Ask Google about healthy eating, and you will get 850 million responses in just over 1 second.
This age of instant information can be overwhelming, and much of what we discover in this seemingly endless list of links may be misleading. Where then might we turn?
The establishment of the United States Department of Agriculture in 1862 by then President Abraham Lincoln made the regulation and support of food production priorities of the federal government. Just over 50 years later, the USDA made its first attempt to provide "science-based dietary guidance to the American public" (USDA par. 1) through its first published guide to help parents to make healthy choices for their children.
Later, a little known guide from the 1940s, the Basic Seven, exhorted citizens to eat some food daily from each of the seven established groups because "U.S. needs US healthy," laughably exclaiming that people could additionally "eat any other foods you want."
In the 1950s, the food groups were reduced to 4, which remained the standard until 1979, when the USDA created a food wheel of five food groups, the fifth (fats, sweets, alcohol) now coming with a warning about excess. These five groups established the basis of the Food Pyramid/My Pyramid most of us grew up attempting to follow.
A bit busy, isn't it?
The USDA's most recent guidance is user friendly, interactive, and available at ChooseMyPlate.gov. Its transferable format of a colorful plate can help even reluctant children to make healthy choices.
Note the smaller portions of protein; notice the increased real estate given to vegetables, fruit, grains, and dairy.
Our understanding of healthy eating has grown over the years, and our healthy choices are growing too.
Look for Urban Fresh to fill your leafy green needs--coming soon to Columbia!