Obama Delivers ‘State of the Onion’ Address

In case you missed it, President Obama gave a great State of the Onion address on Jan. 20, 2015. Here is an excerpt:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:

We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years in which our country has fought many battles and Melvin Durai's Humorovercome many hurdles to claim its rightful place as one of the world’s greatest onion producers. Over the last five years, only China and India have produced more onions than America. However, the reality is that while China produced 27 percent of the world’s onions and India 20 percent, we were far behind at 4 percent.

But tonight, we turn the page.

Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing, our farmers are prospering and we are State of the Onionon pace to produce 5 percent of the world’s onions! Yes, one out of every 20 onions will be dug out of American soil! But before you get too excited, I need to emphasize that it’s going to take a concerted national effort to achieve this, not just from our onion-growing farmers, but also from the onion-eating public. We must follow a program that I’m unveiling tonight called “No Onion Left Uneaten.”

It’s up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come. Will we accept a world in which China and India get all the onion glory? Or will we commit ourselves to growing and eating more onions, so future generations of Americans can proudly display their “Onion Power” banners?

As part of my “No Onion Left Uneaten” program, I would like to share three important ideas:

First, we must realize that diversity makes our country stronger, and it’s not enough to eat just white onions or yellow onions or red onions. We must embrace onions of all types: Red, yellow, white – and even green. We must not discriminate against any onion. We must pledge to rid America of all forms of onionism.

Some of you may be inclined to enjoy onions you’re familiar with and shun onions that look different and came here from other countries. But it’s important to remember that the onions you enjoy today are descendants of onions that once came to America from faraway lands. We must embrace them all, even the wild ones.

Secondly, my fellow Americans, we must try to incorporate onions in our cooking as much as possible. It’s not enough to make onion soup, onion bread, and onion rings. We must put onions on our burgers, onions on our hot dogs, onions on our pizza. Just ask Michelle and she’ll tell you that onions are my favorite topping – I can’t eat ice cream without them.

It’s also important to buy non-food products that are made with onions. We must support American companies that are introducing innovative products such as onion ointment, onion toothpaste and onion mouthwash. You may snicker at the thought of using onion mouthwash, but take my word for it, there’s no better cure for garlic breath.

Thirdly, we shouldn’t just leave the onion-growing to our farmers. All of us can grow onions ourselves. If you live in a house, you can grow onions in your backyard garden. If you live in an apartment, you can grow onions in a pot on your balcony. If you live in your mother’s basement, you can grow onions in those empty beer cans beside the couch.

If we work together, my fellow Americans, we can do it. We can beat China and India at their own game and get ourselves a bigger slice of the onion pie. Just ask Michelle and she’ll tell you how much I enjoy onion pie.

Thank you, God bless you, God bless America, and God bless this vegetable we love.

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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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