Michelle Obama's Garden: Policy Move or Photo Op?

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2009 12:42 PM CDT
Fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School and assistant White House Chef Sam Kass weigh some of the lettuce that they and first lady Michelle Obama harvested at the White House, June 16, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden had its first big harvest recently, and so far, it’s the most tangible food policy move the Obama administration has delivered, Salon reports. President Obama came to office promising real reform that so far hasn’t materialized. The more patient  in the progressive food community see the garden as a good first step; others aren't so quick to give the green thumbs up.

“We think that the jury is definitely still out,” says the head of one sustainable agriculture group. “There have been a lot of atmospherics, but only a few substantive things.” The Obamas say the garden is designed to begin a national conversation about healthier eating. And the White House has used it as a platform for discussing what could be its first actual policy move: trying to improve the quality of school lunches.