Editors’ Note: While our first love here at ES is unquestionably food, we have to admit we get nearly as riled up about another favorite topic — politics. We’re always on the lookout for ways to combine the two, which brings us to our newest series, The Candidates’ Cookbook, in which DC-based correspondent Britannia interviews the 2010 Washington, D.C. mayoral candidates. He’ll ask each one to share their opinions on nutrition, obesity and of course, where and what they eat. All DC Mayoral candidates were invited to participates, so look for a new interview in this space each week.
Dennis Sobin is certainly one of the more colorful Democratic characters running for Mayor, and in a D.C. election, that says a lot. At a recent debate, instead of handing out leaflets promoting his campaign, Sobin handed out flowers, which he believes generated a greater impact on attendees. It’s also safe to say he’s the only candidate who was imprisoned as recently as 2009, which he credits for curing him of an illness. But enough with that — let’s hear what he has to say about food.
The Food Police
I asked Sobin if he would consider introducing bans on trans fats, as New York has done. He stressed that education, not legislation, is the key. “Educate the consumer and then let them choose what to eat. I’m not for putting the food police in restaurants, weighing people before and after they eat.”
“The head of a city has to lead by example, showcasing one’s easting habits, maintaining a good shape—exercise, home-cook and grocery shop carefully,” continued Sobin, who also talked of a personal habit he picked up from none other than my favorite Girl, Betty White.
“A good eating tip I got from reading about Betty White—she weighs herself every morning and if she weighs more than she did the day before she alters what she eats for the day. ” AMAZING! Sobin acknowledges that Mayor Fenty is indeed healthy and a good role model in that respect, but he believes it doesn’t compensate for the Mayor’s “corrupt and over-privileged government,” something Sobin hopes to eradicate should he be elected.
Food in the Schools
On nutritional standards in DC public schools, Dennis tells me that “good eating habits begin at an early age—you go to school to improve your mind so it doesn’t do much good if children leave with a bad body.” I asked whether he believes schools or the government should impose calorie limitations in school meals, and Sobin explained that he was a consultant for the USDA and appreciates the work they do, so he doesn’t see a problem with schools setting their own calorie limits, as long as they use the national standard and don’t over-legislate.
About that Prison Food…