Pop quiz: If you grow your own green beans but don't boil water, are you helping to fight childhood obesity?
The Crocksman is a weekly Voracious column that runs every Tuesday.
In this week's issue of Newsweek, Michelle Obama writes about her war on big eaters, a project she's spent a considerable amount of time on since showing up in the White House vegetable garden, hoe in hand.
"We've heard the statistics -- how one third of all kids in this country are either overweight or obese," she writes. "This isn't something we can fix with a bill in Congress or an executive order from the president."
But it is something we can fix with a crock pot."Back when many of us were growing up, we led lives that kept most of us at a pretty healthy weight," she writes. "We walked to school every day ... and ate home-cooked meals that always seemed to have a vegetable on the plate."
But like many working moms and dads, Mrs. Obama doesn't cook. Say what you will about exercise, television, and the Inernet, I don't need a bi-partisan report to know that hitting Jack in the Box is expanding my waistline.
Even the Obamas know that the rest of us can't afford a personal chef, and that at the end of a long day, heating up a stove full of healthy vegetables and organic beef can be the last thing we want to do. So why doesn't Obama teach us how to eat right, save time, and save money? In other words, why isn't Michelle Obama talking about the crock pot?
If the Obamas wanted to set a good example -- one of a sustainable, healthy, every-collar lifestyle -- then President Obama would conduct his next televised address to the nation in the White House kitchen over a pot of chicken, carrots, and celery. It takes five minutes to put together. Leave it to cook while you're at work and you've got a healthy, affordable meal waiting for your family at the end of the day.