Tag Archives: Food Pyramid


Up above is the brand spankin’ new graphic for the new abstract food guide by the U.S Department of Agriculture. Called MyPyramid, it replaces the old food pyramid, which tended to be a tad culturally biased, as well as not really communicating the biggest variable in being healthy…exercising.

So after several go rounds, the ended up with this design.

MyTake on MyPyramid? I think it’s too abstract. The icon representing exercise is all well and good, and I’m glad it’s there, but can anyone tell me…without looking it up…what the colors specifically represent? The end result looks too much like a logo, and I don’t believe that, by itself, it effectively communicates just how many servings of fruits, grains, or meats one should have in a day, something that the older food pyramid proved it could do.

That being said, I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult this task must have been. Not only did the USDA have to develop a program that is educational, but they had to please both the health industry AND the various lobbies of the food industry. That’s a task I could never wish on anyone. The problem is that you end up with a graphic like this.

However, the graphic has been getting some passing grades. Parke Wilde over at U.S. Food Policy likes it and has given it a thumbs up.

For the record:
Orange = Grains
Green = Vegetables
Red = Fruits
Yellow = Oils
Blue = Milk
Purple = Meats & Beans

New Food Guidelines and Politics

Yeah, I’m a bit off the beaten path today. But it’s still something that I think needs to be said…

New food guidelines have been released by the United States Department of Agriculture. You can view them yourself here. If you have Adobe Reader, you can read the consumer brochure here.

The Food Pyramid is nowhere to be seen, although Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said her department was still discussing whether to continue using the pyramid format. It’s replaced by a page that doesn’t list food in a hierarchical format. The reason for that?

If you’ve read Food Politics by Marion Nestle, you’ll know why this occured. The process in which these standards are developed are vetted heavily by corporations and lobby groups. If a standard says “Eat less beef” (which is kind of a good thing), the beef industry tends to get a little upset. Hence the lobbying to make beef seem less bad than say…vegetables.
So when you hear the news about this in the coming days, keep in mind the process it took to create this.