Friday, December 26, 2008

Obama and the Food Chain

During holiday stuffing season, healthy-eating advocates are looking forward to a trim President with good nutritional habits to inspire an obese nation.

The New York Times reports: "To advocates who have watched scattered calls for changes in food policy gather political and popular momentum, Mr. Obama looks like their kind of president.

"Not only does he seem to possess a more-sophisticated palate than some of his recent predecessors, but he will also take office in an age when organic food is mainstream, cooking competitions are among the top-rated TV shows and books calling for an overhaul in the American food system are best sellers."

Hoping for less sweets in school-lunch programs and perhaps even an organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn, food activists realize that, for the most part, a President can push the cause of good eating by example.

While Bill Clinton scarfed Big Macs, Obama has been his polar opposite. “He’s remarkably careful,” says a campaign caterer. “He doesn’t like sweets that much but fish, fish, fish, some chicken and things with spice,” like chicken pizette with fontina cheese, grilled onion and sweet and hot peppers.

Other favorites include "vegetarian beggars purses filled with wild mushrooms, artichokes and tomato; bits of sausage and artichokes on skewers; bruschetta with goat cheese, tomato and basil; baby paninis or crostini and scooped out wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano filled with knobs of the cheese on one side and olives that had been marinated in fennel and lemon and orange peels on the other."

(For those who want to keep even closer track, there is a web site, Obama Foodorama: A Daily Diary of The Obama Foodscape, One Byte At A Time.)

With his sophisticated taste in food, President Obama is poised to lead the nation in a time of belt-tightening in more ways than one.

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