We’ve all heard that the great USDA Food Pyramid has fallen: Long Live the Plate! If you recall, when the Pyramid came out in the 90s, it was controversial, not to mention confusing and nutritionally flawed. Let’s face it. It was carb heaven and the meat and dairy folks quickly charged Congress to have it changed. The new MyPlate campaign has a very simple and clean look that I can visualize in my head every time I look at any plate — no matter how big or small. Yet, will it actually change the way Latinos shop, cook & eat?
I asked a friend, whom is fond of fast food and protein, what she thought about the plate campaign and whether this will influence the way she shops and eats. We spoke in the kitchen while she was heating up some frozen Teriyaki chicken wings with no vegetable or fruit sides, and I was contemplating baking a pineapple upside-down cake. We both agreed that the plate is so much easier to remember.
The MyPlate campaign has blotted out the ancient pyramid so that now, even when I think of it, I visualize the colorful plate, which by the way is lacking a wedge for my pineapple upside-down cake. So maybe this big campaign will have Hispanic parents seeing plates, too. Perhaps having a new national dialog is all we really need to help us trade in our platters for normal sized plates and portions, and to start buying more fresh fruits & vegetables. LatinoFoodie applauds Michelle Obama and her leadership behind the Let’s Move campaign. We are sure the new Obama administration had something to do with the USDA making the MyPlate campaign a top priority. But spot lights fade, and today’s news of colorful plates could easily become tomorrow’s chipped dinnerware. Hopefully with this fresh dinner conversation, MyPlate will linger long enough to begin new healthy habits, both in the market and in our kitchens.
Gazing at her plate filled with only protein, my friend decided to crank open a can of corn to add to her meal. Well, at least she’s headed in the right direction. Baby steps.