04/16/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The First Lady Locavore: Michelle's New Food Agenda

Michelle Obama is a locavore. Or at least she's learning to be. Before her first state dinner, she tried to summarize her culinary credo for reporters, culinary students, and all the foodies watching via C-Span's website: "That's the important thing about natural," she starts. "Or"--she is momentarily confused--"local," and then she makes a point about calories, describing a cream-of-broccoli soup that was good even without the cream. But the stumble helps. The stumble prevents her from being preachy. When it comes to eating, she is not sanctimonious (Eleanor) or haute (Jackie) or anorexic (Nancy). She seems to actually enjoy food. And if she's discovered a new way of eating, who cares what you call it? Sometimes she says "clean food," which seems symbolic of the purity we ascribe to the Obamas themselves.

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