I'd like to offer one more perspective on the Broken Food Pyramid, one I'm guessing won't be a popular one: I don't share the seemingly widely-held view that the reason we have a carb-heavy Food Pyramid is because "industry" influenced it.
Don't get me wrong: industry did have influence on the Food Pyramid. Most government guidelines, recommendations and even regulatory actions are made in collaboration with many organizations, including industry. What I'm disputing here is the conspiracy view that the Food Pyramid was made deliberately carb- and grain-heavy in order to enrich the food industry. Note the difference.
Remember, this is the same government that issued the Eisenhower dollar, invaded Iraq (twice) and can't seem to regulate its own banking system. Could our government really engineer a multi-decade, grain complex-enriching conspiracy by issuing false dietary guidelines meant to fool us into eating more carbs?
It would be a lot easier--and far more profitable for everyone involved--to simply export our extra grain (as the grain industry did, interestingly, throughout the 80s, 90s and 00s), rather than create some complex dietary scheme to make sure American citizens ate everything up here at home.
Further, while some industries might have benefited from the Food Pyramid, other politically powerful industries got severely shortchanged. The beef/meat industry is quite powerful, as is the dairy industry, and both punch well above their weight in political influence. So why does the Food Pyramid give them a mere 2-3 servings each when the grain group got 6-11? The sugar industry is powerful too: So why does sugar get a desultory "use sparingly" recommendation?
Each of these industries on their own should have been powerful enough to sway things, and certainly the collective political power of all of them was orders of magnitude greater than the grain industry’s power by itself. So how did Big Grain get so lucky and win the lottery here? It just doesn't add up.
Careful students of logic should note the leap involved between the appearance of someone benefiting and the default presumption of a conspiracy. If this were all a conspiracy to satisfy industry greed, the Food Pyramid would have come out looking quite a bit different: it would contain a lot more meat, more fat, more dairy--and far fewer breads, grains and pasta. Ironically, it would be far healthier!
It's not a conspiracy nor industry greed that drove the Broken Food Pyramid. Rather, there's a far simpler and more rational explanation: our government, based on a once-faulty and now-changing scientific consensus, arrived at a misdirected set of dietary guidelines. Guidelines it's only lately coming to correct.
So let's keep correcting them.
Read Next: But What If Your Farmer Doesn't Want To Know YOU?
How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.