May 29th, 2012
01:00 PM ET
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Michelle Obama and Olive Garden team up for healthier kids meals
September 15th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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Hospitaliano is about to get a whole lot healthier.

Darden Restaurants, the world's largest full-service restaurant company and the parent organization behind popular chain eateries including Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze, announced today that it is committing to reduce the calorie count and salt content of its food and provide more nutritious options on its children’s menus.

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Filed under: Chain • Childhood Obesity • Health News • Michelle Obama • Restaurant News • Restaurants

Michelle Obama seeks to stamp out food deserts with the help of some grocery giants
July 20th, 2011
04:30 PM ET
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For the 23 million Americans who live in food deserts, Michelle Obama's announcement today may be a ray of sunshine. As part of her "Let's Move" campaign, the First Lady is joining forces with leaders from major retailers, foundations and small businesses committing to provide access to healthy, affordable food to people in underserved communities.

In an address broadcast live today on the White House's website, Mrs. Obama announced that nationwide food retailers including SUPERVALU, Walgreens, Walmart and other regional retailers will open or expand over 1,500 stores in areas that need it most.

Schlag, spring peas and wild ramp puree on the menu at tonight's State Dinner
June 7th, 2011
06:00 PM ET
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Though President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel delved into classic Washington fare during their two hour meal Monday night at 1789 Restaurant in the historic Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, tonight's State Dinner, will celebrate all things fresh and new - with a sweet nod to the honored guest's homeland.

From the menu provided by the White House:

A Spring Harvest Dinner
The State Dinner for Germany will celebrate the first harvest of the spring. Many of the vegetables and herbs used to prepare this evening’s dinner came from the White House Kitchen Garden. This garden was created by Mrs. Obama in March of 2009 and has become a central hub for activities here at the White House. In the early spring of this year, students from Tubman Elementary and Bancroft Elementary Schools in Washington DC planted vegetables in the White House Kitchen Garden. On June 3rd, only four days shy of the State Dinner, American Indian children joined the First Lady to plant traditional Native American crops and also harvested these vegetables just in time for the dinner.


June 6th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Filed under: Budget • Childhood Obesity • Farmstands • Food Politics • Gardening • Health News • Michelle Obama • News • Rooftop Gardening • School Lunch • Urban Gardening • Video

The food desert in your own backyard
May 3rd, 2011
11:45 AM ET
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America's national image may be one of waving wheat fields and overflowing platters, but the reality for many communities is much less plentiful. A new interactive map built by the United States Department of Agriculture allows users to locate the food deserts in their neighborhood and across the country, simply by typing in an address or zip code.

Here's how the USDA explains the term:

The HFFI working group defines a food desert as a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store:

To qualify as a “low-income community,” a census tract must have either: 1) a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher, OR 2) a median family income at or below 80 percent of the census tract's median family income;
To qualify as a “low-access community,” at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract's population must reside more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles).


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Filed under: Food Deserts • Food Politics • Hunger • Michelle Obama • News

White House gardens for good
March 17th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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Emily Schultze is a CNN Senior White House Producer

First Lady Michelle Obama joined two dozen local elementary schools kids on the South Lawn for the third spring planting of the White House garden. Assistant White House Chef Sam Kass oversaw this year’s seedlings which included spinach, broccoli, turnips and swiss chard.

According to Kass the 1500 square foot garden has produced over 2000 pounds of food in the 3 years. He noted most of the food is used in the White House but a full third of it goes to Miriam’s Kitchen, a local mission that provides food to the homeless.

The 1600 Report has beets about it

Get gardening at home with this easy-start guide

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Filed under: Gardening • Hunger • Local Food • Michelle Obama • News • White House

Super Bowl snackage: the people's chili and bipartisan beer
February 6th, 2011
03:00 PM ET
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The President and Mrs. Obama are setting out quite a spread for guests at the White House Super Bowl party, making sure both sides of the gridiron are represented. Brewskis include Hinterland Pale Ale & Amber Ale from Wisconsin, Yuengling Lager and Light from Pennsylvania and White House Honey Ale.

Our pals at Political Ticker have the rest of the menu, but before you click over, take a gander at the formula for the most crowd-pleasing chili there is. (Spoiler alert - despite the picture above, it *probably* doesn't include lima beans. Or salad.)

Walmart joins Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign
January 20th, 2011
08:00 PM ET
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The largest grocery chain in the country has announced an extensive five-year plan to make its food healthier and more affordable. Walmart, which serves roughly 140 million consumers a week, announced the initiative as a collaboration between its corporation and first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign.

"To more and more of our customers, living better means the ability to walk into our stores and find foods that will help their families live healthier lives," said Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart. "And importantly, to find these foods at prices they can afford."

Saving money and living better do not always go together when it comes to food. Often highly processed foods rich in sodium, trans-fats, or added sugars are less expensive, and thus more affordable, than fresh produce. Access to healthy foods is also an issue; so-called "food deserts" exist throughout the country, leaving many Americans with minimal access to healthy fare.

Read Walmart pledges to make food healthier, more affordable

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