Monday, August 31, 2009
Healthy Eating: A First Lady's Cause
I must admit I'm fairly cynical about politics. Among the things I usually scoff at are the ubiquitous "First Lady causes." Lady Bird Johnson beautified the highways, Laura Bush read to children. Worthy causes, but how much impact do these initiatives really have?
Well, when I read an AOL article today on the White House Garden, Sowing the Future from Seeds of the Past, I must say I wished Michelle Obama well.
Not only is the First Lady using heirloom seeds from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello garden, but she also says that by planting a garden, she wanted to encourage her family -- as well as the nation -- to eat healthy meals and to eat meals together. It's about time someone in the limelight took the cause of healthy eating, and by extension overeating and obesity, seriously. Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee lost weight and wrote a book about it, Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork: A 12-Stop Program to End Bad Habits and Begin a Healthy Lifestyle, but there's nothing like a politician clad in jeans and wellies, digging in the dirt, to bring the message home!
The White House garden has already produced 400 pounds of vegetables! In the future, Mrs. Obama says she might sell produce from the garden at a farm stand outside the White House. While I think that would be a hoot -- how much would a Presidential Pepper go for? -- I think they ought to donate the produce to a local shelter or food bank. Two causes at once!