How Coronavirus Changed the Food Pyramid Forever

The food pyramid is the U.S Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) guide to healthy eating, but it has been criticized for not including enough plant-based foods and limiting fats. Some say that our current diet is too high in carbohydrates and low in protein, which can lead to health complications like diabetes and heart disease. On the other hand, others argue that this type of diet is healthier than a meat-heavy one because animal products are linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels and increased risk for cancer.

In 2011 the USDA replaced the food pyramid with “MyPlate” in hopes to promote healthier eating. But with so many food options available to consumers, it is often difficult to determine the best foods to put on our plates when building a healthy meal.

So the question that remained “How Coronavirus Changed the Food Pyramid Industry Forever” This blog post will explore if the USDA’s food pyramid still applies in today’s world.


In the last year 2020, people saw significant changes in the way we live, work, play, and eat. The epidemic and its aftermath wreaked havoc on our lives in every way. What are some of the most significant changes? The way we eat.

It’s difficult to recall a period when we would meet a group of friends for supper at a neighborhood restaurant or arrange an impromptu dinner party at home. Instead, this was the year of takeout and curbside service, delivery and subscription services, and, most importantly, cooking.


There were three things that the pandemic changed the way we eat – we became creative, we went traditional and we had a lot of options!


We became creative

Consumers have to get creative with cupboard and freezer products due to fewer visits to the store, according to Michelle Day, Consumer Insights Senior Manager at GE Appliances, who spoke to TODAY Food. That meant experimenting with more time-consuming and intricate dishes earlier in the outbreak (see: sourdough above). However, as we became tired of cooking, we began looking for shortcuts.

Based on recent data, 54% of customers were using their imagination to speed up the cooking process, such as buying more ready-to-cook items, prepping meals ahead of time, and using the microwave, air fryers, or pressure cookers more frequently”  Throughout the year, roughly a third of customers experimented with new dishes as a way to broaden their culinary horizons.


We went back to traditional

Hello kitchen! With restaurants shuttered, or limited to carry-out/delivery only, and fears of the virus combined with financial havoc, consumers used to relying on food made elsewhere suddenly found themselves responsible for their own meals. Most of my clients are single-professional who lived alone and working in the office means “lunch out” and “dine out” but due to the recent changed, they were forced to revisit their kitchen and started browsing the internet for easy to cook recipes.


Options Option OPTIONSSSSS!

One of the downhills of 2020 was losing our opportunity to experience the world’s foods directly when we stopped traveling. In the meantime, we were able to bring the entire globe to our doorstep. This was aided by the shift to technology, as we first looked at our phones to see what was available to eat, where, and how. To save money on delivery app fees, restaurants that could afford custom app development opted that route. As we learned to scan QR codes to see restaurant menus, menus went the way of the Yellow Pages. We also used our fingers and fingers to order groceries for delivery or pick-up. That said, restaurants devised as many strategies, forced to innovate as they could think of to get diners in (or get their food in their hands) Resulting in options options and optionssssss!


So, how can we continue a healthy eating habit?


Remember the food pyramid? Well, it has been a part of American culture for generations, and it isn’t going away anytime soon although it was then revised to “WePlate” but whether it be The Healthy Eating Pyramid or the Healthy Eating Plate they both are really complementary.

In the nutshell, these are the reminders for healthy eating.

  • Carbohydrate sources—such as vegetables (other than potatoes), fruits, whole grains, and beans—are healthier than others, the type of carbohydrate in the diet is more important than the amount of carbohydrate in the diet.
  • The Healthy Eating Plate also recommends consumers to stay away from sugary beverages, which are a significant source of calories with little nutritious benefit.
  • The Healthy Eating Plate encourages people to use healthy oils and does not specify a maximum percentage of calories that should come from healthy fat sources each day. In this approach, the Healthy Eating Plate promotes the polar opposite of the USDA’s decades-long low-fat messaging.


The conclusion? The pandemic reshaped the way we eat – positively and negatively but healthy eating is a lifestyle. 

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Karin Adoni
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