Six Degrees of Everything Obama Eats

Food advocates are beginning to imagine just how much influence a food-focused Obama could have when he takes office:

A chef who cooks local and organic food and picks some of it from a presidential garden could change things faster than any cabinet appointment, [Gourmet editor Ruth] Reichl said.

“It’s like the hat manufacturers being furious because J. F. K. didn’t wear a hat, and suddenly everyone in America stopped wearing hats,” she said. “It’s that simple.”

Today, the New York Times pondered (article) whether or not our President Elect is considering food as a top priority. Given the vehemence with which food thinkers have been arguing that food is central to all of our nation’s woes (just look at Michael Pollan’s letter to the President), it’s worth checking in on how Obama’s early actions may foretell his future stance on food policy. The verdict? Not so bright, if you focus on Tom Vilsack’s appointment to Secretary of Agriculture and Obama’s stated support of corn-based ethanol, but reassuring signs persist when it comes to hunger and promoting healthy foods. As the article points out, the increased American awareness of food could mean that Obama will be primed to be receptive once the food community gains his ear.

But even if Vilsack’s nomination was a disappointment, there is one blog that can find a tasty lining to every Obama-related news bite. Obama Foodorama (an off-shoot of The Haphazard Gourmet) operates on an “everything-converges-with-food” approach to Presidential news. Whether they’re speculating on the Obama’s possible Hawaiian meals,  scanning the writing of Inaugural Poet Elizabeth Alexander for food metaphors, or reporting on the future of school lunches (both for the Obama girls and the rest of the nation’s children), the Foodorama makes sure we never go hungry for politico-gastronomic news.

Thanks for sharing

  1. Eddie Gehman Kohan
    Eddie Gehman Kohan12-26-2008

    Hello–
    While I appreciate the mention of Obama Foodorama, I’d like to point out that it’s NOT all fun & foodie games on the blog. I’m a sustainability-minded Slow locavore who is a raving critic of FDA/USDA policy, an activist on farmers’ rights, and I regularly post about these things, as well as food safety and Ag policy issues the Obama administration faces. There’ve been analytical posts on the blog about Vilsack and Daschle, coverage of all the various petitions going on, posts on FDA’s recent stealth policy reversals, coverage of the mercury issues Obama is inheriting, coverage of Chinese and domestic melamine, etc. etc. I’ve been careful to point out, too, that the sustainable movement has been having something of a big fantasy relationship with Obama, and that he’s really quite committed to ethanol and gmos, if you’ve bothered to read his Rural Agenda. It’s going to be an interesting ride, and we’ll see how open Obama really is to change in food and ag….Also, just fyi, Obama Foodorama is an offshoot of haphazardgourmet.com, a pretty well known blog that’s Slow, sustainable, locavore, etc.

    Yours in slowness,

    Eddie Gehman Kohan
    Obama Foodorama