Everybody indulges once in a while. On Monday, Jan. 21, the invited guests at President Barack Obama's Inauguration Luncheon had a three-course meal set before them.
This number of calories would not have raised eyebrows except that it goes against First Lady Michelle Obama's initiatives for healthy eating.
This year’s luncheon was a bit on the indulgent side. There were three courses which were a standard for inauguration luncheons. A list of the menus for inaugurations dating back to 1981 shows three-course meals; however, this 2013 menu had more items per course including lobster, bison and apple pie.
All the food on this year's menu had sky-high calorie counts.
CalorieCount.com's Rachel Berman, RD, CSR, CDN, who compiled this year’s Inaugural Luncheon nutritional statistics, was a little shocked by the numbers. She felt that although it’s fine and even healthy to treat ourselves once in a while, the figures were a bit too high to justify.
“It’s OK to indulge every once in awhile and if the Presidential Inauguration isn’t a special, celebratory occasion to do so, I don’t know what is. However, in light of the first lady’s obesity initiatives and the fact that the menu was made public, it was definitely a missed opportunity for nutrition education, for example, to offer lightened-up recipe alternatives (even if just on the website).”
HealthyFoodRecipe.net posted the full menu, complete with its calorie count, and said it was “unsatisfactory” to see such an unhealthy spread, given first lady Michelle Obama’s push for healthier eating.
The first course was lobster tails in a New England clam chowder sauce. The second course was bison with a red potato horseradish cake. The dessert was apple pie with sour cream ice cream.
The chef who prepared this was Shannon Shaffer, who also prepared the 2009 luncheon.
It is worth noting that the menu was determined by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and not by First Lady Michelle Obama.