Pocantico Hills: US first lady Michelle Obama gave her healthy eating initiative a global showcase on Friday when she welcomed spouses of world leaders to tour a farm north of New York City, then treated them to a seasonal lunch featuring bounty from the farm and the White House garden.
The spouses, who came from places as diverse as Cameroon, Mongolia, Swaziland and Latvia, toured the Stone Barns Centre about 40 kilometres north of New York, which is both a farm and an educational centre working on sustainable farming, a cause close to the first lady`s heart.
And it shares the premises with one of the most renowned restaurants in the New York area, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where the women lunched on sungold tomatoes from the White House Kitchen Garden, eggs harvested minutes earlier from the farm`s chickens, and chicken with eggplant and ratatouille -- also from the White House garden.
Addressing the spouses, Mrs Obama, wearing an appropriately floral-and foliage-themed print dress, emphasised the importance of children learning directly about the food they eat. Also participating in the day`s events were third-graders from two local schools, who helped prepare the lunch by harvesting eggs and collecting herbs.
"Many kids may never learn that ketchup comes from a tomato and french fries from a potato," Mrs Obama said. "Because they`re disconnected from the food they eat."