8/22/2012 03:36:00 PM

Was Thomas Jefferson The First Alice Waters?

Image via Wikipedia
Turns out that founding father Thomas Jefferson may have been the precursor to veggie gurus like Michael Pollan and Alice Waters. But don't call him a locavore: "Jefferson overturned convention when he brought hot weather crops to his Virginia hilltop garden. Until then Colonial gardens in America grew only cool weather crops, following the English custom. But Jefferson was right: the microclimate turned out to be very hospitable to vegetables from Africa, Asia, South America and the Mediterranean, like eggplant, tomatoes, okra, lima beans, peanuts, garlic and hot and sweet peppers."

Marian Burros digs up some info on Jefferson's diet and gardening practices from the 1800s finding evidence that the former President was well, kind of a vegetarian: "I have lived temperately, eating little animal and that as a condiment for the vegetables which constitute my present diet," he wrote to a friend in 1819. Read the full article here.

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