Big in Korea? No, says Obama Foodorama


One of the most engaging food-politics fusion blogs I’ve come across (and I’m definitely not the only one who has taken notice) is Obama Foodorama, edited by Eddie Gehman Kohan. A web journal that manages, in a very readable way, to record any link between the current US President and food, Foodorama has already been cited in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Gourmet magazine, to name just a few, while an interview with Kohan was also recently featured in the Washington Post.

When they asked her, ‘Why do you think Obama is such a compelling public figure from a food perspective?’ Kohan offered a pretty interesting reply:

‘He’s a slim fellow who is perpetually photographed eating, and he holds many meetings over meals, speaks to the secret fantasy that’s promoted by the billion-dollar US diet industry: You can eat a lot, and still stay slender.’

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Recently, Kohan has covered Obama’s recent trip to Asia from a foodie perspective, and in an entertaining entry titled ‘President Obama In South Korea: The Luncheon Menu…And Other Fun Details,’ she outright accuses the South Korean media of fabricating stories about Obama’s Nov.19 luncheon in Seoul with President Lee Myung-bak.

She writes, ‘(The) Korean media is reporting that First Lady Michelle Obama also attended the lunch–although Mrs. Obama was in the US the entire time President Obama was in Asia.’

Seems a clear-cut case…

Kohan also points out that although the Korean media reported Obama had gained weight on his Asia trip, in reality it was the complete opposite (he actually answered questions from the US media about his perceived weight loss at the time). So, if Kohan is right, can we believe Korean reports like this:

‘Obama, for his part, showed how comfortable he was with chopsticks and repeatedly complimented the dishes served as “delicious.” When he commented that he is gaining weight due to the many Asian delicacies he has enjoyed on this trip at previous summits in China, Japan and now in Korea–Lee assured him that Korean dishes are low in calories.’?

Kohan’s got me thinking otherwise.

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