This has been a big year for the Slow Food movement, with some high-profile help from First Lady Michelle Obama.
In June, the Obama White House broke ground for its organic kitchen garden (involving local schoolchildren in the process), the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden in the 1940s.
I wrote about it on Slow Family Online, in a story about the bumper crop of home gardeners.
The above picture of First Lady Michelle Obama and children in the garden appeared in the White House blog. Food from the garden is feeding the White House, as well as homeless recipients at Washington, D.C.’s Miriam’s Kitchen.
The blog, Eat The View, offers an entertaining round-up of the White House Garden, and other Edible Landscape campaigns.
In September, the First Lady went a step further, inaugurating the first ever weekly farmers market on the White House lawn, allowing visitors the opportunity to purchase fresh food directly from the farmers who grew it. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was on hand for the opening, and he spoke about the importance of eating fresh, locally-grown food.
Says Mother Earth News:
The White House farmers market serves as a symbol to the rest of the United States that the current administration is supportive of small food producers and sustainable, healthy food systems.
The 2009 White House Farmers Market ran through October and will resume again in the spring.
This week, Michelle Obama decided to raise awareness of the importance of fresh, healthy food another way — by announcing a campaign aimed at curbing childhood obesity. She told the U.S. Conference of Mayors, “Obesity in this country is nothing less than a public health crisis” and said that healthier habits were imperative to the next generation of children. In addition, they needn’t be expensive to undertake. Her campaign will include specific programs like improved school lunches.
You might want to visit Slow Food USA for more information on the Time for Lunch Campaign to improve school lunches.
If you are remotely a foodie or White House follower, you will want to follow the Obama Foodarama blog, which keeps up with both. Given the Obama White House’s emphasis on fresh food and good health, there is certain to be no shortage of news.
Photos: The White House/Joyce N. Boghosian, AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta. Art: National War Garden Commission/US Department of Agriculture, 1917-19.