A school system in New York has dropped out of the federal school lunch program because the fruits and vegetables they’re forced to serve kids are winding up in the trash. The USDA has known for decades what’s needed to build a successful nutrition education program — one that actually changes people’s eating habits. But the confident language obscures just how hard it really is.
The USDA has made a big deal the last couple of years about its “healthy plate” model of good eating, which replaces the old food pyramid, which replaced the four food groups, which replaced… well… I thought a chart might help. Today’s post is a visual history of the USDA’s nutritional advice, showing how food groups and recommended servings have changed over the past century.
I ran across this line today in an article I was reading: “A great deal is being written now… about provisioning our households with an eye to the nutritive value of what we buy.” Ain’t that the truth? Hang on, though: This was 1915, and “nutritive” didn’t mean what you think it means.