Posted at 12:24 PM ET, 05/29/2012

Michelle Obama promotes new book on White House garden, ‘American Grown’

Michelle Obama may be a fan of vegetables, but there’s at least one that won’t be making an appearance in the White House garden.


President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
“One thing the president and I, we don’t really like, are beets,” the first lady said in an interview Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “We don’t have beets. We’re a no-beet garden. We believe there’s a beet gene. You either love beets or you hate ‘em, and neither of us have the beet gene.”

Obama appeared on the show to promote her new book, “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.”

The appearance was the latest instance of the overwhelmingly popular first lady steering clear of hot-button issues and instead taking a more apolitical public persona as the presidential campaign heats up.

That doesn’t mean the first lady hasn’t been hitting the campaign trail, however; she introduced her husband at the Obama campaign’s two kick-off events earlier this month in Ohio and Virginia.

Asked by ABC’s Robin Roberts on Tuesday what she expects her role to be during the 2012 campaign, Michelle Obama responded that “it’ll be the same as before” and added that the first couple prioritizes the schedules of their two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

“I’m going to be out there a lot,” she said. “I’m going to be traveling around the country. I love campaigning. And I say this all the time: If every American had the opportunity to travel around the country and go into people’s living rooms and talk, we’d understand that we have so much more in common and we’re working toward the same goals. And for me campaigning gives me the opportunity to experience that.”

She also pushed back against criticism that her “Let’s Move!” program is an example of big government dictating what children should or should not eat.

“You know, that’s not really what Let’s Move! has ever been about,” she said. “We know that there are many reasons why we’re in this dilemma with our children. One in three of our kids are overweight or obese. So there is an issue. But this isn’t about government telling people what to do. What we know we need to do is give parents, communities, families the tools and the information they need to make choices that are right for them, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.”

So if Michelle Obama doesn’t like beets, what’s her favorite vegetable?

“I have many,” the first lady said Tuesday, citing broccoli, string beans, carrots and, yes, arugula as among her favorites.

By  |  12:24 PM ET, 05/29/2012

 
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