Pyramids are out. Plates are in.
The Obama administration is ditching the long-standing food pyramid that tells us what types of food to eat regularly — and what to eat sparingly. In its place is a new kind of visual aid experts say will be easier to understand. Starting today, we’ll be looking at a dinner plate loaded with a day’s worth of healthy food.
Seems simple enough, right? Out with the tired old triangle, in with a more literal representation of healthy eating.
But if past changes are any indication, the switch to a plated system could cost taxpayers plenty. U.S.D.A. has racked up a $2 million bill developing and promoting the plate logo, according to the New York Times. That cost covered research, focus groups and the creation of a website.
Seems much ado about nothing. Heck, I would have done it for them for about $500. A kindergartener would have done it for a pack of gum and that $2 million could have been spent on paying unemployment for all those folks who have lost their jobs in this dwindling economy.
This is the third food logo the U.S.D.A has floated in the last two decades. The first, in 1992, was a pyramid divided into quadrants, with size and hierarchical ranking representing the quantities that should be included in a daily diet. A lot of good they did. Americans continue to super-size their plates and their bodies.
Gone are the old pyramid’s references to sugars, fats or oils. What was once a category called “meat and beans” is now simply “proteins,” making way for seafood and vegetarian options like tofu. Next to the plate is a blue circle for dairy, which could be a glass of milk or a food such as cheese or yogurt.