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| Books |

Michelle Obama's American Grown: Gardening and Cooking with FLOTUS

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The first lady has written a cookbook with gardening tips. The 256-page book, American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools, and Communities, is scheduled to be released April 10 in both print and e-book editions. (Pre-order it at randomhouse.com.)

The book is Mrs. Obama's first. (Her husband, the president, has written several best sellers, including a children's book.) She has taken no advance and is donating all "net or after-tax author proceeds to a charity or charities to be named after."

American Grown tells how her daughters -- Sasha and Malia -- helped the family change its eating ways. The girls, in fact, were the reason behind the edible garden on the South Lawn. The last first lady to plant a vegetable garden, by the way, was Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II.

The book will also contain recipes and lots of pictures of the White House garden (and probably the first lady wearing attractive cardigans while picking tomatoes).

Obama is a strong advocate for healthy eating. She launched a campaign, Let's Move!, in February 2010, which addresses child obesity by improving food quality in schools and encouraging increased physical activity.

Yesterday she was in Chicago to attend the mayor's summit on food deserts. She urged the summit attendees to take steps to ensure Chicago's citizens have access to fresh produce, from planting community gardens to easing zoning permits to allowing grocery stores to open.

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