What Will It Take for America to Eat Its Vegetables?

First lady Michele Obama has written a new gardening book. Called "American Grown," the book extols the virtues of sustainable local agriculture, school gardens and childhood nutrition.

What's the Latest Development?


First lady Michelle Obama's new book, "American Grown," is another effort in her quest to make Americans more aware of the food they eat and help the nation shake its obesity epidemic. "Obesity rates have climbed dramatically over the past two to three decades. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. Almost a third of children are overweight or obese, and seven out of 10 overweight youths will become overweight or obese as adults, according to government data." The center of her food manifesto has become the White House vegetable garden, where issues of sustainable local agriculture, national farm policy, school gardens and, most of all, childhood nutrition come to a head.

What's the Big Idea?

Perhaps the most tragic effect of our nation's nutrition ignorance is in our children's schools. Fewer children than ever walk to school, physical education classes are being cut and kids constantly snack on sugary, energy-dense foods. Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says: "Right now, the food environment is almost perfectly designed to make us fat. Eating well is like swimming upstream. You can do it but it takes a lot of effort." Beyond the first lady's personal quest, the government has a substantial financial interest in maintaining a healthy population. Health-care costs directly related to obesity have been estimated at as much as $150 billion annually. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Science confirms: Earth has more than one 'moon'

Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.

J. Sliz-Balogh, A. Barta and G. Horvath
Surprising Science
  • Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
  • These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
  • The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less