Friday, December 26, 2008

A January 20 Memo...

Advocates of Change in Food Policy Look to Obama With Hope

(Because that title could not be more convoluted.)

“He is the first president who might actually have eaten organic food, or at least eats out at great restaurants,” Ms. Gehman Kohan said.Still, no one is sure just how serious Mr. Obama really is about the politics of food. So like mystery buffs studying the book jacket of “The Da Vinci Code,” interested eaters dissect every aspect of his life as it relates to the plate.
As my sister pointed out, this is a lot of speculation...and a lot of projection onto his identity. I mean, he's already the 'arugula' president, no? (Love the fact that they got the author of The United States of Arugula to quote on the article, by the way.)

I'm not sure if I'm as interested in his kitchen (well, I am, in the way that people are interested in Michelle Obama's clothing choices) - or even local/sustainable food policy - as much as I will be about what he does about kids and food. Might there be some improvement there - or at least, getting junk food advertisements and vending machines out of public schools?

They look for clues in the lunch menus at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, where his two daughters will be eating items like herbes de Provence pita, local pears and organic chopped salad, served with unbleached napkins in a cafeteria with a serious recycling program.
The point being that Obamas' daughters are attending a fancy-schmancy school with fancy-schmancy food, of course. But I can't say that I found it too fancy - I mean, I miss the grilled cheese and tomato soup I had in high school, but we also had cooked-to-order chicken-tomato risotto at one point. Along with the Au Bon Pain mushroom bisque, it was one of the few memorable meals of my high school, though. Not because it was so good (it was pretty good), but because the whole concept of it seemed too luxurious.

I wonder if the Sidwell menu was cherrypicked similarly - but all in all, comparatively nice food (I did get Tazo tea bags at lunch, after all) is definitely part of a college preparatory education. Though it shouldn't be necessary as part of the education, but as part of the $1500 meal portion of tuition. (In which case I always wondered why they just didn't give us a Chipotle burrito for lunch every day; eight times out of ten it would have been more satisfying.)

Also, Harvard also orders organic, local produce - but it's now common for colleges and prep schools to order the same. See 'Major food trends!!111oneeleventy' (kidding, though it really is one). So local pears and produce don't faze me, and neither do the napkins (I think, "Great. Finally, we can get rid of the school-logo emblazoned cocktail napkins that were a waste of money.").

But of course, the question is, when will every other high school kid - public and private schools alike - get the same thing? And that brings me back to the beginning of my post.

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