USDA dietary guidelines are out
Photo credit: Baltimore Sun/Gene Sweeney Jr.
The USDA has released its new dietary guidelines and the long and the short of it is -- eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
That's not much of a surprise.
The government, heavily lobbied by the meat and dairy industries, couldn't bring itself to say outright "eat less red meat, eat less cheese and ice cream." But you knew that already, too.
What they did say -- and it is easier to get your head around this than that weird food pyramid -- is that half of your plate should be covered with fruits and vegetables at each meal.
This comes just as gardeners are reading seed catalogs, planning their summer gardens and, perhaps, starting vegetables from seed.
It is easier than you think to get more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. Farmers markets are up and running even in winter in some areas, with winter greens or produce from farther south.
Even if you don't have the room, skills or time to undertake a full-blown vegetable garden of your own, you can easily choose a few seedlings from your local garden center and plant some tomatoes, peppers or beans in containers on your deck, or some lettuces or spinach among your annuals.
Failing that, visit your local farmers market as soon as it opens this spring -- they are open earlier in the season and they stay open later. And you will see lots of people you know!