- President Donald Trump, who is a fan of beef and fast food, is visiting India, where cows are sacred among Hindus, the country’s majority population.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is hosting the president and first lady Melania Trump, is vegetarian.
- An unnamed source who has eaten with the president multiple times told CNN, “I have never seen him eat a vegetable.” This sparks a question: What will Trump eat while in India?
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President Donald Trump, a lover of beef, fast food, and, of course, ketchup, is in the middle of a trip to India, where cows are sacred in Hinduism, the country’s most prominent religion.
Moreover, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is hosting the president and first lady Melania Trump, is vegetarian.
The India tour includes much fanfare during stops in the capital city of Delhi, Agra (where the Taj Mahal is), and Modi’s home state of Gujarat, where he previously served as chief minister. The visit also includes a massive “Namaste Trump” rally at the largest cricket stadium, Sardar Patel Stadium near Ahmedabad; a visit to the Taj Mahal; and several meals, including a lavish spread at Rashtrapati Bhavan, India’s presidential palace.
And that’s where the issue arises.
Trump’s widely publicized diet typically includes burgers, meat loaf, and well-done steaks.
An unnamed source who has eaten with Trump multiple times told CNN, “I have never seen him eat a vegetable.” The source said the president would infrequently eat a salad, but meat is his clear preference.
Other countries, such as Singapore and Saudi Arabia, have tried to cater to Trump’s palate during official visits, going so far as to serve lamb and other meat alternatives if beef is not available. However, that’s unlikely to happen in India — even if Trump’s aides intervene to try and keep the president comfortable. Spicy or unfamiliar foods and vegetarian meals have the opposite effect on him, according to CNN.
“I don’t know what he’s going to do in this case. They don’t serve cheeseburgers,” an unnamed ex-government official told CNN.
Beef has been a hot-button issue for Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party since they took power in 2014. Though India is officially considered a secular country, Modi and his ruling party follow the ideology of a Hindu fundamentalist group called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which has long pushed for a nationwide ban on slaughtering cattle, Forbes reported. An estimated 18 states, including Gujarat, have enacted the prohibition.
That means even McDonald’s, Trump’s fast-food chain of choice, doesn’t serve red meat. You’ll find chicken and paneer or cottage cheese in their burgers.
This predicament was reversed when Modi visited the White House in 2014 in the middle of a strict fast that he was observing for religious reasons. So he drank warm water while others ate goat cheese, halibut, and mango crème brûlée, CNN reported.
- Read more:
- Trump kicked off his India visit with roaring crowds, a stop at Gandhi’s home, and a massive rally
- Trump struggled to pronounce the names of India’s two most famous sports stars at a rally to kick off his visit there
- India hastily erected a 7-foot wall so that Trump wouldn’t have to see a slum on his way to a rally
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