More fairytales: Kim Jong Un is paranoid about food safety

The Dalai Lama isn’t the only one relying on antiquated methods of food safety.

kim-jong-il-team-americaEvery leaf of lettuce headed for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s dining table must pass meticulous inspection, and new food tests require the use of microscopes – signs Kim is paranoid about what he eats, according to a source.

North Korea’s June 17 Farm in the Yongsong district of Pyongyang exclusively produces fruits and vegetables for Kim and North Korea’s privileged class, South Korean news outlet Daily NK reported.

The farm was a gift from the late Kim Jong Il to his father Kim Il Sung in the 1980s. The greenhouses surrounded by mountains are known to grow North Korea’s finest fruits and vegetables.

Quality control, however, has never been as rigorous as it has become after Kim Jong Un fully assumed power in 2012.

North Korea’s “highest authorities” now scrutinize fruits and vegetables cultivated in the greenhouses, the source told Daily NK.

“Produce headed for Kim Jong Un’s table undergo a thorough cleaning. It then undergoes general, then specific inspections at a factory,” the source said.

Kim Jong Un'sFood safety is a particular concern for Kim Jong Un and the farm only employs young, single North Koreans in their twenties of good class standing. Nearly all workers are graduates of elite universities in Pyongyang, and they are responsible for carefully inspecting the produce for “germs, toxins and health hazards,” according to the source.

Kim’s field guidance visits, however, have not always run so smoothly.

The manager of a terrapin farm was reportedly executed, after Kim expressed his displeasure with its condition.


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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time