Just as color alerts became a confusing part of our daily routines, the food pyramid chart has confounded “new” thinking about food and is about to die a natural death. As in, it will be removed from the visual universe of what we should eat. It is high time the icon was put aside into the annals of food history. Yet, what will the new look say about our food when all is revealed on June 2? The pyramid becomes history, and the plate details the new food visual.
Not just any plate, but one that has been approved by the First Family. A plate that says, less is better but what constitutes less will be unveiled in stages. We have become a full plate society from our parents earliest admonitions to finish your food to dining out and expecting full plates brimming over with food. Oversize restaurant portions were supposed to imply monetary value but instead helped contribute to our obesity numbers.
The President and the First Lady exemplify their commitment to exercise and good eating habits. The White House Garden has been a huge success and farm markets continue to expand in close proximity to the White House. At the same time some of the nation’s top chefs have contributed their time and expertise to improving the school lunch program. Logically, the next step is to take the tired pyramid of foods and replace its message with one that stresses vital health information. This is a more active focus that demonstrates the importance of being active and eating healthy. In addition to the USDA, other government agencies will help drive the important message.
Making the plate a thing of beauty with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables is a natural starting point. After all we are in the heart of the growing season and product availability. Grocers are competing with farm stands to show that locally grown food can be readily available to all shoppers.
Eating healthy has new rules and as a nation the time has come to step up to the plate and move into a healthier position. We welcome the pyramid retirement party.
It’s time to set up a healthy plate.