Rejected Food Pyramids

The USDA recently released a report outlining dietary guidelines for 2010. While the new guide has not been finalized, one thing is for certain, the food pyramid is in need of an upgrade. The classic, 1992 food pyramid was scrapped five years ago. Apparently someone in the government figured out that 10 cups of grains a day was not solving the obesity epidemic. The 2005 food pyramid (shown right, click to enlarge) wasn’t much better, not so much a pyramid as a cacophony of clip art and food photos clustered under colorful disco rays. Seriously, the milk section includes transparent cheese. Is that a new Kraft product?

Fortunately, the USDA is currently accepting comments and opinions about their new health guideline. I am considering submitting my own pyramid for review. In preparation, the Worker Bees have collected other food pyramids submitted by various health professionals and concerned citizens. I have learned that all of the following have been rejected and will not be recommended as adequate diet guidelines for the average American, though several were heavily considered.

Submitted by: Taco Bell committee for enhealthenment

Submitted by: K. Bacon

Submitted by: H. Lector

Submitted by: Anonymous (of 215 S. Sesame Street)

Submitted by: Domino’s Pizza United Feed the Children Campaign

Submitted by: International Rambo Enemy Coalition

Submitted by: Anonymous (of 9th Circle Cafe, Hades)

Submitted by: P. McCartney, J. Lennon, G. Harrison, R. Star

Food Pyramid Contest

I wonder what other food pyramids exist out there. Maybe you can help. In the comment board share your own findings. List the contents of the food pyramid and who created the pyramid for a chance to win a Grok On! Kleen Kanteen. For example, here’s another one The Worker Bees found:

Submitted by: Chuck Norris

Whoop ass (4-6 cans/day)
You (for breakfast, 2-3 servings)
Nothing (Chuck Norris doesn’t need food)

The Worker Bees will choose a winner Monday morning.

I have a hunch that whatever you find I’ll be sticking with The Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Friday!


It was no easy task, but the winning food pyramid submission goes to…

Russell with his Buddy the Elf Pyramid:

Candy (as much as you want)
Candy canes (as much as you want)
Candy corns (as much as you want)
Syrup (as much as you want)

TAGS:  humor

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

108 thoughts on “Rejected Food Pyramids”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. “Submitted by: P. McCarthy, J. Lennon, G. Harrison, R. Star”

    One Mr. MCCARTNEY will surely not be impressed.

      1. I just emailed you at the email address you used to post this comment with instructions on how to submit your pic, Aaron. Grok on!

        1. Thanks! I sent it in. My pyramid is really simple, which probably means the USDA would reject it. Nutrition can’t be that easy, after all. It would undermine their authority.

  2. Mark,

    Where can I buy my Grok On! Kleen Kanteen????

    This has been on my wish list but I did not know there was a Grok on” version. I want one…. NOW!

    1. I have a limited supply at the moment, but may offer what I have at soon. Stay tuned.

      If there is enough interest I may be able to make them permanently available. Thoughts, everyone?

      1. Yeppers, add me to the potential buyers list! Especially if it has the Grok graphic and not just the words.

      2. Hey, count me in for a half dozen – my xmas shopping will be done for the year!

      3. I almost put a pic of mine on here for you to post but I didn’t want you to be bombarded with request for them 🙂

  3. Hah! Is this the *new* friday theme? Primal comedy club? I grokkin love it!

  4. Submitted by: Weezer

    Candy (1-2 servings)
    Pork (2-3 servings)
    Beans (2-3 servings)

  5. Hi Mark
    Could you please link me to the report you are talking about – the one from USDA?

    Hope you’ll make a new post, when they release the new pyramid.

    Keep up the good work 😀


  6. On a serious note Mark, please do send your Blueprint piramid along w/ all the back up you have lol. 😀

  7. Cute.. but not very useful. Sorry for being a crumudgeon today but I look forward everyday to the daily MDA post for valuable information to help me on my quest for health. This just doesn’t make the cut.

    1. Maybe one of the 2,000+ articles in the archives will suit you today. That is, unless you’ve read all of them… 😉

      1. Wow, laughter is the best natural medicine in the world. I hope you are not that serious!!! That would suck all the fun out of life….

      2. Well, I won’t claim to have read them all but I have read alot of them. And I will try to lighten up.. so here is my own old, pre-Grok, food pyramid.

