MyPlate Simplified Food Guidelines Make Swift Appearance in CommissariesPatrons of Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) stores are quickly getting the message that fruits and vegetables should be half of every meal.  Banners displaying the new ChooseMyPlate graphics introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday are appearing in U.S. military commissaries throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Commissary store directors are the first to promote the updated U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines as a tool to change eating behaviors of enlisted personnel and their families.

Joint Base Lewis Commissary Store Director Janet Landon points to the plate icon clearly stating that fruits and vegetables should make up half the diet as key.  “The new graphic simplifies everything,” states Landon.  “It will have a profound impact on fresh fruit and vegetable sales.  It truly makes produce the center plate of attention.”

After two decades of food pyramids that drew criticism as confusing, the new MyPlate guideline clearly points to just how much, in proportion, a person should eat.  “It’s so simple.  People understand what goes on a plate,” notes Joint Base McChord Commissary Store Director Mario Caputi.  “The pyramid baffled folks.  We don’t eat off pyramids.  My meal comes on a plate.”

According to government releases, the cost of the MyPlate initiative was $2.9million.  “That investment will be exponentially expanded by food companies seeking to promote the value of healthy eating,” states Craig Higashi, President of Spokane Produce and DeCA Area 4 fresh fruit and vegetable contract supplier.  “Give us a solid nutrition message that any consumer can understand, and the food industry will promote it at our expense to carry forward the important directive of eating right for health.”

Spokane Produce is the sole source supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables for DeCA commissaries in the Pacific Northwest, including Fairchild AFB, Malmstrom AFB, Mountain Home AFB, Joint Base McChord AFB, Joint Base Lewis, and the U.S. Naval installations at Whidbey Island, Smokey Point, Bremerton and Bangor.

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