After much ado about converting the White House lawn to an organic garden; a sustainable foodie outcry for a new breed of White House chef, led by Alice Waters; and a call among devoted fans for Michael Pollan to lead our nation as Secretary of Agriculture, it is safe to say that one week into the President’s new term, little talk of our food supply has graced the lips of Washington’s movers and shakers.
Or has it?
Though Mr. Obama may be spending much of his time working out bailouts, sending George Mitchell to the Middle East, and questioning Sidwell-Friends’ response to the snow, he did have some time to give the green light to bringing Sam Kass, the 28 year-old chef who cooked for the Obamas in Chicago and founded Inevitable Table, into the White House kitchen.
A spokeswoman for Mrs. Obama indicated that Kass is passionate about local, sustainable, healthy food. A good sign for anyone dining at the White House — and for our nation as a whole. It’s a little too early to predict what effect Kass’ cooking and philosophy may have on American school children. But there is promise. As reported on several New York Times blogs today, including The Caucus and Tara Parker-Pope’s Well , Mr. Kass is committed to re-thinking what the National School Lunch Program serves up. (Few veggies, a lot of fat, and a hefty dose of HFCS.) The full text of a recent talk Kass lead about school lunch reform is available here.
Mr. Kass, you and I have got a lot in common — with the same first names, the same age, a similar passion for eating and cooking, and an equal devotion to changing the way we feed America’s children. The new presidency is all about hope. And boy have I got high hopes for you.