Michelle Obama: Province in Italy dedicates 1,400-year-old olive tree to first lady

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Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative has inspired a province in Italy to dedicated a 1,400-year-old olive tree to the first lady. The ancient breed known as “The Queen” from the province of Lecce is seen as a fitting symbol for Michelle, because her promotion of fitness mirrors the health benefits of what many call the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is a main component of this style of eating, which encompasses the food cultures of countries such as Italy.

“The first lady has launched the ‘Let’s Move’ campaign for a healthier lifestyle and diet … in perfect harmony with the requirements of a Mediterranean diet,” the province said, as reported by the AFP news service.

To honor this commemoration, the Lecce province will gift the White House with approximately 26 gallons of extra-virgin olive each year made from fruits of “The Queen” starting in the fall. Combined with the yield from the first lady’s organic White House garden (and a batch of balsamic vinegar) that will make quite a bit of fortifying salad.

Michelle’s activities to promote healthy eating and end childhood obesity will be further reflected in a coming episode of the Food Network show Restaurant: Impossible. In the coming June 13 episode, the first lady tasks show host Robert Irvine with the challenge of revamping the facilities of a program that provides healthy meals to underprivileged children.

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb