Caveat: this is not a political blog, for the most part, but our public policy and regulations dramatically affect our food system.
I voted for Barack, not with great enthusiasm but out of civic duty. Michelle, on the other hand, has outdone herself and I will vote for her for first lady. (Or president, but they only seem to be offering her husband.) Her focus on community, equity, and health yeilds a meaningful view of how we live. Everyday. Her pre-first lady work involved helping with housing cases in low income areas, engaging with communities and health in Chicago, and promoting community service. Upon becoming first lady, Michelle has taken her career into the informal, unpaid role of policy advocate by way of marriage.
And– I’m biased here– she’s done a wonderful job pulling attention and money to the major issues of childhood obesity. Since losing weight as a child is really not gaining extra weight as they grow up, treating it can be easier than adults if caught promptly (can be, not definitely). Funding has promoted experimental and community-based projects to change both individual habits and community environs. Constant promotion and calls to industry may even be making tiny incremental changes in grocery store and ads. The White House garden has drawn national attention to healthy food, and added just a little bit a glamour to digging in the dirt. Not to mention producing food instead of wasting the dirt on grass!
No other policymaker, academic, medical professional, or community advocate has been able to touch the difference Michelle Obama has had on the future health of today’s children and teenagers.