Our hats are off to First Lady Michelle Obama for accomplishing the impossible. After over 40 years of having not eaten a vegetable, Jay Leno managed to be talked into trying veggie pizza and sweet potato fries. Though he didn't seem too convinced about the first two items, he certainly loved the White House honey she brought him. I have to say, Michelle, I'm surprised you're not a fan of beets! Maybe you should try them in chocolate cake.
This afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama will be joined by corporate chiefs from Walmart, Walgreens, Supervalu, and other national and regional chains to announce a new initiative to open or expand more than 1,500 retail stores in an effort to bring healthier food to underserved areas. It's the latest push in Obama's Let's Move! campaign to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity.
These changes, according to the Domestic Policy Council, will affect 9.5 million people and could create as many as tens of thousands of new jobs. As part of the campaign, Walmart will open 275 to 300 stores in food deserts between now and 2016 and continue its efforts to make premium, healthful foods like whole wheat pasta more affordable for low-income shoppers. Walgreens will expand its fresh fruit and vegetable offerings, among other nutritious options, to at least 1,000 stores.
The USDA defines a "food desert" as a place where 33 percent or 500 people (whichever is less) live more than a mile from a grocery store in an urban area, or more than 10 miles away in a rural area. Currently, 23.5 million Americans — 6.5 million of them children — live in low-income areas that are less likely to have affordable, wholesome foods.
How exciting that fruits and vegetables will soon be available in low-income retailers — drugstores, even — across the country. Still, it's hard not to question the incentives of America's retail giants. What do you think of the announcement?
- The White House releases its report on the well-being of US women — White House
- Women in India are turning to vigilante justice — Double X
- New Bible translation removes dirty words — Nerve
- Supreme Court approves protests at military funerals — Huffington Post
- Snooki talks Jersey Shore, her plans for an empire — Rolling Stone
- John Galliano is headed to rehab — Fashionologie
- Anne Hathaway and James Franco "hate each other" — US Weekly
- Apple is holding an iPad 2 event today — GeekSugar
- Justin Bieber celebrates his 17th birthday — PopSugar
Tonight at the White House, chefs Cristeta Comerford and Bill Yosses are cooking up a special state dinner. Although the official menu has yet to be released, it is said that the Chinese delegation and the Obamas will dine on food that is "quintessentially American." But what exactly does that mean?
When I lived in Spain and people asked me to make "American food," I always served fried chicken and macaroni and cheese, so I guess that's what I consider to be the United States' signature dish. However, it's hard to pick just one dish, as pizza, burgers, and Caesar salads also come to mind. Which foods do you think are all-American? Please share with us below!
Source: Flickr User stu_spivack
Turkeys strutted their stuff in front of President Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and a small crowd gathered in the White House's Rose Garden today for the annual Thanksgiving pardoning. He eventually plucked this fluffy bird named Apple from the bunch.
According to the government, over half of Americans don't seek out the preventative care that most doctors and public health officials recommend. In an effort to reduce preventable and expensive long-term health problems, the White House has issued new rules requiring health insurance companies to provide access to routine preventative care at no cost to members. Included in the new rules are procedures like cancer screenings, diabetes and cholesterol tests, routine vaccinations, prenatal care, and well baby and child checkups. Additionally, the administration is working on a supplemental list of preventative care services for women. The new regulations, which will not allow deductibles or co-pays toward included procedures, apply to new health plans as of September 23, or existing health plans that make major changes to their policies. The new requirements could raise insurance premiums an average of 1.5 percent.
Exact details surrounding the included services are a bit gray. Even the official White House site doesn't contain a definitive list of included services, which leads me to believe that the exact list of procedures may be able to be determined by individual insurance companies within the guidelines set by the government.
First Lady Michelle Obama has been working on her Let's Move! campaign for some time now. Last Friday, June 4, she kicked off a new part of the initiative, the Chefs Move! to Schools program, which encourages chefs to pair with local schools to provide cooking and nutrition advice. Despite the stagnant, 90-degree weather, more than 500 hundred participants, clad in their chef's whites, gathered on the South Lawn of the White House. Among those who attended? Media mogul Rachael Ray, Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio, Iron Chef Cat Cora, nutritionist Ellie Krieger, and chefs Marcus Samuelsson and José Andrés.
“Children consume as many as half of their daily calories at school, and with more than 31 million children participating in the National School Lunch Program and more than 11 million participating in the National School Breakfast Program, good nutrition at school is more important than ever,” Mrs. Obama said in her remarks. “Chefs have tremendous power as leaders on this issue because of their deep knowledge of food and nutrition and their ability to deliver these messages in a fun and delicious way and I want to thank them for joining the Chefs Move to Schools campaign.”
Check out the first lady's (somewhat lengthy) address, and pictures of who was there, after the jump.
On June 4, at the South Lawn of the White House, Michelle Obama will officially launch the new Chefs Move to Schools Program, a call to action for the nation's chefs to partner with local schools, giving cooking and nutrition advice to educators, parents, and kids.
Chefs Move to Schools is a part of the First Lady's larger Let's Move! campaign to fight childhood obesity. The initiative, which Mrs. Obama and Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass announced on May 13, plans to match chefs with nearby schools. Hoping to spread the word, the administration has also employed the help of respected professional organizations such as the IACP and National Restaurant Association.
I was really bowled over by the success of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and believe this similar concept has a lot of promise, especially with its grassroots approach. Are you excited about the new program?
What's new with the White House garden following its fame on Iron Chef America? A video recently released by the White House reveals some interesting facts that you may not have guessed. Despite two huge blizzards and over two feet of snow, the garden survived the Winter to yield spinach, turnips, arugula, lettuce, and carrots.
Top White House garden tender Sam Kass attributed this past Winter's success to plastic hoophouses, which trapped daytime heat to prevent freezing at night. He also revealed that the Spring garden will produce leeks, garlic, and peas, and that the garden is being expanded at the request of First Lady Michelle Obama. Learn more, after the jump.
Presidential party planner Desiree Rogers has announced that she will quit her job as White House Social Secretary next month. The Harvard MBA and good friend of the Obamas says she will "explore opportunities in the corporate world." While a replacement is already waiting in the
west wings, I'm curious if any of you party girls think it sounds like a cool gig. Organizing official social events like the White House luau or the annual Easter egg roll would be on your plate, along with keeping party crashers away from state dinners. Would you want the job?