After Obama Reference, Council Urges: Give Peas a Chance

The USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, established in 1965 and based in Moscow, Idaho, probably doesn't get a ton of political reporters calling, but all that changed Monday after President Obama brought up the little green food at a White House press conference.

It all started when the president confronted reporters about the latest on the debt ceiling talks he's having with Republicans. He said he didn't want a short deal and the fight can't continue. "It's not going to get easier. It's going to get harder. So we might as well do it now -- pull off the Band-Aid; eat our peas. Now is the time to do it. If not now, when?"

When asked if they were surprised by the attention, USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council Communications Manager Erica Beck tells FOX News, "I can't say that we expected it necessarily," and that they received quite a few calls throughout the day.

They are hoping the exposure will also cause Americans to increase their consumption of peas.

"We take President Obama's comment on the need to ‘eat our peas' as a reference to the First Lady's push to get all Americans to eat a more healthy diet as part of the Let's Move campaign," the group said in a statement.

"Eating peas has two clear benefits: they can help close the nutritional loopholes in your diet, and preparation isn't taxing! If tasty and nutritious meals featuring peas are served more frequently in the White House and in the cafeterias of both Houses of Congress, it will contribute to a balanced diet, if not a balanced budget. Eating more lentils couldn't hurt, either," the council added.

The LA Times also notes that there are several 2012 battleground states that grow peas - including Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. North Dakota, Montana and Washington state.

Of course this isn't the first time a vegetable has created its own sidebar narrative from an administration.

Who could forget former president George H.W. Bush's loathing of another green vegetable, broccoli.

"I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli," Bush said at a March press conference 21 years ago when asked about a broccoli ban imposed on Air Force One.

And then there was his vice president, Dan Quayle spelled "potato" as "potatoe," incorrectly changing a New Jersey student's spelling bee entry.