Thursday, June 2, 2011

The New Food Plate

USDA has come out with a new food guide in the form of the icon below. All information regarding these new dietary recommendations can be found here: At the website you can click on one of the five components to find out what foods fall into each category. The USDA lists the following non-meat options to fulfill the protein category (source):

Beans and peas

black beans
black-eyed peas
chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
kidney beans
lima beans (mature)
navy beans
pinto beans
soy beans
split peas

Processed soy products:
  tofu (bean curd made from
  white beans
  bean burgers
  veggie burgers
  texturized vegetable
   protein (TVP)

Nuts and seeds*
  hazelnuts (filberts)
  mixed nuts
  peanut butter
  pumpkin seeds
  sesame seeds
  sunflower seeds

An interesting thing to note:

PCRM's new article on the food plate brings up the point that USDA's modified food icon is at opposition with federal subsidies for meat and diary. PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) states that currently over 60 percent of agricultural subsidies have instead supported meat and diary production, leaving only 1 percent to go towards fruits and vegetables. The USDA is advising people to take on a healthier diet with less fat content, and I wonder if it knows its suggestions clash with the federal government subsidies which give billions of tax money to the meat and diary industries.

PCRM also has a food guide that can be found here: It is resemblant of the new USDA power plate and has "proteins" replaced with "legumes, definitely for good reason as about 68% of Americans are obese or overweight. According to the same PCRM article, more than 60 perecent of the deaths in the U.S. are caused by heart disease and other diet-related diseases. The PCRM power plate is also interactive, so feel free to click on the portions to find out how to best balance your diet!

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