First Lady Michelle Obama brought her “Let’s Move!” campaign to the 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Hawaii.
She was given a tour of the 25-acre MA’O Organic Farm on Oahu and recognized it as a working model of combatting obesity. The farm includes a youth training program involving both high school and college-age farmers.
“I’ve heard about all that’s going on here for years and years,” Obama told the students, according to the Honolulu Advertiser. “I jumped at the opportunity to come and not just see for myself but also allow the world to see what you all are doing.”
“As you know, I planted a little garden in my back yard,” she said in comments reported by the newspaper.. “One of the primary reasons we planted the garden was as a form of education. Our goal is to eliminate childhood obesity in a generation.”
Mrs. Obama also talked about the importance of encouraging young children to explore a wide-range of tastes — and had a conversation with one student who shared her affinity for arugula.
“If we teach young people early about how to eat and we give them a connection to the food they eat … that opens up a broader conversation about health and movement, but also deeper issues like access and affordability,” Obama said. “In our under-served communities, people are growing up without vegetables because people don’t have grocery stores. You are growing up eating vegetables and liking them.”
Following her discussion on ending childhood obesity, the Obamafoodorama Blog reported that the young farmers were presented boxes of President M&Ms.
With reporting from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Obamafoodorama Blog.