This former president was one of the most athletic presidents the United States has had, known for his penchant for playing pickup basketball. Does Obama focus on his diet to stay in shape, as well as exercise?
Barack Obama is not vegan, nor is he vegetarian. He and Michelle Obama do eat clean, focusing on clean, healthy meal options, while not specifically excluding animal products.
Read on to find out more about Barack and Michelle Obama’s daily meal plans, their changes to the White House, and Obama’s stance on animal agriculture.
The Diets of The Obamas
With Michelle Obama’s work to improve school lunches at every school in America, it’s no wonder that the Obamas take their diets seriously. While making children’s meals healthier and substantial, the Obamas also focus on their food intake and are careful in choosing what to eat.
Since they aren’t vegan or vegetarian, they do still eat some meat and animal products. What are some examples of Obama’s eating habits?
They were close during Love’s time as Obama’s body man, regularly playing basketball together, as Love was a forward for the Duke Blue Devils basketball team.
Many things that Love dished were Obama’s food pet peeves, as well as his normal dietary habits. First, Obama doesn’t like to start his morning with coffee–unlike most Americans, who are morning coffee drinkers, Obama prefers orange juice, green tea, or just drinking water.
Breakfast is always important to Obama, who never skips his morning routine of eating a healthy morning meal. His breakfast of choice was normally some eggs, potatoes, and wheat toast.
According to Australia’s former Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, Obama avoids “anything with sugar, carbs or fat,” which he “pushed to one side,” he writes after a dinner that they both attended in a journal entry that appears in his collection Diary of a Foreign Minister.
Carr’s observation is backed up by Love’s description of an incident in which Love gave Obama some trail mix with candies in it. “The senator opened the bag of trail mix I’d bought and proceeded to pick out every M&M, holding them all in his palm like pieces of candy-coated toxic waste,” before offering them to Love and explaining that he won’t eat them.
Obama also likes to eat grilled fish or chicken and dislikes anything battered or fried, doesn’t eat fast food, and along with coffee, forgoes all soda. Turkey or beef chili is one of his favorite foods as well as recipes to make, and he occasionally eats burgers or steaks.
Aside from some chocolates, Obama eats mostly veggies and other healthy foods, aided by Michelle Obama’s addition of a vegetable garden to the White House–the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s from World War II–which grew over 55 different kinds of vegetables and provided healthy meals for the family.
Support for Veganism
Just because Obama isn’t vegan doesn’t mean he doesn’t share vegan goals like reducing the effects of climate change that arise from animal agriculture.
Obama has talked about the importance of decreasing meat consumption for the sake of the climate as well as for the health of the consumer. His views are in posts like this one or this one, encouraging Americans to eat less meat.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t teach you and me to have a smaller steak, for our own health. It doesn’t mean we can’t make progress in educating the advanced world about the need to reduce, just for dietary reasons, the amount of meat that we consume at any given meal,” he said at the Global Food Innovation Summit in Italy.
Watch the YouTube video below to see Obama answer vegan activist Nikki Benoit’s question about pollution caused by animal agriculture.