Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Age of the Pyramid Has Ended (at least in the Food World)

Have you ever tried to eat a pyramid? I did. For years, in fact. I remember one night - out of exasperation and confusion - printing out the entire USDA Nutritional Guide, for myself on my personal printer in my bedroom, in full color and then, like a complete nut taking all of the info in the pyramid and translating it into a fancy little food diary for myself.

Using nothing more than the clip art provided in Microsoft Word I made a line for each type of food (I so desperately just wanted to be back to the food groups at the time!) so that I could cross off each serving as I ate it each day. I used little chunks of cheese to represent servings of dairy, green beans for vegetables, a sprig of wheat for the grains, an apple for fruits, a cooked chicken for meats and a skull and cross-bones for the fats & sweets section. I thought I was quite clever. I even added a line with eight glasses of water to make sure I got my daily hydration.

I made these diaries (each one lasted two weeks) in order to simplify the craziness that was the pyramid. Friends and family thought it was a great idea and said I should patent it and start selling them, but I could see the writing on the wall: paper was dying, someone would make an APP for this soon enough! Alas, it doesn't matter, because it seems that the USDA has finally figured out that those of us who cared to follow these guidelines all along have been deconstructing their pyramid all along!

To me, this was the most upsetting & confusing version of the Pyramid.
The Pyramid, in all of its re-imaginations is finally being replaced! HOORAY I say! This Thursday the pyramid will be replaced with a... are you sitting down? Because this actually might make some sense, so I don't want to shock you!... The pyramid will be replaced with a dinner plate!! Can you believe it? Food on a plate? Ingenious, I say!

As you can probably tell, I am looking forward to the big reveal and I'm hoping I don't need to do any translating, reconfiguring or analyzing unless I decide to out of some geeky desire.

Expect my review of the new plate later this week, but until then I optimistically await what they will be serving up!!
What are your experiences with the Food Pyramid?
What are your hopes for USDA's new plate?

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