By:Â Michele Wolfson
While Michelle Obama may not be a chef, she seems to know a thing or two about the importance of using locally grown produce in everyday cooking. Her cookbook titled American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools, and Communities will be released nationwide on April 10th, 2012 by Crown Publishing and was just given a cover and a title yesterday. This cookbook provides recipes inspired by Obama's White House garden- the first since Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden during WWII. The First Lady even includes motivation and tips for gardening in her cookbook.
The book will focus on the story of the White House garden and how Americans can make local, affordable meals that are health supportive. American Grown will provide incentives to create community gardens, support local farmers market's/CSAs, and make lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating.
The First Lady was in Chicago yesterday for Let's Move's first annual food desert summit.Â By 2017, she is confident that all food deserts across America will be completely eliminated. "Think about all the neighborhoods that could be transformed, because people want to live in communities where they have resources," Ms. Obama said in Chicago following a summit hosted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on strategies to increase the availability of healthy, affordable food in underserved communities. "And a grocery store -- a good-quality grocery store -- is the first step." Actions to eliminate food deserts in Chicago will hopefully inspire other areas nationwide to do the same.
It's not just politicians that are passionate about this issue- Americans living in areas that are considered food deserts have also become interested in revamping their communities and are excited that more and more grocers are actively getting involved in the cause to provide local and fresh produce. Progress is occurring but we still have a long way to go in so many parts of the country.
The outlook, however, is hopeful because there seems to be a tipping point occurring across the country. American society is seeking healthier food choices, which was evident at the Fresh Bodegas Event in Harlem on Monday when people came out in droves to check out the local vegetables that were added to their corner stores.
Michelle Obama explains that her children were the inspiration for creating her gardening/cookbook. It is our duty as Americans to think about the upcoming generation and the importance of instilling good eating behaviors in their everyday lives. The proceeds from the book will be donated to a soon-to-be-named charity.
For more food news updates, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)