Ah, a brief respite can do a soul good. I’ve taken 2 weeks off from most social media activity to reconnect with other social aspects of my life in person, however I must admit I’ve been jonesing to write again. This time not due to a challenge I’ve committed to, but because I realized I enjoy sharing information that I find interesting with others.
To that end, today the USDA announced a new food icon, MyPlate, replacing the food pyramid of recent years. Check out the video on You Tube:
What do you think of this new symbol, MyPlate? Do you think it gets the message across to have less protein in comparison to vegetables, fruit and grains? And, is it any more effective than MyPyramid? I believe any effort we make to educate consumers is good, but this information, in whatever format, has been out there for years and yet obesity has been on the rise.
So, where’s the disconnect? There are a few that come to mind. One in particular is how and what we market to the public, another is the rising costs of making healthy choices, and yet another is the availability of healthier choices in underprivledged areas. I mean, really? Liquor stores and fast food chains on almost every corner and not a farmers market within miles. If we made it easier to access healthier choices maybe we could start shifting behaviors! Ok. Enough of my rant. In tough financial times, some families find it hard to justify paying two or three times as much for fresh than for canned. Especially when shelf life is so short. I threw away two Roma tomatoes and a sweet potato just today!
Now, I’m not in a position to change the corporate marketing engines, but I can ignore them, and so can you. I also choose to spend my money wisely, opting for fresh food over canned, and purchasing frozen if necessary or prudent. I figure the money is gonna be spent in the market or at the doctor’s office and pharmacy. I’ll choose the former.
Recently, I’ve planted a mini-vegetable garden with Roma tomatoes, green, yellow and red peppers, basil, sage and lemon thyme. I live in a climate where year-round gardening will work, however it’s possible to set up a container garden that can be moved around if necessary. All this in an effort to control my costs, and more importantly the health of my family. Hey, if my yield is enough, I may even make my own tomato sauce!
Think about the big picture. Your health is all you’ve got and you CAN take control and make healthier choices. If the new MyPlate food guide helps you, great! There’s a wealth of wonderful information on the website www.ChooseMyPlate.gov to get you on the right track. You might even consider a little container garden yourself!