Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Healthful Eating

A VEGGIE IN EVERY POT Michelle Obama serving at Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington

The television cameras were rolling, the journalists were scribbling and the first lady, Michelle Obama, was standing in a soup kitchen rhapsodizing about steamed broccoli. And homemade mushroom risotto. And freshly baked apple-carrot muffins.

Bush 41 didn't like broccoli.

Mrs. Obama was praising the menu last week at Miriam’s Kitchen, a nonprofit drop-in center serving this city’s homeless. And she seized the moment to urge Americans to provide fresh, unprocessed and locally grown foods to their families and to the neediest in their communities.

CARROTS, TOO Michelle Obama and the White House chef, Cristeta Comerford.

The secret to that creamless creamed spinach? Sautéed spinach, olive oil and shallots are whipped into a purée that is light and delicious, according to Cristeta Comerford, the White House executive chef.

In addition to speeches, Mrs. Obama is also spreading the word through interviews with celebrity and parents’ magazines.

In the March 9 issue of People magazine, for instance, the first lady described her early morning workouts with the president and bared her famously toned arms on the cover. And in the November issue of Parents magazine, she and her husband described their decision to ditch juice boxes and processed foods.

Advocates for healthy food and living want the Obamas to do even more. Ms. Reichl would like the White House kitchen to issue regular news releases that describe what the first couple and their daughters are eating. (Then parents across the country could tell their children, “You know, Malia and Sasha were eating salad yesterday. ...”)

The fresh food lobby at work.

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