Obama Wants a Farmers Market at the White House

Check out this quote from President Obama's interactive health care strategy meeting yesterday (via The Huffington Post):

"When it comes to food, one of the things that we are doing is working with school districts," Obama said. "And the child nutrition legislation is going to be coming up. We provide an awful lot of school lunches out there and - and reimburse local school districts for school-lunch programs. Let's figure out how can we get some fresh fruits and vegetables in the mix. Because sometimes you go into schools and - you know what the menu is, you know? It's French fries, Tater Tots, hot dogs, pizza and - now, that's what kids - let's face it, that's what kids want to eat, anyway. (Laughter.) So it's not just the schools' fault."

Obama continued, "A, that's what kids may want to eat. B, it turns out that that food's a lot cheaper, because of the distributions that we've set up. And so what we've got to do is to change how we think about, for example, getting local farmers connected to school districts, because that would benefit the farmers, delivering fresh produce, but right now they just don't have the distribution mechanisms set up."

Did I mention that a few weeks back, during my visit at the MN Governor's residence, I was told that the Governor had not had a serious conversation about food policy since he's been in office? And here's Barack Obama - the President of the United States - acknowledging that we've created a distribution system that promotes the wrong food in our schools. But that's not all. Obama continues:

"So, you know, Michelle set up that garden in the White House?

"One of the things that we're trying to do now is to figure out, can we get a little farmers' market - outside of the White House - I'm not going to have all of you all just tromping around inside - (laughter) - but right outside the White House [...] It gives suddenly D.C. more access to good, fresh food, but it also is this enormous potential revenue-maker for local farmers in the area. And - and that - those kinds of connections can be made all throughout the country, and - and has to be part of how we think about health."

Sometimes something's so obvious that it's shocking to hear coming out of a politician's mouth. Our food system is broken. Our kids are not offered the right choices for school lunch. People need access to good, fresh food. Smart is back, ladies and gentlemen. Thank goodness.