Tuesday, March 17, 2009

White House Garden 3-17-09

Some time ago I saw a TV special on Alice Waters and her efforts in California to begin a school program teaching young kids how to grow and prepare their own healthy food. They have garden plots at the school, and the kids prepare, plant and work the garden as a school course for credit. Then they take their produce to the kitchen and go through the entire process of preparing meals (including the cleanup).

They ran another segment Sunday night on 60 Minutes. Ms. Waters is totally invested in the Slow Food movement. She was instrumental last year in a city Slow Food Symposium in San Francisco, where they literally planted a vegetable garden outside City Hall. And she walks her talk at her restaurants. Her latest idea, and I think it will happen, is to have a real garden at the White House. Already, Michelle Obama has shown more than a nodding interest in bringing healthy food to the White House and ultimately to the nation.

A ‘Victory Garden’ is a great idea, but there is so much more to it than having a garden to supplement the food budget. Let’s think about the big, green, energy conservation, being more responsible, being the stewards of not only this earth, but of our own bodies picture. The Big Picture. If we begin with the part we can affect immediately, it would be our health. Taking responsibility for what we eat, how it is prepared, and where the ingredients come from could make a huge difference in the health of our families.

Now, I know there are varying degrees of interest. Everyone doesn’t live and breathe food, but it would be well worth our time to get interested. Just imagine what a difference it would make if we eliminated childhood obesity, and the adult health problems we could avert by being more conscientious about what we eat, AND, what we don’t eat. That’s not even considering the love affair with flavor that’s hanging out there waiting on us.

I’m just thinking out loud. I know it’s hard, and takes time and planning. And it takes a community of interested people, but I love the idea. Michelle Obama, get that garden planned and planted. We need high profile role models, and, as much as I dislike the title, we need Slow Food for Dummies. People like me could think it to death and never get it done without a little basic help.