Food Pyramid replaced with MyPlate
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s release of a revamped “plate” graphic of dietary needs for consumers clearly illustrates that fruits and vegetables dominate the plate and should dominate our diets. Produce Marketing Association Association applauds the announcement that retires the 20-year “food pyramid” in favor of a more modern and easier-to-understand graphic in the form of a circular plate divided into wedges. USDA has also shown consumers the importance of healthy and cost-effective nutrition by placing fruits and vegetables over half of the plate.
With a central focus on fruits and vegetables, USDA and health experts in nutrition are recognizing the need for increased consumption of these products. PMA and its members of varying sizes and geographic locations support these initiatives, especially through consumption of fresh produce that are both delicious and nutritious. The USDA announced the "MyPlate" Dietary Guidance icon and what it means for the nutritional needs of all Americans in a live webinar featuring First Lady Michelle Obama, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.
“PMA is extremely pleased to see the USDA move in this direction that not only benefits our industry, but more importantly helps consumers make better choices for a healthy lifestyle,” said Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of PMA. “Starting with our pioneering work on nutrition marketing and our subsequent creation of the Produce for Better Health Foundation twenty years ago, PMA has taken a leading role in efforts to boost produce consumption. We strongly support the dietary guidelines and the concept of an easily understood plate graphic. Our members and the American public applaud USDA.”
Expanding fruits and vegetables to half the plate is also a cost-effective way for families to increase taste, variety, and nutrition. PMA commissioned a study by The Perishables Group that provides the facts and figures needed to correct misperceptions about produce prices. Findings published in The Cost of the Recommended Daily Servings of Fresh Produce confirm fresh produce is a good buy year-round, while also packing a nutritional punch.
PMA’s research shows that the average price per serving across all produce was $0.28 for fruits and $0.21 for vegetables in the total U.S. for the year ending June 30, 2010. A 2011 USDA pricing study found that an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (amounts and variety) at an average price of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 25 cents per edible half-cup equivalent.