There are any number of items on the incoming President's agenda that matter to me. And, frankly, I've been loath to chime in with recommendations for the transition team since so many people are flocking to DC to weigh in with their ivory tower degrees and decades in the trenches. But Michelle Obama's unscripted comments about organic food during the campaign have had me musing about the ways in which this administration might change the perspective in Washington, and tilt it towards issues about which I am passionate.
Here's what Michelle had to say about feeding your kids to Lauren Collins in the New Yorker in March of '08:
“You know,” she said, “in my household, over the last year we have just shifted to organic for this very reason. I mean, I saw just a moment in my nine-year-old’s life—we have a good pediatrician, who is very focussed on childhood obesity, and there was a period where he was, like, ‘Mmm, she’s tipping the scale.’ So we started looking through our cabinets. . . . You know, you’ve got fast food on Saturday, a couple days a week you don’t get home. The leftovers, good, not the third day! . . . So that whole notion of cooking on Sunday is out. . . . And the notion of trying to think about a lunch every day! . . . So you grab the Lunchables, right? And the fruit-juice-box thing, and we think—we think—that’s juice. And you start reading the labels and you realize there’s high-fructose corn syrup in everything we’re eating. Every jelly, every juice. Everything that’s in a bottle or a package is like poison in a way that most people don’t even know. . . . Now we’re keeping, like, a bowl of fresh fruit in the house. But you have to go to the fruit stand a couple of times a week to keep that fruit fresh enough that a six-year-old—she’s not gonna eat the pruney grape, you know. At that point it’s, like, ‘Eww!’ She’s not gonna eat the brown banana or the shrivelledy-up things. It’s got to be fresh for them to want it. Who’s got time to go to the fruit stand? Who can afford it, first of all?”Pretty much sums up many of the dilemmas I face as a parent. How can we all afford to feed our children fresh, healthy, nutritious food? And why is it that the supermarket is a minefield? I just hope that Michelle has a wake-up moment about the shampoo her kids are using and the water in which they will soon bathe. I'm not sure how we'll get to the end goal of being able to trust that our personal care products, food, and toys are safe, but it sure makes me happy to know that there may very soon be an occupant of the White House who's wondering the very same thing.
I'm dreaming of a city where I don't have to tote my Green Beauty Guide with its list of 100 toxins to avoid and my PDA hotlinked to Skin Deep and the EWG Dirty Dozen. I'm hoping and dreaming that the CSPIA won't have to shut down all the indy crafters to make sure I don't have lead paint in my kid's toys. And, of course, I'm hoping that I can stop emailing Trader Joe's to get them to stop suffocating cucumbers in plastic and styrofoam and Whole Foods to get them to sell anything besides stale granola in bulk. Not to mention, I'd like there to be less gratuitous plastic around so that I don't have to worry about nurdles while I consult my guide to leaching. Basically, Obamas? I'd like you to make it easier for my family to live my life safely and lightly on the planet. That's all.
P.S. Check out this roundup for the Green Moms Carnival members' takes on a Prevention Agenda for the Obama White House.