Presidential Eats | Civil Eats

Presidential Eats

In case you missed it, it turns out that our departed President and First Lady Bush really were the First Family of Sustainable Local Eating, according to former White House Chef Walter Scheib. Laura Bush “was adamant about organic foods,” he said to New York Times reporter Marian Burros, and her staff complied by sourcing from a secret list of about 40 different local farms and co-ops.

I doubt I’m the only one sensing the irony here. This is a clear case of “What’s good enough for me is….too good for you!” Because while Laura was busy specifying organic produce (in secret) for her family and guests, her husband’s administration was anything but friendly to those same local and sustainable farmers.

Moving on to the current president, PolitiFact.com has a list of 9 specific agriculture related promises that the Obama made while campaigning, and an additional handful that deal with water conservation. Several of these promise to lower taxes and insurance payments for organic farmers, increase pollution regulations and decrease subsidies for factory farms, and promote sustainable agriculture. If he actually follows-though on even half of these, he could make a large impact.

In the first days of his administration it’s too soon to know exactly how much truth there will be to these statements, but we can only hope that eight years from now the Obama policies will match the food that was served on their White House plates.

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Chef / Ecologist Aaron French is the Environment Editor at Civil Eats. He is the chef of The Sunny Side Cafe and is writing his first book "The Bay Area Homegrown Cookbook" (Voyageur Press, 2011). He has a Masters in Ecology and is currently working toward his MBA at UC Berkeley, with a focus on sustainable business practices. Read more >

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