Earlier this summer, the USDA retired its food pyramid, which was getting a little long in the tooth, in favor of a food plate. And while it’s been praised for its relative clarity and lack of crudely drawn livestock, the food nutrition label has continued to confuse people. But now a group in Berkeley is trying to change that, and wants the rest of the country’s input, which is a rarity in Berkeley.
Figuring out how to replace the food label is the project of the Berkeley School of Journalism. Even though the designs it has generated aren’t part of any official effort on the part of the government, they will likely be considered by the USDA, as The New York Times reports.
The panel of judges includes, as you might expect, Michael Pollan, as well as designers, doctors, and a consumer health activist. They’ve chosen their top three choices from among 24 entries (the one pictured above is their first choice). While some are just as confusing as the current label, most of them are certainly more design-forward, and could even pass as something you’d want to frame on a wall, or ink on an arm (we’re looking at you, NYU Food Studies policy wonks). You can register your own opinion by going here; voting closes on Sunday afternoon.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 29, 2011