After all, our president has been photographed with burgers and barbeque all across the fruited plain, but to my knowledge he has never been snapped eating broccoli.
The context of the comment, as Reuters reports was a healthy recipe contest with kids at the White House on July 9. A journalist at the event asked President Obama what his favorite food was, and broccoli was the inexplicable response.
We can only assume President Obama gave the reply with a wry grin on his face, with a knowing glance directed to the First Lady.
President Obama’s proclaimed love of broccoli, feigned or not, puts him in stark relief to President George H.W. Bush, who rattled the industry’s cage when he declared his dislike for broccoli in 1990. The industry responded by shipping a truckload of broccoli to the White House, which was promplty distributed to D.C. food banks.
President Bush was an equal opportunity critic of venerable vegetables, taking on carrots in 1992. He also had harsh words for Belgian endive, if you can believe it.
From The Packer’s archives in March 1992:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Bush once again has raised the industry's ire following a recent executive assault on vegetables.
``We are in the midst of another attack by the administration on fresh fruits and vegetables -- this time carrots,'' said Alan Siger of Consumer's Produce Co. Inc. of Pittsburgh and chairman of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association.
Bush announced his dislike of carrots during a speech March 19 to the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association. Bush reportedly decided not to join the journalists for dinner after seeing that carrots were on the menu.
Although carrot consumption ranks high among Americans, Bush said he regards carrots as ``just like orange broccoli.''
Siger said the president's remarks about carrots could present an invaluable opportunity for the fresh produce industry to spotlight the many healthful qualities of carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, as well as other commodities.
The United has prepared tip sheets for the president and the media detailing the benefits of carrots and broccoli and pointing out facts about the two vegetables.