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President Says It’s Broccoli, and President Still Says To Hell With It

March 22, 1990

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush stood firm Wednesday on his refusal to eat broccoli but applauded California growers’ shipping 10 tons of the vegetable to feed the hungry in the nation’s capital.

″I am not going to rethink my position,″ he said, laughing, on his way to his private quarters from the Oval Office. ″But Barbara was delighted to get the news.″

Bush has banned broccoli from Air Force One. His wife has lamented publicly in the past how difficult a time she has getting her husband to eat his vegetables.

Bush, accompanied by friends from Texas, produced a news clipping about the southern California growers who packed a truck Tuesday with 10 tons of broccoli and sent it on its way to a Washington food bank.

When a reporter asked if there was anything else that Bush did not like, the president laughed and replied, ″Yeah, but I don’t want to get 10 tons of it 3/8″

Two cartons of broccoli are reportedly earmarked for the White House, along with recipes offering some novel ways to serve it.

The rest is to be distributed to soup kitchens, shelters and other non- profit organizations that feed the homeless and hungry.

The growers are shipping their produce to the Capital Area Community Food Bank.

Bush broke into laughter at the end of a White House ceremony on Tuesday when he encountered a produce lobbyist wearing a stalk of broccoli on his lapel. He told the lobbyist other people should eat broccoli - if they like it.

Bush’s own taste runs more to pork rinds, taco salads and almost anything smothered in hot pepper sauce.

Peter Lassen, food solicitor for the Capital Area Community Foodbank, said he was contacted by the California growers Monday after a news magazine reported the presidential ukase against broccoli.

″I got a call asking if we’d accept a shipment of broccoli as a good- natured protest to the president. I said sure we’re be glad to have it,″ he said.

A White House official contacted Lassen Tuesday and discussed a possible welcoming ceremony on Monday for the broccoli.

″They wanted to make sure it wasn’t a hoax,″ said Lassen. He added, ″I don’t know if the White House is going to go along with that yet.″

Lassen said his food bank isn’t looking for any more broccoli shipments right now.

″We can handle (10 tons), but not much more than that because of the shelf life,″ said Lassen, whose bank distributes 3,000 tons of food a year.

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