05 June 2011

Food Graphics

Today we are not looking at a cookbook, but at the changing ideas of food and nutrition. This was, of course prompted by the unveiling of the new USDA food "plate." This whole idea started back in the 1900's when then director, W. O Atwater published his booklet, Principles of Nutrition and Nutritive Values of Food. The gauntlet was picked up by Caroline Hunt who quantified the process by recognising five food groups and how they should be divided. Hunt recommended a diet consisting of 10 percent daily calories from milk; 10 percent from meat; 20 percent from breads and other starches; 30 percent from fruits and veggies; and 30 percent from all else, including fats and sugars.

The 1930's brought diversity and H.K. Stiebeling. His guide to buying groceries gave consumers the Basic 12. this included milk; eggs; flours; cereals; potatoes fruits; veggies; tomato or citrus; lean meat; beans/nuts; leafy greens; sugar and other fats. Though there seemed to be some overlap in his categories. These detailed booklets fell flat, and by the 1940's zippy graphics were employed to better explain what one should be eating.

1942 took the Daily 12 to the Daily 8.

1943 brought us several variations on the new "Basic 7"

Including suggestion on how to arrange the Basic 7 into meals.

And even this patriotic graphic in Red,White and Blue.

1949 continued the Basic 7.

1956 saw the the rise of Basic 4, not only to provide nutrition, but fitness, also.

There was the 1979 Hassle-Free food Guide

Even the Red Cross got involved in 1984.

After carefully looking at Sweden's food pyramid, the USDA adopted their own in 1992.

The pyramid's proportions and directionality were updated in 2005.

This week, we saw our new USDA graphic. The friendly plate.

I don't know about you, but I am ready to go grab a bag of Cheetos.

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