Photos: USDA; PCRM
Vegetarians who thought no one was on their side will be happy to know that a group of doctors are going to bat for a meat-free alternative to the food pyramid.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed suit with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) -- who drafts the country's official food pyramid, MyPyramid -- after it ignored their petition offering a vegetarian alternative called the Power Plate, reports the Chicago Tribune. They say the USDA is blind to the rising rates in obesity and diabetes, which became common after the first pyramid was presented almost two decades ago. But they don't just want a supplemental vegetarian pyramid; they want to withdraw the old and instate theirs.
The Power Plate, available here on the PCRM site, has no portion recommendations and instead simply advises getting an equal balance of fruits, grains, legumes and vegetables, which are divided equally on a plate-shaped graph that looks more like a company logo than a guide.
The L.A. Times warns that PCRM skews heavily toward animal rights, so instead of eating less meat, they'd rather you not eat any meat at all. Maybe we do need a new pyramid, but maybe instead of scrapping the old and advising everyone to go vegetarian, how about one that caters to different body types? Or maybe we could glean a philosophy of eating from the Mediterranean pyramid, or the Asian pyramid.
Diet and nutrition are touchy subjects, and a one-size-fits-all system rarely works. Some say those O blood types need their meat. In moderation, of course.