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The billion dollar battle for your plate

The billion dollar battle for your plate Fusion


Today, the food pyramid seems like a quaint and antiquated phenomenon—something that may have peaked in the early 90s, just like after school specials. While the food pyramid was replaced with the food plate in 2011, the principles remained the same: eat your fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, and grains.

In May, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) released their updated set of recommendations, which is the primary body of research used to create the food pyramid. A group of fifteen academics releasing a 571-page report on what you should be eating isn’t particularly sexy news: for example, this year’s report included the riveting recommendation to increase the font size on nutrition labels. But if you take a closer look, the humble food plate represents billions of dollars in potential revenue for the various food industries- and behind the scenes, the battle for a spot means that good nutrition and health guidelines are often casualties of the war. The dietary guidelines are not neutral reflections of research data – in fact, our recommendations are so influenced by food lobbies we could argue the food pyramid is a part of the public un-consciousness around nutrition.

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Three problems with the above food plate:

1. Bread and Corn represent too many empty carb calories.

2. The fruit looks like it's processed.

3. There are no vegetables. How can you have a meal with no vegetables?

4. There are no legumes, a cheap nutrient-filled staple.

Yeah! Why no legumes? This is no a good example of a good plate!

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