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“For health…eat some food from each group…every day!”

August 15, 2011

I am on day ten of some very food-centric traveling.  Yes, family and friends have been thrown into the mix as well.  However, that has really only augmented my consumption of tasty things as a mood of good cheer continues to prevail.

The most recent trip – DC.  Of course, sightseeing was nigh unavoidable.  Having spent a decent chunk of my life in DC, much of it I have already seen.  I was pleasantly surprised though by the National Archives.  (1) I had never actually been inside to see the Constitution, Declaration, and Bill of Rights, and (2) there was a side exhibit that was pretty entertaining.

“What’s Cooking Uncle Sam?” is advertised as a look at “the government’s effect on the American Diet.”  There were some short segments of the exhibit devoted to presidential dining and school lunch programs, but the bulk of it consisted of food propaganda.  Loved it.  Basically, the federal government is the world’s most extreme hoarder and, as a result, they have held onto gems like “Vitamin Donuts!!”  (seriously, with 25 units of B1?)  If I could have purchased like ten copies of various posters, I would have.  Better yet, a coffee table book.

Perhaps the top of the heap of these bits of Americana was an early ‘food pyramid’ – not actually a pyramid, but you catch my drift.  It was released during WWII, the earliest food guide attempted by the federal government, and it illustrates some very interesting food science.  The wheel shows seven food groups – it kinda divides fruit and vegetables by color AND it includes butter and fortified margarine as a whole group unto themselves.  Awesome.

The guide recommends “For health…eat some food from each group…every day.”  Oddly enough, the poster also says at the bottom “In addition to the basic 7 eat any other foods you want.”  What?  That’s confusing.  And unhelpful.  And yet, how…liberating.  You mean, I must eat butter and I can go right ahead eating crud that isn’t on this guide…hot damn.

Anyways, it was a fun little exhibit.  Stop on by if you’re in the area.

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