Today's lesson is brought to you by the letter O as in Obama. While some on the political spectrum aren't thrilled with "food police" taking away their salt — even if there is no drive to do so and no way to accomplish it — others love the concern and care that President Barack Obama and more particularly, First Lady Michelle Obama, is devoting to the food industry.
For Rosalynn Carter, it was mental health. Saying no to drugs was Nancy Reagan's platform. Laura Bush focused on literacy, even if we never really saw much toward that cause.
Unofficially, for Michelle Obama, her cause is the food that we eat.
I watched Lynn Sweet give a talk last night. Sweet is the Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times. To be fair, that seems formal: Sweet IS the Washington bureau.
Given Sweet's proximity to both President Obama and the First Lady, I picked her brain on food policy from this White House and the First Lady.
When Sweet first heard that I write about food politics, she recommended that I check out Obamafoodorama. For those who want more of the nuts and bolts of the food-related political activities from this White House, this looks like a one-stop shop.
One of the things you can learn is that today is the opening of the second season of the White House Farmers Market, and that Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will make keynote remarks.
Sweet also noted that we should hear something soon about the food task force that stemmed from the Let's Move announcement back on February 9.
To quote the White House blog entry:
Within 90 days, the task force will develop and submit to the President a comprehensive interagency plan that details a coordinated strategy, identifies key benchmarks, and outlines an action plan.
There was a lot of hoopla at the time over the Let's Move initiative. But the beauty of politics is that the last 90 days have counted for something, and soon we will see what that involves.
Too often, it has felt like government — both Republican and Democratic politicians — have been working against the people when it comes to food safety, food quality, and other significant food issues. Now we will see what the government can do to make things better for consumers.
As great as the results might be from the task force, the implementation — or non-implementation — will determine the success of the project.