Is it grammatically correct to put a smiley in a title? In any case, I needed to indicate my tongue was in my cheek. I just saw on yahoo they are about to unfurl the new “food plate” to replace the “food pyramid”. Will this two million dollar campaign help? I’m not here to criticize something before it is even tried, but I have grave misgivings. Unless it shows portion sizes, and teaches people to not eat out, I doubt it. Does it teach not to drink pop? While two million sound like a lot, it is nothing in the face of the billion Coke, Nestles, McDonalds and all the rest spend.
On top of that, the food guidelines are not without their own controversy. Since the inception in 1862, the USDA has had two conflicting roles- protect the interests of farmers, and promote healthy eating. The conflict arises from farmers growing and selling things we should eat less of. You would think sugar would be an easy one, most sugar cane is grown in other countries. But high fructose corn syrup is grown by U.S. farmers. Also, there was furor in 1991, when the USDA withdrew a publication on their current guidelines. They said due to needing more research, critics argued it was because it recommended eating less red meat and dairy, and these two lobbies pressured the USDA to pull it.
On the positive side, it shows that vegetables and fruits should be the mainstay of your diet, which is critical. One of my favorite sources, the Nutrition Diva has a positive take on it. As is often said, every little bit helps, and it is an improvement over the pyramid, which had little to no effect.