Saturday, September 25, 2010

Michelle Obama's Speech at Blue Hill Farms in Tarrytown NY

Michelle Obama spoke yesterday.
Remarks by the First Lady at United Nations General Assembly Spousal Luncheon

Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Tarrytown, New York

12:51 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA: Well, good afternoon. I hope you all enjoyed the tours. It’s a beautiful, beautiful place.

I want to start by thanking a few people. Of course I want to thank Jill Isenbarger who is right over there. Jill, thank you so much for all your hard work. (Applause.) And also to the entire Stone Barns Center staff, everyone here who has helped make this morning, this day, a very special one. Let’s give them a hand. (Applause.)

And we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Rockefeller family. This is their home, and they have put a lot of love and energy into making this center such a special one. And we want to thank them, as well. (Applause.)

And of course to Dan Barber and his brother, David. Dan is the executive chef here. Is that your title? Yeah, well, he’s the head cook guy. (Laughter and applause.) And I have to say that Dan -- I met Dan before we came to the White House. And he actually cooked for my husband and I, and he didn’t know why he was being called to Chicago, but it was one of the best dinners, and after that I fell in love with Dan, I knew that we would want to partner with him if we had the opportunity. He is serving on the President’s Fitness and Nutrition Council, so he’s one of the major players in our efforts to encourage healthier living around the country. So I want to thank Dan for all you’re doing. We love you very much. You’re doing a great job. (Applause.)

And those cute little precious people that were out there, the third graders, they are terrific. They come from Pocantico Hill School here in the area and JFK Magnet School. And I know that this facility is known for its educational component. Having those kids out there wasn’t anything new. They really rely on young people to keep this facility up, to learn and grow from it, and you can see, by the excitement on their faces, that it’s working. So we want to thank all those students for just being so eager. And they also helped to prepare the lunch, so they’re our chefs, as well.

And last but not least, I want to thank and introduce you to some of our -- the most important people in the President and my family’s life, are the people who feed us. We have today with us Cris Comerford, who’s our executive chef at the White House, Bill Yosses, who’s our executive pastry chef, and Sam Kass, who’s a chef, as well, but he also wears a policy hat, and he has been working on the “Let’s Move” initiative. So let’s give them a round of applause. They flew here to help cook, as well. (Applause.) We love them, we’re very proud of the work that they’re doing.

These chefs are among the thousands that are volunteering to work in schools to try to help schools do a better job of figuring out how to make their school lunch meals a little tastier and healthier. And our chefs have adopted a school, and they’re leading the way, and it’s going to be very exciting to see the work that they do. Thank you all so much.

This all started -- why we’re here -- many of you probably know me as a gardener because when I first came into the White House, we developed the White House kitchen garden, which was probably one of the first since Eleanor Roosevelt. And we didn’t know whether we could even grow anything on that plot of land.

But we began to grow some wonderful things, and we worked closely with students in the Washington, D.C. area. They helped us every step of the way. They helped us till the soil. They helped us plant. They helped us harvest. They helped us eat. And what we learned from the mere planting of that garden was that we could use this simple tool to engage children in a conversation about their own health and nutrition. And that experience led us to develop one of the strongest initiatives that I have, one that I’m very proud of. It’s called “Let’s Move.”

“Let’s Move” is a national-wide campaign -- a nationwide campaign -- to focus our country on the epidemic of childhood obesity. Our goal is to ensure that children born today grow up at a healthy weight, understanding how to eat and live in a healthy way. And we’re working with kids because oftentimes it’s easier for them to develop new habits than it is for us to try to change old habits as they get older. Read more