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Obama State Dinner Spotlights Locavorism: What We Can Learn

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Last night, the President and First Lady welcomed guests to the White House's first state dinner of the Obama administration, and the event was occasion to show off the bounty harvested from their garden. On the menu were items like "potato and eggplant salad with White House-grown arugula, and entrees that included roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney, chick peas and okra, or a meal of green curry prawns," according to TreeHugger.

It wasn't too long ago Michelle Obama brought D.C.-area schoolkids into the garden to help with the harvest, and in just a few weeks she'll appear on an episode of Iron Chef America with the garden's loot as the secret ingredient.

Here in Los Angeles we are lucky enough to have access to fresh produce year-round, and can grown our own on balconies, in yards, and at community garden plots all across the city. We can also shop from the many celebrated farmers' markets that run week to week, and sometimes do so without a second thought about how fortunate we are.

The Obama's garden- and locally-sourced meal offers some powerful reminders for us:

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That a variety of fresh foods can be grown and otherwise obtained from local sources, even in late fall, when the typical growing season has passed; and, that these green food options can come together to create an elegant, thoughtful, tasteful meal that's fit for the President, his family, and his guests of honor. These are the sorts of events that can help transform what we know as the "local food movement" from what's considered by the world at large to be a small, niche-oriented ideal to a real lifestyle that everybody, from the President on down.

Hopefully we can continue to work to make growing, buying, and cooking healthy local fare more accessible to all Angelenos and Americans, as well.Previously on LAist
Alice Waters' 'Edible Schoolyard' Comes to Local Charter School
High End Chefs Support School Gardening, LAUSD's Program at Risk
Westside Gardeners Raise the Stakes in Their Communities
The White House Gets a Garden While LA's White House Place Garden Could Soon Adjoin a LAUSD Parking Lot
Greening Sacramento: Shriver Announces Plans to Get Planting