Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, has declared broccoli to be his favourite food at a function held at the White House this week.

Surprisingly, this is not the first time that the vitamin rich vegetable has made its way into US political discussion, with George Bush Senior banning the vegetable from all meals served on Airforce One in 1990, stating “I do not like broccoli…I’m the President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat broccoli anymore.”

“Barack Obama is one of the leaders of the free world, and it is fantastic to hear him proclaim that the humble broccoli is his favourite food. Broccoli should be compulsory eating for all Australian politicians in this turbulent election year, due to the blood pressure lowering effects of the green vegetable,” said AUSVEG Senior Communications Officer, Hugh Gurney.

“AUSVEG is calling on Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to disclose his feelings about broccoli. The Australian people need to be assured that the leader of our nation is eating healthy amounts of broccoli, regarded as a preventative of a litany of health problems,” said Mr Gurney.

Broccoli is high in vitamins C and A, and is also an important source of calcium, a mineral which is linked to the control of high blood pressure and the prevention of colon cancer.

AUSVEG is Australia’s leading horticulture body representing 9,000 vegetable growers, including broccoli producers.

“The American people can rest assured that their current leader will be at far less risk of heart disease than former President Bill Clinton, who counted cheeseburgers and chicken enchiladas among his favourite foods, prior to his quadruple bypass surgery in 2004,” said Mr Gurney.

In Australia, broccoli is the fifth most purchased vegetable, purchased by around 50 per cent of Australian households on a weekly basis.

“Since George Bush Senior’s broccoli ban, US broccoli consumption has increased by 900 per cent, and we are hoping that President Obama’s revelation will have similar global effects, especially here in Australia where our growers produce some of the highest quality vegetables grown anywhere in the world,” said Mr Gurney.

“With only five per cent of adults eating the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, it is hoped that Presidential endorsements, and endorsements from Prime Minister Rudd, will get more Australians putting broccoli back on the menu,” said Mr Gurney.

MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Gurney, Senior Communications Officer AUSVEG.
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0410 047 432, Email: