caused by decades of heavy smoking. With oxygen tubes protruding from his nostrils, the bedridden comedian appeared on television commercials to encourage Koreans to kick the habit.
"I regret smoking as now I am dying because of it. My fellow citizens, please quit smoking, or you may end up like me," Lee said in a television interview. Because of Lee, anti-smoking sentiment swept over Korea early this year. And netizens are expressing their numerous anti-smoking messages on the Internet.
"Lee would be dismayed in heaven if he saw us smoking. We must quit, as we have seen the famous comedian die from it." "I realized that cigarettes are a kind of social evil after Lee died."
"It is true that most Koreans are now busy with attaining success and attach greater importance to this than a calm life. That is why so many Koreans get stressful in their ordinary lives," Lee Dong-ho, one of the Basoom members, affiliates of Korean meditation school, said.
"Fortunately, we have the instinct of self-preservation. Lots of people are starting to take better care of themselves. This thinking is becoming more popular because people want to take better care of themselves and because of the commercialization of health food," he asserted.

Kim Jung-yoon  sasports@dongguk.edu

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