Monday, April 25, 2005

The mystery of the food pyramids: vs.

Up there on the list of lame government creations: the latest iterations of the Food Pyramid, brought to you by the U.S. Dept. of Agribusiness, I mean, Agriculture. Forgive me for the mistake. This new pyramid doesn't really tell you much except that you should eat different colored foods and run (don't walk) up stairs. For more info, you must turn to the internet (too bad if you -- like many Americans -- don't own a computer or have a connection).

So I absent-mindedly type in, and start reading. Hmm, here's a choice tidbit:

"It's not what happens to the food before it gets to your table, but simply that you eat substantial servings of all foods ... "
Can this really by the USDA's revised nutritional guidelines, the reason they stripped the icon of all pertinent info? Nope. It turns out this is a carefully crafted parody site designed to look very much like the official site, where you can type in your age, gender and activity level to find out how many servings of everything you're supposed to be eating. A part of me thinks most people are never going to do this, so the whole revised campaign will be lost on them, and the meat, dairy and junk-food industries will be safe from such visual icons as the old pyramid, which encouraged eating less of what they have to sell.

According to my basic research, the satire site was registered April 19, the day the revised pyramids were unveiled, to Stephen Eisenmenger of Minneapolis, who appears to be a web designer and bicycling advocate who's also involved in the Green Party. Now I could be mixing up people, but it doesn't sound beyond belief that such a guy would make such a site. Sort of reminds me of the whole (the real one) vs. (temporarily redirected to a George Soros site) mix-up after one of last year's election debates.

Anyway, back to nutrition. Three good pieces of advice that are buried under the overly complex (and arguably more conflicted) new health promotion campaign: Eat smaller portions. Try to eat a variety of things every day. And don't forget to exercise.


Chicopea said...

I totally agree that the newest version of the pyramid is completely bogus. They should have just stuck with the old one but everyone at the top of the pyramid were too greedy.

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