Congress and my Dinner Plate

Did you know that United States government once placed a special tax on colored margarine? Or that Thomas Jefferson smuggled rice from Italy into the United States, a crime punishable by death?  Or that the school lunch program is one of the nation’s most successful welfare projects in history? If you are like me, then you probably did not know any of this information.

Although I consider myself a foodie, I realized today that there is much more to food than simply how it tastes and how it is prepared. At the National Archives in downtown D.C. there is a new exhibition that explores the government’s effect on the American diet. “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” seeks to educate visitors about the government’s complex programs and legislation that have influenced what Americans see on their plates and eat off of their forks. Considering that the exhibition is devoted to two of my passions, food and politics, I knew this was something I could not miss. Continue reading