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The New York Times this morning zeroes in on holiday preparations at the White House, and even though the December party season has never been known much for good eating habits, the executive mansion is trying to stress its new penchant for local and healthy.

Thank, in part, that garden first lady Michelle Obama planted out back. Writes the Times:

Gone is the chicken-fried steak with gravy, a must during the George W. Bush years. There’s still smoked salmon and roast beef and gulf shrimp, but there are also roasted vegetables served with two seemingly indulgent dips. The sharpness of the slightly spicy hummus dip and the garlic in the yogurt ranch dressing serve as foils for the sweetness that roasting brings out in the vegetables.

Cue the outrage from chicken-fried steak lovers! The food wars continue…

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson