Friday, June 3, 2011

Out With the Pyramid, In with the Plate

Yesterday the government did away with the food guide pyramid. No not this one from the eighties. This one. Did you even know there was a new one? There was. Don't feel bad if you missed it, no one understood what it represented anyway when they took all the food pictures off.

My favorite review about the change before the unveiling was from Walter Willett who is the chair of the nutrition department at Harvard: “It’s going to be hard not to do better than the current pyramid, which basically conveys no useful information.” 

Wow. Zinger right?

Well anyway, I'm guess you probably didn't lose sleep over it the announcement. Me neither. Okay, maybe a little--waiting with anticipation for its replacement, but can you blame me? It's kinda been my life for the past 5 years and it almost feels like Christmas eve, or like I'm getting a new adopted sibling. Both equally exciting and potentially terrifying if it doesn't turn out like you hope.

So the replacement looks like this


The critics have a lot to say. "Where is the food?" "Wow it's overly simple." "Where did the exercising stair climber go? "Does it even matter what we use for our symbol? Do people even listen or try to follow guidelines like?" "Poor dairy." "Looks like someone from dairy pulled some strings for special treatment." And so on and so on. 

But here's my real concern: 

Where does the Utah jell-o fit?

This is a big deal. At least in my house. Here is how the jell-0 conversation goes down (usually at the in-laws who are from Utah)

Mother in-law: Erica would you like some dessert
Me: No thanks, I had my fair share of jell-o
EVERYONE else: What? Jell-o is not dessert. 
Me: What? How is sugar + water + whipped cream +  more sugar + vanilla not dessert?

It is not a vegetable even if you stick carrots in it (yuck!) flavor it like celery (double yuck! but a true find in the in-laws food storage) or if it looks like the new MyPlate is indeed full of colorful jell-o triangles. 

Nor is it a protein, which is my husband's favorite argument, because after all, jell-o is just made of collagen from ground up horse hooves. (Triple yuck!) It's still overwhelmingly sugar dear... with a titch of gag reflex on that last thought. 

It's not a fruit either. No one ever said, "Red jell-o every day keeps the doctor away." They just say, pass the jell-o I'm ready for dessert. (Right? Sigh). 

I'm sorry Utah. Even with an endorsement from Bill Cosby and status as the official state snack, there is no two ways about it--Jell-o is a dessert.

And green jell-o is terrible, even the non-celery flavored green stuff. 


  1. I say we just get rid of the jello all together. Its gross, maybe the reason why people don't want to call it a dessert is because its not satisfying or even good really. Just sayin... :)

  2. I for one love Jello at my in-laws! My mother in law makes one that tastes like an orange dream bar. No joke! It is that good. As far as nutrition, you'd probably know more about that than I would.

    And as far as the new plate, I don't know what to think. Kinda looks like a Trivial Pursuit Pie...mmmmmmm pie. Where's the spot for caseroles, which often fulfill all of those categories?

  3. Is it wrong that I consider pudding dairy? This post is making me worried.