Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

Beyond the Obama Biceps

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Finally, the coverage of Michelle Obama is moving beyond her pair of sculpted shoulders and shapely biceps. As noted in today’s New York Times, the importance of eating healthy, fresh, local foods is emerging as one of her signature issues. Last week she even rhapsodized about the steamed broccoli she was serving to homeless men and women at Miriam’s kitchen, which serves only fresh food, nothing canned or processed, to the poor.

Some of the tasty tidbits in the article: The White House gets fresh fruits and vegetables from farms in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and even served organic wine to the nation’s governors at the first big post-inaugural White House bash last month. The First Lady is taking a higher profile on the importance of healthy eating than Laura Bush, who insisted that fresh, organic foods be served at the White House but didn’t broadcast the fact—you know how some Republicans feel about arugula-eating elitists.  

Power Peas and Dinosaur Broccoli Trees

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Scientists have long appreciated the importance of consistent scientific names for plants. Now they’re beginning to appreciate the power of common names, too — at least over vegetable-averse preschoolers.

Anyone who’s tried to get a preschooler (or any kid, or adult for that matter) to down the recommended five fresh fruits and vegetables a day by resorting to playing airplane, reciting “this little piggy went to market,” bribery, and other choice tactics will certainly appreciate a new Cornell study that was presented on Monday at the annual meeting of the School Nutrition Association in Washington,  DC. The researchers found that veggies with snazzy names had the little ones begging for more. When 186 four-year-olds were given carrots called “X-ray Vision Carrots,” for example, they ate nearly twice as much as they did on the days when they were offered plain old “carrots.” And the magic spell persisted—the kids continued to eat about 50 percent more even on the days when the carrots were no longer labeled.

Memo to plant breeders and parents: Remember Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Name them so fresh vegetables will not seem so atrocious….