The Bite Blog

The First Lady Takes on Food

Blog,Food Policy & Politics,Local Food

Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 2:09 PM

We’ve been delighted by all the food news coming out of the White House lately.

First, we heard that Michelle Obama presented Agriculture Department employees with a seedling from the Jackson magnolia, which the New York Times reports has been “growing on the west side of the south portico of the White House for 180 years… Andrew Jackson planted the tree in memory of his wife, Rachel, who died before he entered the White House.”

Then, last week Mrs. Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack broke ground outside the USDA offices in the first step toward building an office garden to help feed the local community–and set an example for locals, who the Obamas and Vilsack hope to encourage to start growing their own food.

Next, on February 22nd, before the Obama’s first state dinner, Mrs. Obama invited a group of reporters and culinary students into the White House kitchens, to watch and sample the food being prepared. According to an article published by the New York Times, Sam Kass (the Obamas family chef from Chicago), executive chef Cristeta Comerford, executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses and others were inside preparing a veritable feast.

Mrs. Obama has repeatedly advocated for eating healthy, locally grown and sustainable foods, saying, “My kids are more inclined to try different vegetables if they are fresh and local and delicious.”

Hey, keeping the First Family healthy and on their toes is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.


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