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The Pyramid of Geezah

The big news this week was from the USDA, who redesigned the venerable Food Pyramid (oh, and there's a new Pope, too!). This reminds me of a joke (stop me if you've heard it): Overheard at the Stonehenge construction site, "What was wrong with the old wooden one?" But I digress.

I thought the old pyramid design was pretty cool, and it lent itself to endless interpretation. For example, feast your eyes on this Google images search. In contrast, one is immediately struck by the way the new pyramid looks. While the old one was constructed stone by stone, as it were, in horizontal rows, the new one is comprised of triangular sub-pyramids. In the old pyramid, evil carbs inhabited the base, and I think the USDA doesn't want to send the message that carbs are the foundation of a healthy diet what with plumpnitude rampant among the citizenry. The vertical triangles representing the food groups all have the same emphasis (although the width is proportional to the quantity of the food group). Genius. It's unfortunate, however, that those triangles look like pizza slices. To me, anyway.

New Food Pyramid

My custom pyramid. At normal magnification, the object in the circle looks like an apple slice.

Besides the new look, the pyramid web site lets you build a customized pyramid based on age and activity. I was dismayed to discover that my custom pyramid is the same as a 60 year old man's. That was a little disheartening, since I still have nine years to go. Then I took a closer look at my pyramid and realized that it was truly customized just for me as the pictures illustrate.

My Food Pyramid

At high magnification, however, the object is revealed as a lobster roll! This truly is a custom pyramid. I can get with this program!

One oddity concerns the USDA web site. The address I have heard publicized is mypyramid.gov, but there is an almost identical site at mypyramid.org with a different set of choices for the “amount of moderate or vigorous activity (such as brisk walking, jogging, biking, aerobics, or yard work) you do in addition to your normal daily routine, most days.”

At mypyramid.gov:

  • Less than 30 minutes
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • More than 60 minutes

At mypyramid.org:

  • Less than 5 minutes
  • 6 to 10 minutes
  • More than 11 minutes

Strange. I'll have to check back and see if they synchronize the two versions.

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