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The Campaign to Make You Eat Kimchi

Stashed in: Awesome, Freakonomics, Fermented

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Sublime coercion.

As it turns out, so-called ‘gastro-diplomacy’ is gaining traction as a valuable form of international relationship building and stimulus for tourism. As Public Diplomacy magazinenotes, these countries “have recognized the seductive qualities food can have, and are leveraging this unique medium of cultural diplomacy to increase trade, economic investment, and tourism, as well as to enhance soft power.”

In short, the latest food trend that you're obsessed with may be the result of a government effort to capture the hearts and minds of foreigners through their stomachs.

Fermented foods are good for our microbiomes though, right?

Geege, I love this.  For a personal project I have been writing about this idea of making significant changes on values-based issues without coercion -- and I am not sure "sublime coercion" is my preferred term for that reason, but this is such a great example of how positive creative/genuine acts of sharing can be as powerful, if not more powerful, in areas where people tend to think in terms of coercion or propaganda.

BTW I have tried kimchi a handful of times now in restaurants and am planning to make some at home.

You're going to make some at home for the flavor or the health benefits or both?

Both, they seem to go together in so many cases anyhow. 

If I recall you're a fan of fermenting in general. 

Calling it a "traditional fermented vegetable dish" is not exactly... selling it. Why not just say it's the national pickle of Korea?!?! And of our hearts!

Clearly they need some marketing muscle to help their delicious kimchi seem as appealing as it actually is!

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