Hope Grows at the White House
Those of us with an appetite for food-system reform are licking our chops at the prospect that Michelle Obama will be cooking up some fresh, homegrown optimism this spring. According to the New York Times, Mrs. Obama is starting an organic vegetable garden on the White House's south grounds today. In an upcoming issue of O magazine, the first lady explains, "We want to use it as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food."
Sustainable-food advocate Alice Waters, along with groups like Eat the View and The Who Farm, have strongly encouraged the Obamas to sow the seeds for an "edible education" in their new backyard. And no wonder: Over the last 20 years, we have consumed 50 percent of all fossil fuels ever burned -- 30 percent of which were used in the name of agriculture. Many of the most pressing social, political, and environmental issues of our time -- global warming, health care, immigration, water rights -- are locked in unsustainable agricultural practices. Activists like Waters want to see the first family lead responsible, sustainable lives, thereby leading Americans by example.