White House Kitchen Garden lead levels under control

For the past few weeks, an absurd panic has been brewing with regards to the lead levels at the White House Kitchen Garden.

The original soil tests indicated a lead level of 93ppm (parts per million) safe by US EPA standards.  When those tests were reported in the media, some outlets threw a fit.

Since planting the garden, the White House has worked to remediate the soil on site, using lime, green sand and crab meal as well as organic matter in the form of compost.  Now, the soil has been retested, the lead levels are now at 14ppm, similar to lead levels in uninhabited areas.

Obama Foodorama has the full story here.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has a list of soil testing laboratories.

If you have questions about Lead in your soil, contact the EPA’s Lead Hotline.

Photos by Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times

TOP: Bill Yosses, left, executive pastry chef, and Mr. Kass surveyed the bounty, including tomatoes.

BOTTOM: The White House gardening team has reduced the lead levels in the kitchen garden on the South Lawn by fortifying the soil. Sam Kass, far left, White House food initiative coordinator, checked the crops this week.

Thank Michelle Obama for her incredible garden here.

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