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11. Sam Kass

The White House

11. Sam Kass

Here's what Sam Kass enjoys: slipping on his White House chef 's jacket (white, of course) and going out to the garden to pick some peas and mint for the Obama family's dinner. He is, after all, their cook—and he's inspired more by seasonal produce than by recipe books. Here's the other part of his job: donning a suit and meeting with big food companies, not-for-profits, politicians, and federal agencies to figure out how to get kids to eat healthier food. "The cooking side is the easier way to be creative," says Kass, who earned a history degree from the University of Chicago but has no formal culinary training. "On the policy side, it's harder to think of new approaches to problems." But he and the First Lady are enjoying success with her "Let's Move" campaign. One of their major victories: In January, Walmart announced plans to lower the price of its fruits and veggies and reduce the sugar, salt, and fat in private-label products on its shelves.


Who's afraid of President Obama's school lunch plan? Not Elmo.