The Origins of the Food Pyramid

Before I developed any interest in health and fitness I, like most people today, accepted what I was told about diet and exercise. When I was presented with the food pyramid in school, I never questioned the information. I blindly accepted the facts and continued on my merry way. It’s funny how we just accept things sometimes, how we don’t stop to think and ask who the hell came up with this? On what basis are they creating this information and can one size really fit all? Of course not!

The health industry is flooded with contradicting studies and information which is spoon-fed to a society where few take the time to question the facts. And it’s understandable why most people don’t. After all, these are, one would assume, credible sources, and who has the time or knowledge to look up and sift through scientific research and case studies anyway?! Sparked by an initial decision to get healthy and lose weight, it has taken me a good six years to educate myself, mostly through trial, error and frustration. I am not trying to preach the ways of this lifestyle, but in writing this article I hope to at least open your eyes a little and encourage you to not always believe everything you read and hear.

Within the topic of health and fitness, I am going to focus to day on the Food Pyramid. We are all familiar with the government guideline, printed in restaurants, schools, shopping centres….but where did this simple diagram originate and on what evidence is it actually based on? Before deciding to tackle this topic I sure as hell had no idea….

Who gets to say what’s right and what’s wrong anyway?? Should the government even be involved?

Luise Light is the creator of the original food pyramid back in the 80s. Along with the USDA and a team of nutritionists they submitted their guide to the Secretary of Agriculture. The original version did not accommodate for the major players in the food industry due to the recommended small servings, and so it was changed.

Some changes as set out here

  1. 5-9 servings of fruit and veg was replaced by 2-3 (has since changed back)
  2. 3-4 servings of wholegrains and cereals changed to 6-11 to accommodate the highest bidder….the wheat and corn industries
  3. baked white goods made with flour and full of sugar and fats were moved from the top of the pyramid down to the bottom
  4. Wording was revised to avoid damage to full fat dairy and meat products.

The pyramid was revised by the Government in 2005 by a hand selected advisory team and so again surrounded by propaganda.

So the pyramid is a marketing tool. It is a way to drive society to purchase and consume certain foods in greater quantities than others. In addition, a host of evidence has long since shown that there is a no one-size fits all solution to how we should eat. Every individual is different. As stated in this article:

“Unfortunately for us, we’ve been studying their textbooks and determining our health according to what food suppliers have defined as healthy. “

The people that dictate what we eat, are far too closely connected to the food industry resulting in decisions made based on economics instead of actual concern for the health of our society.

So in effect people today are sacrificing fresh produce in favor of the bread, rice, pasta…..or complex carbohydrates…..all of which are composed of and break down into sugar… you are sacrificing fresh fruit and veg in favor of sugar? REALLY?!?! Or what about suggesting we favor low fat dairy instead of full fat….again the foods that have been tampered with instead of in their natural state…..and when you take out fat, you have to replace it with something….yup sugar…

So it starts to make sense that the average American gets up to 25% of their daily intake from sugar alone!? or that 90% of the world diabetes population comprises of people who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes.…yes the self inflicted type, not the genetic kind…..and what’s more is that some of these people have never even touched chocolate or sweets or candy…..

Now briefly take a look at the paleo pyramid….or more like the all-natural pyramid…


It’s kind of hard to argue with I think….Paleo or not, this is the point is that this pyramid is full of fresh food! the food you should be eating day in and day out!

Well that’s that rant done….Later!




Categories: Paleo, Paleo Rants

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