Food

Airlines growing their own food? It’s a thing.

Airlines growing their own food? It’s a thing. Korean Air recently invited me to visit the company’s ranch in South Korea where they farm livestock,  chicken, veggies, fruit and bottle their own water to serve to passengers.

Other airlines have farming projects underway as well.

I have story – with lots of photos- from my farm visit on USA TODAY’s Today in the Sky. Here are some highlights of the story.

Back in 1972, when beef was in short supply in South Korea, the then chairman of Korea Air’s parent group bought a 3,700 acre ranch on South Korea’s Jeju Island.

Imported Angus cattle got things started, but now the herd is about 2,200 Korean native cattle known as Hanwoo.

Meat from these animals, and from the farm’s flock of approximately 6000 free-range chickens, is sent to Korean Air’s flight catering kitchens in Seoul for use in meals served to first and business-class passengers.

In addition to raising cows and chickens, the ranch also produces fruit, vegetables – and bottled water – for Korean Air passengers.

The water bottling plant at the ranch has been operating for 35 years and there they make and fill cups and bottles of the airline’s branded ‘Hanjin Jeju Pure Water.’  The water is pumped from 1,070 feet underground and filtered through layers of the island’s volcanic rock.

Other airlines explore agriculture

In 2015 JetBlue debuted a large milk-crate garden outside Terminal 5 at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport. Potatoes, vegetables and herbs grown there are donated to local food banks.

Japan Air Lines is creating a ‘you-pick’ agritourism attraction on land near Tokyo’s Narita International Airport that is scheduled to open in 2020. The carrier hopes to add food grown on that farm to in-flight and lounge menus.

And Emirates is having the world’s largest vertical farming facility built near the Dubai airport.  At full production, the daily harvest from the the 130,000-square foot facility should be about three tons of pesticide-free leafy greens that will be used in many of the meals Emirates Flight Catering prepares for 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges.

 

Airport Restaurant Month is back

It’s back. For the fourth year running, HMSHost is hosting Airport Restaurant Month.

 

Taking a cue from the popular Restaurant Week promotions that take place in many cities this time of year, HMSHost is hosting Airport Restaurant Month at more than 50 North American airports.

Prices and menus may vary a bit in the participating restaurants in airports across the country, but during HMSHost’s Airport Restaurant Month you’ll find a featured seasonal menu:

  • Seared Salmon – topped with basil pesto.
  • Vegetarian Flatbread – topped with basil pesto, goat cheese, tomato compote and sunflower seeds
  • Roasted Chicken Breast – topped with basil pesto and sage chicken jus
  • Better Than Bacon Burger – topped with fontina cheese and bacon-tomato compote
  • Grilled Pesto Shrimp Wrap – baby kale, roasted mushrooms, peppers and asparagus served with mushrooms and asparagus

Each entrée is being served with roasted mushrooms and asparagus, crispy smashed potatoes tossed with baby kale and a serving of fresh fruit.

This year there’s also a special cocktail for Airport Restaurant Month. In most of the participating venues you can order “The Temptation,” which features Templeton Rye whisky with a touch of malbec, lemon, and maple syrup – all topped with grapes. (Here’s the recipe, so you can mix this drink up at home.)

Go. Eat. Food in airports is getting better.

Snaps from Korean Air’s farm on Jeju Island

Korean Air’s ranch on Jeju Island in Korea produces beef, chicken, vegetables and fruit for some of the meals served to passengers in first and business class. The airline also bottles its own mineral water.

I spent a day on the farm – and at the bottling plant – for a story that will appear later this month on USA TODAY, but sharing some snaps from the day here.

Jedong Ranch started raising livestock in 1973 with imported Angus. Today the herd is roughly 2000 Korean native cattle – Hanwoo – fed with on grass and grain from the ranch.

The ranch also raises about 6000 native chickens, selling fertilized eggs locally and providing chicken for in-flight meals.

Greenhouses on the ranch produce tons of bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and seasonal blueberries.

And the water plant bottles highly-regarded water that has been pumped from an underground well and filtered through basalt and volcanic stone.

Stay tuned fro more pictures and details from y day at the Korean Air ranch.

Celebrate International Beer Day – at the airport

You don’t need a holiday to have a reason to order a beer the airport.

Heading out on a trip is usually reason enough.

But International Beer Day – celebrated each year on the first Friday in August – is underway today, so this would be a great day to check out the beers on tap in airport brewpubs across the United States.

There are  way too many to list,  but a few places to check out include Leinenkugel’s Leinie Pub at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport, which has self-service taps. Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport, Flying Dog Tap House at Baltimore/Washington International Airport, Goose Island Bar at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Stone Arch at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and some of the others I list in this column about the history of airport brewpubs I wrote a while back for my ‘At the Airport’ column on USA Today.

There are oodles of others – so please add your faves in the comments section below and I’ll start making a list.

Infographic: Where is America's Craft Beer Capital | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Southwest Airlines has served its last little bag of peanuts

 

Southwest Airlines has served its last little bag of peanuts.

Earlier this month Southwest Airlines announced that, in the interest of the health of passengers with peanut allergies, the airline would stop serving peanuts during flights starting August 1.

“Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest’s history and DNA,” the airline said in a statement, “However, to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights…Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where all customers—including those with peanut-related allergies—feel safe and welcome on every Southwest flight.”

 

To mark the day, Orlando International Airport set aside a display case containing the ‘relics of aviation history.’

Will you miss the peanuts?