04/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Recession (R) Diet

This week was the first time I realized that the recession that we have all been getting used to has hit us all where we live -- in our stomachs. The cover image in the New York Times of Michelle Obama tilling the garden plot brought it all out. We are what we eat and what we don't. I love the idea of a White House garden. Why hasn't there always been one? I mean, come on, Bush had a ranch. How come the rancher in him didn't turn out the White House lawn to some grazing cattle.

A White House garden. Self-sustainability in the People's House. What a wonderful example. How about an orchard, vineyard and compost heap, greywater-irrigated and solar-powered greenhouse. Paging Alice Waters and José Andrés. The phrase "tightening our belts" has been misconstrued. It is not a deterrent to eating, except to those young starlets with eating disorders, but tightening our belt is a result of losing weight because of eating less.

Now, in a nation with an obesity and Diabetes epidemic, losing some weight is not a bad thing. "The Gilded Age is over," my dear friend exclaimed as we ate beans and rice -- delicious, by the by. What we need to do is even out the food distribution, feed those who need it -- yes here in America there are many hungry people -- and take less off our plates. The image of the First Lady getting her hands dirty with the touching of the very earth that sustains us is a good start. We can all do something about this if nothing else. Hunger. Human hunger.

One of the sad aspects of the R Diet is the shrinking of our news. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer... gone to my hands. This weekend the anorexic New York Times magazine came weakly out from the noticeably thinner paper. The poor darling. Both my husband and I held it in our hands, smiling tentatively at its condition. We both realized that someday it too would be gone, a memory of another place, another time. It is a sad, long goodbye. I will miss it but I won't miss the greed, avarice, gluttony, grossness, selfishness, deceit and cruelty of the last eight years and beyond.

I want growth, healthy growth. Grassroots growth. Seeds planted and taking root in front of a hungry America. Give him time. Give them time. Give it all time. Yes we can. Wait and wonder.