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Former First Lady Michelle Obama may be a huge advocate for eating fresh fruits and vegetables, but she recently revealed there’s one vegetable she just doesn’t like: beets.

In a recent interview with Food & Wine, Obama shared that, while she’ll eat just about anything, she’s “not a fan” of the root vegetable. The fact, as it turns out, isn’t exactly a secret — people first picked up on the Obama beet aversion back in 2009, when beets were omitted from the 55 fruits and vegetables planted in the White House garden.

Later, in 2012, Obama revealed that neither she nor her husband really liked beets.

“We believe there’s a beet gene. You either love beets or you hate ’em,” she is quoted as saying in 2012, while promoting American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America. We also re-watched Obama’s appearance on Masterchef Junior, where the kids are given a mystery box inspired by the White House garden. Sure enough, not a beet to be found.

We’re inclined to agree that beets are a divisive food — many fall down on similar lines of loving or loathing the vegetable. And while, for most people, hating beets would hardly be newsworthy, when so much of your career is focused on food, it does trickle in. Another famous foodie (and Obama fan) comes to mind: You’ll never never find a Barefoot Contessa recipe with cilantro since Ina Garten hates the herb.

Obama’s dislike of beets also solves another mystery for us. In 2014, Obama famously appeared in a Vine video to ask people “Turnip for what?” Now we know why she neglected to also turnip the beet.


by Marshall Bright of Refinery29