Saturday, September 11, 2004


I remember the old food pyramid posters (actually back then, The Four Food Groups: the milk group, the meat group, the bread and cereals group and the vegetable and fruit group, arranged in order of lobbyist clout) that used to hang in the grammar school classrooms for our mental nutrition, big quart bottles and tall glasses of milk, thick fat-edged steaks and roasts, cascades of thickly sliced white bread informing us new and always hungry minds as to what we should eat (and in what order and quantity) for the rest of our lives, if we wanted to be like so many of the older folks with huge belts.

"Eat meat at every meal! Drink at least a quart of milk a day!” Fifty years later, meat and dairy are still prominent in the new USDA pyramid, just below where god's eye is on the dollar bill. Processed carbohydrates now, according to the USDA, should comprise the major part of the US diet. Interesting contrast with the whole grain distinction in the Harvard pyramid, in which supplements are now recommended by the same profession that so stridently mocked them 40 years ago! Seems not all wisdom comes from the top down; it often rises upward from the bottom of the social pyramid...


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