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(article, Caroline Cummins)
The current issue of the New Yorker — the Style Issue, of all things — has a profile of Michelle Obama. (She's married to that Senator Obama guy.) Written by Lauren Collins, the profile muses at length on the predictable difficulties faced by a smart, independent woman trying to play the polite politician's wife. Six pages in, Obama suddenly lets loose, and Collins simply sits back and transcribes: bq. One morning, during a roundtable at Ma Fischer’s, a diner in Milwaukee, Elizabeth Crawford, a recently divorced caterer with two children, brought up the subject of the eating habits of American families. “I really, really hope that Barack will jump on that,” she said. bq. Then, having given thoughtful but boilerplate responses most of the morning, Obama suddenly departed from her script. It was the most animated I saw her on the campaign trail. “You know,” she said, “in my household, over the last year we have just shifted to organic for this very reason. I mean, I saw just a moment in my nine-year-old’s life — we have a good pediatrician, who is very focussed on childhood obesity, and there was a period where he was, like, ‘Mmm, she’s tipping the scale.’ So we started looking through our cabinets . . . You know, you’ve got fast food on Saturday, a couple days a week you don’t get home. The leftovers, good, not the third day! . . . So that whole notion of cooking on Sunday is out . . . And the notion of trying to think about a lunch every day! . . . So you grab the Lunchables, right? And the fruit-juice-box thing, and we think — we think — that’s juice. And you start reading the labels and you realize there’s high-fructose corn syrup in everything we’re eating. Every jelly, every juice. Everything that’s in a bottle or a package is like poison in a way that most people don’t even know . . . Now we’re keeping, like, a bowl of fresh fruit in the house. But you have to go to the fruit stand a couple of times a week to keep that fruit fresh enough that a six-year-old — she’s not gonna eat the pruney grape, you know. At that point it’s, like, ‘Eww!’ She’s not gonna eat the brown banana or the shrivelledy-up things. It’s got to be fresh for them to want it. Who’s got time to go to the fruit stand? Who can afford it, first of all?” Food politics, anyone?