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'Back To Basics' For First Ladies | 25/09/2010
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POCANTICO HILLS (New York), Sept 25 2010 (Bernama) -- Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor joined other first ladies in touring an organic farm in New York, led by US First Lady Michelle Obama who is campaigning for healthy eating habits to fight rising obesity in America.

The first ladies were warmly greeted by Michelle, and in their extensive tour of Stone Barns Center, a non-profit 80-acre farm and education centre located 25 miles north of New York City, they observed third grade students harvest, cook and eat fresh vegetables, eggs and other farm products.

The students came from JFK Magnet School in Port Chester, and Pocantico Hills Central School in Pocantico Hills -- both Blue Ribbon schools.

Rosmah, who admitted that she did not like to eat her vegetables when she was young, said that such a programme was very useful in encouraging children to eat vegetables that they grew in their own gardens, prepared and cooked, and especially without chemicals or preservatives.

The wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is accompanying her husband who will deliver a speech on Monday, at the 65th United Nations General Assembly.

Rosmah voiced her concern on obesity among children in Malaysia, that it could be due to the increasing consumption of fastfood and lack of exercise.

However, she said, such food was acceptable as long as they were made without preservatives or other chemicals which she described as harmful, to a child's mental and physical development.

Rosmah, who is hosting a First Ladies Summit in Kuala Lumpur next month, discussed with other first ladies over lunch at the farm, one of the pressing issues faced by the world -- climate change -- and how it would affect the next generation.

She recalled the concern of a first lady over lunch, who originated from an island in the Pacific, who said that her country was "shrinking" with the rise in sea level, while a first lady from Mongolia said there was not much snow this year, and quipped that her country's snow was probably 'dumped' in Washington DC which last winter, experienced one of the heaviest winters in its history.

She said, 23 countries had confirmed their attendance at the upcoming summit. She has also written to invite Michelle Obama to the Summit.

Rosmah said she met a few of the first ladies who planned to attend and they were looking forward to attending the Summit.

Michelle gave each first lady a basket of farm products grown in the farm, while Rosmah reciprocated with a songket shawl from Terengganu.

"On behalf of the people of Malaysia, we are proud of our handicraft," said Rosmah.

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