        Top – Dairy (Haagen-Dazs, Quart+ Daily)
        Middle – Pasta, Pasta, Pasta (5 servings)
        Bottom – Pizza, Pizza, Pizza (bound to give you a big bottom)

        1. That’s better simon. That pyramid looks frighteningly familiar! 🙂

    1. That’s a cool and very un-CW pyramid, Kristen. Swipe the grains part off the picture and you have a PB pyramid!

  8. That bacon pyramid had me laughing out loud. Referring to all other foods as “non-bacon” is sheer genius!

    1. You mean there’s such a thing as non-bacon??? Is that even possible???

  9. Also, add me and my hubby to the list of buyers of the Kleen Canteen…….

    I am slowly converting him over to be Caveman Rob.

  10. Thanks for the smile today. My husband and I are enjoying this new primal lifestyle – 3 weeks in! I love your light-hearted, practical, fun approach. My favorite part so far is getting up from a meal energized to do something, rather than want to go sleep. Wonderful!


    2.5%-Epileptic seizures
    2.5%-Childhood obesity
    10%- Red Turtle Shells
    15%- Regular power ups
    20%- Speed
    50%- Fast moving primary colors

  12. I don’t have a pyramid, as I went to grade school back in the “Four Basic Food Groups” era. I have my own “Four Basic Food Groups” (arranged in my mind in a tidy little square with bright primary colors.)I try to balance my four groups each day. Note that only 1/4th of my intake comes from the “other” group.

    Beef Group
    Pork Group
    Chicken Group
    Other Group – this includes eggs, nuts, greens, berries and dairy products. (Sort of a square-within-a-square…)

    And I would love a Grok kleen kanteen.

    1. OMG 4-4-3-2! Only four servings of grain were required in the ’70s.

  13. hehehe this made me laugh so hard! Laughter really is the best medicine! 😉
    On a related note, I just found a food pyrimid the other day over at that I really liked…hopefully I saved that link! Mark’s food pyrimid is also awesome, and is displayed on the wall in our computer room! 😀

  14. If global warming, volcanoes, asteroids or martians come here to take a lunch, maybe they could consider this one :

    Humans = (1 Bilion should be enough)
    Animals, insects ====
    plants, trees… ======
    Bacteria & fungi ========

    It’s up to you to figure it as “they should not eat more than 1 billion of us”, or as “there should not be more than 1 bilion of us on earth to be eaten” 😉

  15. My co-workers and I just burst into laughter at the “Bacon Pyramid”. We all agreed that it was missing a bit, possibly the very tip of the pyramid: bacon wrapped in bacon. Nom!

    1. All I could think of was the “bacon explosion” recipe – a bacon roll w/ pork and chopped bacon in the middle. Surely that belongs at the pinnacle of the bacon pyramid!

  16. Submitted by R. McDonald:

    3 servings of filler daily (extra ammonia for those wishing to avoid sickness)

  17. A quick Google search turned up a “Vegan Pyramid” over at Wikimedia Commons. Ingredients, in layers from bottom to top (I’ve excerpted some of the suggested foods):

    Grains, 6 servings: bread 1 slice; 1/2C cooked grain or cereal; ready-to-eat cereal 1oz.

    Legumes, nuts and other protein-rich foods, 5 servings: cooked beans, peas or lentils 1/2C; tofu or tempeh 1/2C; nut or seed butter 2Tbsp

    Vegetables, 4 servings: cooked vegetables 1/2C; raw vegetables 1 C; vegetable juice 1/2C

    Fruits, 2 servings: one medium fruit; cut up or cooked fruit 1/2C; fruit juice 1/2C, dried fruit 1/4 C

    Fats, 2 servings: oil, margarine 1tsp.

    Link here:

    1. Just reading this makes every cell in my body scream “noooooooooo”!

  18. Submitted by B. Marley

    Two joints (morning)
    Two joints (afternoon)
    Two joints (night)

  19. The Buddy the Elf pyramid:

    Candy (as much as you want)
    Candy canes (as much as you want)
    Candy corns (as much as you want)
    Syrup (as much as you want)

  20. The REAL Department of Agriculture food pyramid:

    Real food (use sparingly)
    Processed wheat products (3-5 servings)
    Processed soy products (4-6 servings)
    Processed corn products (9-14 servings)

