State Department Spending $75K On ‘Food Diplomacy’ In India

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

The U.S. Mission to India will spend up to $75,000 to promote “cultural and culinary diplomacy” by making cooking videos and going on “foodie walks” in major cities in India, according to a grant notice from the U.S. State Department.

The program will use social media to demonstrate the U.S.-India strategic partnership “through cultural and culinary diplomacy,” as well as, “generate increased demand and interest in U.S. foods, and maintain a positive perception of U.S.-India relations.”

It also aims to “engage in a two-way conversation with the Indian consumer, focusing on the significance of the U.S.-India relationship, and the importance of food for both country’s multicultural national identity, to promote growth, prosperity, and trade.”

While these are important goals, the State Department should reconsider the way it’s trying to achieve them.

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The grant notice says that these goals will be achieved by making videos in major metropolitan areas like New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad that “showcase traditional Indian dishes/cuisines and demonstrate where ‘fusion’ U.S.-origin ingredients are being incorporated.”

These videos will include officials from the U.S. Embassy participating in cooking demonstrations with local chefs, as well as going on “foodie walks” to explore local cuisines.

While it’s unclear how American officials going on a “foodie walk” through New Delhi will strengthen U.S.-Indian relations, what is clear is that $75,000 is an excessive amount of money to grant this project.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

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