Sam Kass made vegetable garden for the First Lady

Fighting the good food fight

Published July 21, 2016

Sam Kass and children from the Bancroft school help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden. Foto: The White House

Sam Kass, a chef by profession, makes his mark in politics and media to fight the good food fight.

In this interview chef Sam Kass talks about how he worked with the First Lady of The United States to set up the first vegetable garden at the White House since the 1980s, and why media are showing increasing interest in food issues.

Sam Kass is NBC News’ Senior Food Analyst, and explains that media outlets are becoming increasingly engaged with food issues because ‘everybody cares about it; every family is dealing with the issues of how do you feed your children healthy. “In fact, not only media businesses but companies across the spectrum are getting more involved”. Kass talks about a culture change, and says that because “these issues are costing businesses huge amounts of money, there are profits to be made by doing better by our community.”
During an on-stage panel he also spoke about opening up for business to do good, as current systems reflect structures of short-term thinking. He also stresses the need to market healthy ideals and aspirations with the same sophistication as unhealthy choices – because as he says in his own words: “we are simply not in the game”.

The issues of health and food we face today did not come about over night, and solving these issues is not something we can achieve over night either. Reinstating the vegetable garden at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama was according to Kass also a symbolic move to show how important these issues are, and that they require attention at the top level. The chef believes we need to make continuous steps in the right direction to set ourselves straight again – and that food habits are a “generational endeavor”.



Sam Kass  


  • Senior Food Analyst for NBC News.
  • Former Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy.
  • Helped First Lady Michelle Obama create the first major vegetable garden at he White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden.
  • To date, the garden has yielded thousands of kilos of produce that has been used to feed event guests, staff and the First Family at the White House, with further harvests donated to local food shelters.