This is a great teaching moment on nutrition and activity in a nation where childhood obesity has become rampant. More and more children are taking diabetes and blood pressure medications, and that costs us all.
As Michelle Obama said yesterday (via WH transcript):
This is one of the main reasons we're doing this, is that what I've learned as a mom, in trying to feed my girls, is that it is so important for them to get regular fruits and vegetables in their diets, because it does have nutrients, it does make you strong, it is all brain food. And when you go to school, it is so important for you to have a good breakfast, to make sure in your lunches that you have an apple or an orange or a banana, that you have something green when you eat any meal, lunch or dinner.
And we're looking to you guys to help educate the country, not just in your own homes, but other people as they think about how to plan their meals for their kids, to think about the importance of making sure that we have enough fruits and vegetables. And doing this garden is a really inexpensive way of making that happen.
This is fantastic and sorely needed. Kudos to the WH and Michelle Obama for doing it, and for using the WH podium to promote healthy, sustainable gardening. And, more important, healthier eating for the nation's children.
Those are all excellent reasons to grow an organic garden, certainly. But you know what's also a good reason? Doing so really gets up the chemical companies' noses:
However, the Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) — which represents agribusinesses like Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, and DuPont Crop Protection — are unhappy that no chemicals are being used on the food:
“Fresh foods grown conventionally are wholesome and flavorful yet more economical,” the Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) wrote the first lady last month a few days after she and fifth-graders from a local elementary school planted the White House Kitchen Garden.
“As you go about planning and planting the White House garden, we respectfully encourage you to recognize the role conventional agriculture plays in the U.S. in feeding the ever-increasing population, contributing to the U.S. economy and providing a safe and economical food supply.”
In other words, "Pour some fucking chemicals, lady!" Aren't they funny when they're in a snit? And if they're this upset over a lil ol' garden, imagine how they'd be if Michelle Obama started an actual organic farm.