Call it "Veggie-gate."
The TV show Iron Chef made a big deal about their superstar chefs picking vegetables from the White House's own garden. Even First Lady Michele Obama made a cameo on the show to promote her push to get Americans to eat more veggies.
Now the Food Network is admitting that no produce from the White House garden was actually used on the show.
The website Politicsdaily.com broke the story. Patricia Murphy, columnist at politicsdaily.com said, "They actually picked vegetables from the White House garden, but when they taped the show a week later, they just used plain old New York vegetables."
Iron Chef's Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and White House chef Cristeta Comerford oooh-ed and aaah-ed over the White House's sweet potatoes, broccoli and tomatoes.
Turns out their cooking showdown was taped in New York City a week after the White House veggies were picked, so they weren't fresh anymore. The substitute veggies are being called "stunt produce...ringers."
The Food Network says in a statement, "Due to the production delay between the shoot at the White House and the shoot at Food Network, the produce used in kitchen stadium during the 'Super Chef Battle' was not actually from the White House garden."
The show was the highest rated in Food Network history with 7.6 million viewers. So whatever the source of those veggies, people seemed to have gotten the message about healthy eating.
Murphy said, "The White House sees it as a success. The Food Network sees it as a success. But I think maybe the viewers see it as a little bit of a dupe."