Yesterday's post and Food cover story by Laurie Conrad, taking off from Michele Obama's influential White House kitchen garden and addressing the quesiton of what to do with all the resulting produce, was obviously seen and appreciated by President Obama.

Oh sure, I suppose you're going to tell me it's just a coincidence that yesterday afternoon the President addressed the very same issue, somewhat out of the blue at a health-care forum? Here's what he said:

So, you know, Michelle set up that garden in the White House. One of the things that we're trying to do now is to figure out, can we get a little farmer's market outside of the White House -- I'm not going to have all y'all just tromping around -- (laughter) -- but right outside the White House so that we can -- and that is a win-win situation. It gives suddenly DC more access to good, fresh food, but it also is this enormous potential revenue maker for local farmers in the area. And those kids of connections can be made all throughout the country and has to be part of how we think about health.

The statement that he and the First Lady were "trying to figure out" whether they could do this has led to a lot of debate online as to whether the whole thing was serious or not. Some are playing down the likelihood of it being a serious announcement, while others call it exactly that.

Either way, a White House farmer's market focusing on fresh, organic fruits and vegetables would be a great step forward for the message of healthy plant-based food and its importance both for our nutritional needs and for the health of the Earth. And to his credit, the President did go on to tie children's access to produce to the burgeoning debate (and upcoming legislation?) on "healthier" school lunches.

But even if Obama doesn't wind up going so far as to set up a business on the White House sidewalk (which does seem like a proposition fraught with some peril - which farmers would be included/excluded, and why?) there are other steps he can take to promote this same message.

One would be to institute a policy that all official White House meals include an entirely plant-based option. Even if Michelle doesn't want to sell the bounty from her own garden out on the street, it could be pressed into service at state dinners! Hey, "Eat the View," get on this, OK?