Blogs & Comment

Why Barack Obama loves fast food

The Obamas may not agree on food, but that's probably a good thing.

A quick detour from video games today into fast food, since there’s been some notable news on the subject over the past few days. The first bit is the conflicting food messages being put forward by U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

The president made headlines last week by ordering some artery clogging fare at Rudy’s, a popular fast food joint in Toledo, Ohio. Obama apparently tried to chow down on a hot dog, fries, chili and pop, with another hot dog later on. Looks like he’s got a pretty big appetite.

“Mustard, onion, chili sauce sounds just right… a little cheese on it, nothing wrong with that,” he said while placing his order at Rudy’s.

Michelle, on the other hand, has long been an advocate of healthy eating and organic farming. No kidding – she sent the biotech industry (the folks responsible for genetically modified foods) into a tizzy when the Obamas moved into the White House, whereupon she proceeded to plant an organic garden.

In any event, while Barack was busy downing chili dogs, Michelle was back home harvesting her organic fruits and vegetables as part of her Let’s Move healthy eating initiative. It’s a funny juxtaposition that shows the Obamas are clearly of two minds when it comes to their views on food.

And they have to be. They can’t both be all hipster and new-age-y when it comes to eating because the traditional food system – which includes fast food – is incredibly important to the United States. Witness the country’s latest job numbers – the U.S. created 54,000 jobs in May, about half of what was expected. The kicker: 62,000 of those were from a major hiring spree by McDonald’s.

Sure, the majority of those jobs are minimum wage, but as some observers put it, without them the U.S. jobs numbers would have been a “reversal” or “devastating.”

With that kind of economic reality, the president – much less the rest of the country – isn’t going to stop eating and promoting fast food any time soon.