Cooking and Politics, Michelle Obama Part 2
In my ongoing series on cooking and politics, I bring you more on Michelle Obama and Jamie Oliver. Both of these people strike a chord in me. Both are doing great work to bring light to an ongoing national crisis.
Watch this video of Michelle speaking about the small changes that added up to big results.
I believe that cooking meals with your family and for your family will make our nation healthier and happier. Whole foods. Healthy foods. Tasty foods. I don’t believe anything is “off limits” as far as home cooked food goes. If you want to eat ice cream, make ice cream and eat it knowing where it came from and what’s in it. If you want cookies, bake cookies. I don’t eat dessert with every meal or even every day. I eat mostly whole healthy dinners and lunches.
But, before I go off too far, let’s get back to Michelle Obama’s recent announcement…
First Lady Michelle Obama announced on Feb 10th, 2010 an ambitious national goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight and unveiled a nationwide campaign – Let’s Move – to help achieve it. Making healthy choices. Healthier food in schools. Access to healthy affordable food. Increasing physical activity.
Crisis? Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children — 25 million kids — in America are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives; many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma. A recent study put the health care costs of obesity-related diseases at $147 billion per year. Yes, I’d call that a crisis.
The campaign’s goal: to eliminate childhood obesity in a generation.
Watch Jamie Oliver’s TED talk on his wish:
“I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”
“It’s an ambitious goal, but we don’t have time to wait,” the first lady said in an interview with USA TODAY “We’ve got to stop citing statistics and wringing our hands and feeling guilty, and get going on this issue.” She says she intends to “sound the alarm” about the epidemic.
Obama says she will use all the power of the White House to promote a campaign that will include more healthful food in schools, more accurate food labeling, better grocery stores in communities that don’t have them, public service announcements and efforts to get children to be more active. Some of her plans, such as tax incentives for businesses, will need congressional approval. Read more
“This is business, too. And part of the public awareness is changing the demand, because if you have more and more families that are going to be demanding low-fat, low-salt, easy-to-prepare meals and they start speaking with their wallets … “So we need to change the beliefs as the beginning part of the business model because as soon as they change their desires, industries have to follow and they will readily follow. If more families are packing bottled waters in lunches, they’re going to package water so cute and pretty, right? And make it all nice. They’re going to figure it out. So if we build it, they will come.”
The Food Environment Atlas
Mrs. Obama also announced an online Food Environment Atlas on Feb 10, 2010. The searchable maps in this comprehensive database made possible by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS). To view the atlas click here: http://maps.ers.usda.gov/FoodAtlas/
I’m so glad that people are raising the issue of healthful eating. We need to spend more time with our families, cooking and playing together. These are the important things in life- these are the things that matter. Please spend some time cooking this weekend. Whole healthy foods. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, or even a fat-free deal. Bake some chocolate chip cookies- not ones from a tube. The time you spend, the mess you make will be worthwhile!