Farmers Market on Penn Ave?

At the Organizing for America National Health Care forum on Tuesday, President Obama surprised listeners with a new idea: host a farmers market right outside the White House.

“One of the things that we’re trying to do now is to figure out, can we get a little farmers’ market — outside of the White House — I’m not going to have all of you all just tromping around inside — (laughter) — but right outside the White House — (laughter) — so that — so that we can — and — and — and that is a win-win situation.”

In just a few days, the topic has sprouted up all over the net. Here are the LFB Top 5 reactions and summaries to the President’s market ambition.

1. Obama Foodorama, one of our favorite food blogs around, wrote about Obama’s comment and gave readers a short history lesson. Did you know Thomas Jefferson was credited with turning the earliest D.C. Farmers Markets into what they are now?

2. Our friends over at Grist ran the entire Q&A exchange so we could get the full context of his comment: “Obama Wants to Set Up White House Farmers Market.”

2. The Huffington Post’s Green Blog struck up quite a dialogue with over 90 comments on their story, “Obama Talks Up Local Foods, School Lunches, And Setting Up a Farmers Market Outside the White House.”

3. Jane Black, author of All We Can Eat, reported the news for readers of the Washington Post.com.

4. The White House Organic Farm Project jumped on the story and posted a transcript of the President’s remarks here.  The WHOFarm guys are driving their WhoFarmMobile vehicle (you have to see this to believe it) , across the country to raise awareness about TheWhoFarm mission and petition.

5.  Finally, Food First, whether in reaction to the comment or not, posted information that claims Farmers’ Markets in the U.S. are on the rise.

Move Over Ag, We Need a Secretary of Food

In yesterday’s New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristoff addressed President-elect Obama’s soon-to-be-made choice for Secretary of Agriculture, asking whether or not a “U.S. Department of Food” would better reflect the change our country needs to see realized in our food policy. 

Kristoff notes that “a Department of Agriculture made sense 100 years ago when 35 percent of Americans engaged in farming.  But today, fewer than 2 percent are farmers.  In contrast, 100 percent of Americans eat.”  As such, what we need now “is actually a bold reformer in a position renamed ‘secretary of food.'”

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