As an Obama fan, I was super excited to see the appointment of Sam Kass, former private chef to the Obamas and a sustainability advocate, to the White House kitchen staff back in January. I was even more excited to see Michelle Obama break ground on the first White House organic garden last week as well. It’s planned that the garden will provide vegetables and fruits for White House meals, both personal and for more formal occasions, but Mrs. Obama gave a greater purpose for building the garden – bringing recognition to the importance of healthy eating within the country’s communities.
“My hope,” the first lady said in an interview in her East Wing office, “is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”
While I’m certainly an organics fan myself, I’m curious just how much influence the personal eating habits of the Obamas really influence the personal eating habits of the American people. I try to buy organics whenever possible, but much of the country is suffering from the abysmal economy, and with the price of organic items much higher than traditional food stuffs, many are unable to financially swing the weekly organic purchase. For most, the option to break ground on an organic garden in the backyard isn’t available either.
I’m encouraged by the development of the garden, but I hope even more so that the Obama administration can really bring organics into the spotlight for every American by invoking new initiatives supporting the consumption of organics across the nation, regardless of financial capability, location, etc.
I’d like to see…
…reformation of public school lunch programs, with greater government backing for utilization of green energy, biodegradables, organics, and local food producers.
…reformation of federal regulations on the production and distribution of organics, with stricter requirements for the ‘organic’ label.
…development of better programs and incentives for organic farmers.
Good on ya, Obamas! Here’s hoping you keep up the good work!