Still, the decision to stop serving shark fin soup at official functions was welcomed by environmental campaigners. Experts have long cautioned that soaring demand for shark fin soup over the past two decades has imperiled shark populations around the globe.
Meals for heads of state and other foreign dignitaries are now used as an opportunity to showcase American cuisine, particularly local ingredients, and to show fluency in the visitors’ culinary traditions.
Let’s consider the country’s natural resources, or at least two of them. Feta cheese, which is increasingly popular throughout the world, is mandated by an E.U. ruling to come from Greece. The country also harvests arguably the best olives for making olive oil. Yet somehow Greece has only 28 percent of the global feta market and a mere 4 percent share of the international olive-oil industry.