From governments to refugees, food is now diplomacy

Isabelle Niu in Lancaster,, December 27, 2018; original article contains a video, “Foodie culture is now part of foreign policy.”
image (not from article) from
Thailand is not a superpower. But when it comes to food, it’s one of the most influential countries in the world. Thai food is not just popular, it’s mainstream. It’s the late-night food at British pubs and the go-to dine out choice of Peter Parker.
But Thai food didn’t magically become popular. Since 2002, the government has been promoting its food overseas through a multifaceted campaign. The strategy has been so successful that it inspired a new trend in foreign policy: gastrodiplomacy.
Countries including South Korea, Lebanon, Peru, Malaysia and Vietnam have launched their own gastrodiplomacy campaigns, using food to extend cultural influence, boost tourism, and promote agricultural exports.
And food isn’t just a diplomatic tool for governments. There’s a new kind of gastrodiplomacy on the rise, one that’s led by peop..