The embattled food pyramid has finally fallen, giving way to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new MyPlate icon. Grains, which occupied a comfortable spot at the base of the pyramid and commanded six to 11 servings per day, remain in the limelight in the new format as a quadrant of the recommended daily intake. Bakers and those representing them are breathing a sigh of releif.
The pyramid ultimately fell to its own thouroughness–the recommendations it provided were too complex (borderline incomprehensible at times) for the average person to adhere to. The new MyPlate aims to strip away some of the confusion with a simplified design and what should be attainable goals.
Michelle Obama said, “We realized that we needed something that made sense not just in laboratories and classrooms but at dinner tables. What’s more simple than a plate? We don’t have time to measure three ounces of chicken– that has confounded me as a parent for a long time.”
Now, it’s tough for me to imagine Mrs. Obama–first lady and one of the most powerful women in the world–fretting over ounces of chicken (they have a staff of chefs for that) but her point remains.
The simple, easy to read, and maybe most importantly, easily recognizable icon will first matriculate into schools and military installations, and before long, will be ubiquitous. I’m optimistic that it will have staying power, and happy that it reaffirms grains as a fundamental part of the diet. There certainly have been worse uses of $2 million budgets.