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The Chicago Tribune Names First Lady Michelle Obama One of the 2010 Good Eating Award Winners

Post by: Audiegrl

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009.  (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Chicago Tribune~There’s a 1,100-square-foot organic vegetable, fruit and herb garden on the South Lawn of the White House. That patch of earth planted in March — the first time vegetables have been grown at the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency in the ’40s — has yielded 700-plus pounds of lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, collards and more for meals at the White House and a nearby homeless shelter.

That garden, first lady Michelle Obama told reporters, is “one of the greatest things that I’ve done in my life.” It also signaled the first lady’s efforts to improve America’s eating habits, tackle childhood obesity and encourage fitness. She began by bringing those efforts to her new home, where chef-working mom Cristeta Comerford runs the White House kitchen, by adding chef Sam Kass (whose track record includes work at Avec) to mentor her local-sustainable efforts.

2010 Good Eating AwardOther first ladies have urged healthy eating at the White House ( Hillary Clinton pushed for a low-fat menu, while Laura Bush encouraged organic foods). But Michelle Obama has, in her first year, moved food and nutrition issues front and center. Her efforts dovetail with our appetite for the food-tube (she kicked off this year with an appearance on “Iron Chef America“) and America’s awareness that what you eat plays a major role in your health.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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First Lady Michelle Obama Graces Season Premiere of Iron Chef America; Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford Will Compete

Posted by Audiegrl

Another first from the Obama White House Kitchen…First Lady reveals “secret ingredient

First Lady Michelle Obama, Comerford, Brown, Batali and Lagasse

First Lady Michelle Obama, Flay, Comerford, Brown, Batali and Lagasse

Obama Foodorama—First Lady Michelle Obama will make a special appearance on the season premiere of the popular Food Network show Iron Chef America in January, in a savvy move to extend her healthy food messaging to a new audience. Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford will compete on the show in a special two hour “super chef battle.” Comerford’s teammate is grill master Bobby Flay, who guest-cheffed at the White House for the Father’s Day event in June, when he cooked up some lovely steaks with President Obama. Spoiler alert: Mrs. Obama will be revealing the “secret ingredient” that the chefs will use in their televised cook-off, which is a hallmark of the Iron Chef America series. The “secret ingredient” in this case is anything that grows in the White House Kitchen Garden, which leaves things wiiiide open, because the Kitchen Garden has produced a stunning variety of crops this year. Comerford and Flay are competing against the highly competitive team of celeb chefs Emeril Lagasse, who specializes in Southern/New Orleans cooking, and Mario Batali, an Italian cooking superstar.

Comerford in the Kitchen Garden during the Iron Chef America filming, harvesting with teammate Flay

Comerford in the Kitchen Garden during the Iron Chef America filming, harvesting with teammate Flay

Scenes for the show were already shot at the White House, with Comerford and the three other chefs harvesting crops from the Kitchen Garden, and Mrs. Obama having face-time with the guest chefs and discussing the importance of getting kids to eat their veggies. In her onscreen cameo, Mrs. Obama will discuss her campaign to reduce childhood obesity through better school lunches, community gardens, farmers’ markets and exercise, which is now known as the Healthy Kids Initiative around the White House. The show’s January air-date is timed perfectly to be right before Congress comes back into session, when legislators will ostensibly be addressing the re-authorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which provides federal funding for school feeding programs. Better school lunches are one of Mrs. Obama’s priorities, and President Obama’s too; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack frequently notes in his public remarks that this was the very first subject President Obama discussed with him during their “job interview.”

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More @ Obama Foodorama, where you can find White House Food Initiatives…And Other Bipartisan Bytes of Food Politics

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