June 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) introduced the replacement for the familiar food pyramid.

It is called My Plate.  And, I like it!

It’s straight forward, and with a little explanation, easy to understand and follow.  You should look.

One can readily see at whom the “Food Plate” is targeted – children.

It, couple with a renewed emphasis on the school lunch program, may actually affect the expert predictions that this generation of children will suffer more with degenerative disease and live shorter lives than their parents, who will likely live shorter lives and suffer more than their parents.

Adding to the My Plate reeducation effort, reality food shows are becoming the new rage on commercial television!

Ranging from an evangelizing Chef, teaching children to cook, town by town, to a competition between home cooks to become a “Master Chef”, it is clear that the time is right for children, and adults, to release their addition to manufactured food (the “stuff” that comes in bags, boxes and cans).

What’s not to like?

The Choose My Plate Site includes food groups (with recommendations), portion control, warning about sugar and salt and a recommendation to drink water instead of today’s typical bill-of-fair consisting of soda and fruity drinks.  It’s cute and it is tweetable.

But … for a “nudge” like me, the devil is in the details.

It may be good enough to start the “buzz” about the importance of a healthy diet:

  1.  But, what about an issue as fully misunderstood as protein?  Why not simply add a 5th smaller portion, meat (fish, chicken, pork (not me) and red meat) and stop confusing a nutritional component with food?
  2. And, (you know my position on milk and milk products) why would anyone perpetuate the myth that dairy is a “good source of calcium” when there are clearly better sources?
  3. And, why perpetuate the myth that eating a balanced diet, consisting of commercially grown food, let along processed food, is capable of meeting the nutritional needs of the body?

The Harvard School of Public Health or the University of Michigan, Integrative Medicine Department offers an unparalleled depth of information on matters of the healthy diet.

On the other hand, the “Eat a Rainbow” campaign that morphed into the “5 a Day” program developed by the Produce for Better Health Foundation.  It is easy to understand, presented simply, with POS advertising, educational material for teachers and right on point.

Who, besides a “nudge”, has even heard of these programs?

First Lady, Michelle Obama is taking point on the My Plate program.  And, I for one applaud her efforts.

She is shining a spotlight into a dark crevice that threatens our Republic – the health of our people.

The tests for this program are going to be:

  1. What happens in the next news cycle?
  2. Will the enthusiasm spread?
  3. Will it encompass adults as well as children?

No one is going to live forever – but who wants to die sick?

Maybe it’s your turn to pick up a torch to cast some light in the crevice that threatening your, and your family’s, wellbeing – your diet.

In conclusion, one quote immediately comes to mind:  “Remember, I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together.1

1The Red Green Show, North of Forty Segment, PBS.  (How’s that for an obsure quote?)

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