Since Barack Obama’s ascension to the White House, there has been a spur of interest online to follow the light-hearted sides of his historic presidency, while providing serious commentary on the administration’s policy decisions. Jounrnalist and self-described “ag policy wonkette” Eddie Gehman Kohan founded her popular blog Obama Foodorama to discuss all things related to the president and food, “one bipartisan byte at a time.” In a previous interview, she said she does the blog because “everyone eats,” and “if you can’t find something to personally relate to in the panopoly of continents, races, time zones and family situations that created Barack, there’s always food,” she said. “[Obama’s] competing reputations as both a comfort food lover, a junk food addict and a gourmet make him highly accessible no matter what the entry point.”
But don’t expect to just read posts about last weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner or what the Obamas eat on their night on the town, Obama Foodorama has become one of the leading blogs on food justice and advocacy.
In addition to blogging about the finer side of dining, Gehman Kohan has also created a following on her blog and her tweets because of her funny yet indepth discussions about the administration’s agriculture policy, food safety and food-related health problems. Some recent posts have been on first lady Michelle Obama’s ground-breaking organic garden, Green jobs advisor Van Jones’ plans for a greenroof garden on top of the White House and the recent protest by African American farmers calling on the president to redress years of racial discrimination. According to Gehman Kohan, Obama has inherited a global food crisis.
More from Gehman Kohan:
“Immediate changes are needed in the way CDC, FDA and USDA work together during disease outbreaks, as well as the need for appointing not so much a food safety “czar” as a food safety “mentor” to coordinate the activities of the three agencies. We’re in the middle of a period of terrible economic downturn, which leads to both hunger issues and grocery bill issues, and we’re trying to figure out a new energy policy, which is directly related to the use of varying kinds of ethanol…which is directly related to food crops.
Also, sadly, the US is the biggest importer of Chinese food products in the world, and the Chinese make the most dangerous food products in the world. The issues on the blog affect everyone whether they’re an official “foodie” or not. Eventually the blog may turn back into what the tagline claims — a daily diary, one byte at a time — a historic, electronic document of Barack and food. Right now, we have all kinds of interviews scheduled with foodie thinkers and food/farm activists, chefs and restaurateurs, as well as guest posts from other bloggers, in addition to the usual fun Chowbama gossip…”