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Michelle Obama Encourages Healthy Eating

by Kim Conte on March 12, 2009 at 4:01 PM


Michelle Obama

Photo by: Win McNamee/Getty Images



An article in the New York Times reports that 7-year-old first daughter Sasha Obama is not a fan of green vegetables, including spinach. (Sound familiar?)

But according to first lady, Michelle Obama, that's no excuse for her daughter to eat an unhealthy diet...

Mrs. Obama has made healthy eating a major item on her agenda. For her own family, this means that Mrs. Obama makes sure her daughters eat a diet of mostly fresh, whole foods—including fruit and vegetables—instead of "juice boxes, sweets, and processed food."

In a broader sense, however, Mrs. Obama is promoting access to fresh, nutritious food for ALL communities—not just the wealthy or those with a private White House chef. She has publicly praised community gardens and, while working at a soup kitchen last week in Washington D.C., praised the center for its fresh, unprocessed menu of steamed broccoli, mushroom risotto, and apple-carrot muffins. Mrs. Obama also stressed the importance of donating fresh, healthy food (like fresh fruits and vegetables) to food banks and soup kitchens instead of canned and processed food.

This article really made me think, especially in light of yesterday's post about the donated Michael Phelps Corn Flakes. In that post, I mentioned how food banks rarely get cereal donations, and it made me wonder about what other items they were lacking. I know it's a slippery slope when we talk about donated food because on the one hand—as the old adage says—you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. But what happens if the processed and canned foods being donated have the potential to cause long-term health issues?

I'm interested in hearing any thoughts on this—whether you donate to, volunteer or work at, or get food from a food bank.


Filed Under: food, healthy choices, trends

Comments

9
  • RanaA...
    --

    RanaAurora

    March 12, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    Part of the reason canned goods are donated is because of shelf-life.
    Some places won't accept fresh things, partially because a can is "protected" from contamination, so even a well-meaning bag of carrots may be turned down.

    However, you can donate HEALTHY canned food, such as fruit in it's own juices instead of syrup, spinach without added salt, etc.  THere's no rule that says canned goods can't be healthy too. :)


  • Cafe Kim
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    Cafe Kim

    March 12, 2009 at 5:40 PM

    You're right, RanaAurora. I hadn't thought of that -- that there are healthy canned foods. It's all about reading labels to see what is in your food. Plus, for things like canned beans, I know that you can wash them and that way they'll be free of extra sodium and much healthier for you and your family.


  • Tessa...
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    TessaBianca

    March 12, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    I wish she would focus on some of the school and daycare feeding programs. Most could use an extreme makeover.


  • DawnA72
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    DawnA72

    March 12, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    Well if Michelle Obama really supported the idea of healthy eating for ALL American's she would protest HR 875.  This bill wants to prevent us from growing gardens in our backyards.  For many families in this country, especially right now during this time of financial turmoil, growing your own produce is a very important way to ensure that your family has fresh vegetables and plenty of food on the table. 

    HR875_violation_of_the_10th_amendment


  • envir...
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    environmentalpa

    March 12, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    WHAT?! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME ABOUT THE GARDEN IN THE BACKYARD DEAL! I'LL MAKE A GARDEN IN MY BACKYARD UNTIL THE DAY I DIE AND I DARE THEM TO TELL ME OTHERWISE WHAT TO DO WITH MY YARD!


  • workgoat
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    workgoat

    March 12, 2009 at 10:05 PM

    As you all know we are having a bad time and i had to go to the food bank in GA small town and we got alot of canned foods which at the time our caberd was bare of any. They gave us bad bannas, bad apples,bad pears, bad lettece but a big bag of potatoes and onions! We cut the bad off and eat it anyway! also the bread and cakes were molded and had to be throwed away! I don't know why this is like that?


  • Aasiyah
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    Aasiyah

    March 12, 2009 at 11:41 PM

    Donations can always be made in dollar amounts and asked to be spent on fresh foods.This way the organization can becomes responsble and will ensure that uncontaminated foods are delivered.  And they should expeditiously get rid of the food so that it doesn't spoil like Workgoat is speaking of.  if anyone has ideas on how to do this.. it might benefit you to get a plan together and help... make money for yourself and be responsible for a new fresh ide while helping those in need.. and Many of us are in need.


  • myboy28
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    myboy28

    March 13, 2009 at 12:48 AM

    welcome spring.gifWell, here we go again, the "Goverment" gonna tell us we can't grow food in our own backyard, that we pay taxes on. Guess we'll just bring ours into our sun porch in big potted plants if that goes over. What a waist of goverment pay to argue over. I am glad to finally see Mrs. Obama in the spotlight. I think that her intentions are well, but until the cross contamination issue could be addressed, I'm afraid that canned will do for now. I have often wanted to bring frozen bags of veggies and fruit from like Sam's Club, but haven't, guess I'll check into our local "Love's Kitchen" and see if they will accept those.

                                                               Lynnie (myboy28)

    P.S. I thought we shut "Russia" *Socialism* down years ago, where are we headed?


  • Ginny...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Ginny Hair

    January 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM
    Like Michelle Obama, I too am a working mom. Unlike Michelle Obama, I do not have the luxury of a White House Chef and a staff that tends a private vegetable garden. However, even if I did have those things, I know that my kids like variety--canned, dried, fresh & frozen & 100% juice. What matters to me is getting my kids to eat more fruits and veggies and knowing that ALL fruits and veggies are good for them. Yes, toss out the processed junk foods, but keep the preserved fruits along with the fresh. There is room for all at our table! Ginny Hair, California
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