Evolution of The Food Pyramid

my plate Evolution of The Food Pyramid

As you might have heard, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack just released their updated version of the “Food Pyramid,” or the more recent “MyPyramid.” The evolution to “MyPlate” has definitely created some buzz, especially surrounding how much the government should be involved in our nutrition. I think it’s fair to at least state their opinions about what is best for us, and they do have some valid messages, for example:

~Balance your calories and portions

~Eat mostly fruits and veggies

~Include quality whole grains in your diet

~Choose foods with low sodium

~Consume water instead of sugary drinks.

However, wouldn’t it be beneficial to our health to regulate the use of harmful pesticides and growth hormones? For some reason, nobody seems overly concerned with that issue.

On the bright side, the new USDA Nutritional guidelines DO recognize vegetarian protein sources, and even attempt to give ‘tips’ about vegetarian eating.  If you’re curious, check it out here.

Notice anything missing from the plate? Can you find the oils group? It was being phased out with “MyPyramid,” but now it’s gone. My beloved olive oil gets no respect whatsoever. Of course, I’m sure that they are implying we need to cut down on fats and oils, but I believe that we still need fats in their healthy forms like olive and fish oil.

Think what you will about “MyPlate,” but at least it’s sort of an improvement as a basic guide. What’s my take? I always suggest doing your own research and being informed about what you’re eating and what’s best for you.

An interesting resource (and a book that I really enjoy) is In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.  He discusses how the government and big business impact our food supply.

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