'What do the Obamas eat?'


Posted at Jun 11 2009 03:55 PM | Updated as of Jun 13 2009 12:25 AM

"What do the Obamas eat?" is one question that has piqued the interest of many Americans, especially one blogger who has even dedicated a website to the subject.

"Obama Foodorama," written and edited by Eddie Gehman Kohan, chronicles practically everything involving US President Barack Obama and food - from White House recipes to the First Family's trips to restaurants all around the world.

Kohan, a food writer and agriculture policy consultant, manages to track down juicy tidbits of where and when the Obamas dined, and more importantly, what they ordered, based on reports from a variety of news and entertainment sources.

Michelle Obama eating sirloin steak in London? You got it. Her daughters, Sasha and Malia, tucking into fish and chips? Details are there. Obama chewing on a candy bar? Pictures prove it. Coffee with a head of state? Sure. The information just keeps coming because, obviously, the Obamas need to eat - and socialize.

"Well, White House cookbooks have always been popular - but no, there's never been this flood of interest before," Kohan told the Associate Press. She said she has observed a higher interest and curiosity in food, food policy, and everything about the 44th President of the United States.

Avid readers from all over the world have reportedly been hooked to this stream of "chowbama," such that American citizens have been making the pilgrimage to establishments where the Obamas had eaten during and after the presidential campaign trail.

Much of the presidential family's food forays have been publicized and analyzed, but some of the most memorable include Barack Obama's trip to the Five Guys restaurant where he chucked down a cheeseburger (with mustard and jalapeno), and his highly anticipated "Date Night" with Michelle at the Blue Hill restaurant in New York (where diners reportedly broke into applause after the couple finished eating).

Political food

A section of the blog is dedicated to "Obama food art" and food trends sparked by the president. These range from jelly donuts stamped with Obamas' face to huge jars of mustard with a special Obama label.

Far from trying to pry into the First Couple's private lives, including what they eat, the blog's owner said that it is not so much about the eating as the issues involved. Kohan, who also blogs about the Obama administration's policies on agriculture, environment, and food security on "Obama Foodorama", said that the craze over the Obamas' every bite is not without merit.

"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 historic, electronic document of Barack and food," Kohan told the New York Times.

While the president grapples with food safety issues and deciding whether to continue importing food from China (which Kohan describes as a place where much of the world's dangerous foods come from), his wife also keeps busy.

Much like many First Ladies before her, Michelle Obama supports healthy eating but takes this a step further by planting the $200-worth "White House Kitchen Garden." The garden is filled with home-grown organic produce like spinach and broccoli, reportedly as a symbolic way of fighting child obesity and promoting agricultural sustainability by encouraging people to buy locally-grown food.

"Michelle Obama has brought new and much needed attention to critical food issues. She's also really raised awareness by describing her family's own journey through bad food habits and into a healthier lifestyle," Kohan said in a statement.

With a huge following and a reported merger with a major media site in the works, Kohan's blog and its subject may be testament to just how popular--and scrutinized--Obama's administration is.

Whether interest waxes and wanes throughout the President's term, the "Obama Foodorama" pledges to continue keeping "a daily diary of the Obama Foodscape, one bipartisan byte at a time." With reports from the Associated Press and the New York Times.