The honest food guide: the honest truth about what we should eat

Yesterday we mentioned that we’re not eating enough fruits and veggies — a finding based on the USDA’s My Pyramid food guide, the 2005 replacement to the long-lived Food Pyramid. Yet, it turns out there’s a wee bit of controversy around it, which some health advocates claim was created to appease big U.S. agriculture industries — top among them dairy, beef, and refined grains — rather than provide Americans with unbiased nutritional advice.

(This was actually claimed about the original pyramid, too, though it served a purpose in post-World War II to encourage Americans to combat malnutrition by eating what there was plenty of at the time — milk, butter, meat, corn and wheat.)

To offer another choice, Food Ranger Mike Adams suggests we turn to financially unmotivated guides like the Honest Food Guide, available for a quick and free download at The guide, divided into healthy (green) and disease (red) sections, makes it easy to see what food we should and shouldn’t be eating. As you might expect, the healthy side is full of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, sprouts, healthy oils and nuts. I particularly like how sunlight (but not too much to cause sunburn!) and water are the top two listed healthy items.

The guide is handy in that it’s a great portable tool to post on the fridge or carry with you … but it’s still just a tool. A piece of paper probably isn’t going to motivate me to get in more fruits and veggies; only desire, common sense and willpower will do that for me. That … and access to fresh produce, which we have in abundance in the Pacific Northwest.

That gives me no excuse to eat more of them. In fact, I just bought some sweet corn from a local farm yesterday. Talk of food guides aside, in everyday life how do you get in your daily supply of fruits and vegetables?

Author by Kristi Anderson