Sunday, October 17, 2004


I've posted about this earlier, but thanks to relaxed import restrictions here in Japan I finally worked it out at my snacking leisure, courtesy of a US Department of Health and Human Services Food Guide Pyramid on the side of an industrial-size box of chocolate Teddy Grahams, that you should use fats, oils and sweets sparingly, but that each day you should eat 2-3 servings from the meat, poultry, fish, eggs and nuts group, 2-3 servings from the milk, yogurt and cheese group, 3-5 servings from the vegetable group, 2-4 servings from the fruit group and 6-11 servings from the bread, cereal, rice and pasta group.

I don’t know about you, but after living here in Japan for decades I don’t see how I could stomach up to 26 American-sized servings per day from the various US government-certified food groups, especially on top of all those chocolate Teddy Grahams, let alone find the time to actually sit down and consume over two dozen servings per day of meat, milk, cheese, fish, yogurt, eggs, nuts, bread, poultry, fruit, pasta, cereal and vegetables, even in a kind of western dietary stew.

People over here, who traditionally eat little more than rice, fish, seaweed and miso soup, and still don’t have much spare time, don’t necessarily see eye to eye with the side of a box of chocolate Teddy Grahams, no matter how big it is. But then things are different in America, and, as I recall, even more different in Washington, especially in the vegetable and nut groups.


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