When I'm planning a meal or going to the grocery store, I always check the USDA food pyramid to make sure my list is on track and ensure that I have a healthy lifestyle. Don't you?
The USDA released Dietary Guidelines last week and while they're more sensible than in years past, I honestly wonder, do they really do any good? Is it more helpful to suggest that people reduce sodium than to suggest they reduce the amount of processed food they eat—which would help on numerous levels, not just the salt issue. My belief about salt, this very essential rock we eat, is that if you don't eat processed food, and are otherwise healthy, your body will automatically regulate the salt you desire. I don't worry over salt.
Remember when we were told that eating eggs was bad for us. Eggs! This culinary miracle, a wonder of nutrition, economy, and deliciousness. They keep telling us that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol elevate blood cholesterol. I'm dubious. I'd bet a lot of money that your blood cholesterol level is determined primarily by your genetics, not by how much steak and eggs you eat.
Fat doesn't make you fat. Eating too many calories makes you fat. Fat is calorie-dense so it can make you fat if you eat too much of it. I don't need a chart to know that I'm twenty pounds overweight, and I don't need the government telling me reduce salt and fat. I only need to know that I can and would drop my twenty excess pounds by laying off the Maker's Mark and that third helping of pasta carbonarra.
What is it about our government that thinks it can regulate how we eat by telling people how to eat. Want to know how it can change the way people eat? Regulate and tax the all the mega corpoarations making and selling cheap crappy food!
This is a fascinating series of graphics of other country's how-to-eat diagrams. We're not the only knuckleheads who think diagrams will actually change people's behavior. Why doesn't the government teach people how to roast a chicken or make pasta carbonara?
Todd and Diane, whiteonricecouple, filmed the above during a moment of pique last fall at SF's BlogHer conference. If they ever get their hands on actual talent, they'll be off like a rocket. I adore them. The two videos referenced in the above clip, btw, are here: Lewis Black on the insanity of the milk aisle at the grocery store, and Jim Gaffigan on bottled water.
Be smart about food.