  21. My mother saw a sample food pyramid for 2010 on the news last week. I looked all over the net but couldn’t find it. She said they are considering a number of changes including less meat and more carbs. Gak! I was hoping they were moving in the right direction with the one from 2005. Sure they had a small sliced area for meats, but did you note the serving sizes? 5.5 ounces for meat and 6 ounces for grains. That is not great but WAY better than the previous pyramid. Strange they made the visual slice so small when the serving size was so close to that for grains. I was thinking maybe this was their way of sneakily improving the pyramid without admitting they had been wrong with the old one. But if they change the serving size to less meat, then I stand corrected. My Grok oriented mother said all the possible changes being considered and reported by the news show had been anti Grok changes. 🙁

    1. I don’t understand how they can even be considering different changes. What’s to consider? There is only ONE correct direction to go in!! Do they realize how many people still uphold the food pyramid as strict dietary law (albeit none of us)? Do they realize what’s at stake??

  22. the kids I babysit for would have a pizza and an ice cream food group. all these are so skewed and people just want to be told they can eat what they want and lose weight. not the case!

  23. Submitted by John Lee Hooker (with a similar version courtesy of George Thorogood)

    1 bourbon,
    1 scotch, and
    1 beer

  24. Supersize Me Pyramid

    Veggies (1 serving from condiments with High Fructose Corn Syrup)
    Dairy (2 servings from cheese and shakes)
    Meat and Eggs (3 – 4 Servings)
    Grains and more Starches (6-7 Servings)
    Sugar (1 pound from just about everything on the menu)

    He actually did consume about 1 pound of sugar a day with his McDonald’s binge. Double yikes. That level of sugar consumption would give me nightmares 24 hours a day if I did that. The servings may need to be adjusted.

    1. Sadly, if you didn’t mention that this was the “Supersize Me” diet, I would have just called it the average American diet!

      1. Yeah, your right. Scary but true. I actually seen a Dr. Phill show once with severely overweight kids and the one Mother could understand why her child was so fat. She mentioned, she was feeding him wholesome foods. She was bottle feeding the kid pop instead of milk. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.

      2. You would need to add diet coke in there somewhere. As in:

        Double quarter pounder with cheese
        Supersize fry
        Extra large diet coke (have to watch your figure)

        1. Diet coke wouldn’t be good either but if should be added to that pyramid.

  25. Submitted by: Anon. Elderly Woman (may she rest in peace)

    Housefly (1 serving)
    Arachnid (1 serving)
    Bird (1 serving)
    Feline (1 serving)
    Canine (1 serving)
    Goat (1 serving)
    Bovine (1 serving)
    Equine (1 serving)

    I’d say it pretty primal – lots of protein too!

    1. I was wondering if I could cut my grocery bill down by eating insects. Anyone know of some good insect recipes and how to catch enough for a meal.

  26. Submitted by: Pepe Le Pew

    Top: Decadent desserts au chocolat (1 serving)

    Middle: Extra rich meat in sauce (3 servings)

    Bottom: Crusty breads and creamy cheeses (as much as you can eat)

  27. –The Runway Model Food Pyramid–
    (the uncensored version)
    -Build the foundation of your healthy fiber eating plan with 6 to 11 servings from the flavorless colored cardboard rice cake category.
    -Choose an item from the diet coke or bottled water with ice cubes and lime 3 to 5 times each day in order to maintain healthy hydration and electrolyte balance.
    -It’s a treat to enjoy 2 to 4 servings from the strawberry margarita group as part of your daily fruit colored diet.
    -Limit your selection of pure white organic cocaine to just 2 to 3 hits per day.
    -Get protein from sex with drunken strangers at seedy bars 2 to 3 times every day as long as the cameras are still rolling.
    -Top off your daily eating plan with exercise via hefting of tiny snarling chihuahuas in glittering pink carriers and screaming stomping hissy fits at moronic personal assistants, but only in moderation so as not to raise blood pressure beyond healthful limits.
    -Oh and don’t forget to jiggle your pasty white boobs in the sun in order to get your vitamin D!

  28. Love these! Too much fun. I have to say I’m in no hurry to try the transparent cheese. I’ll need to think a bit to come up with my food pyramid but I had to comment on the bacon pyramid too. TOO FUNNY!! It reminded me of an episode of home improvement where Tim the tool man Taylor was cooking a camping breakfast. He had bacon, sausage links and Canadian bacon. He told one of his sons about his favorite morning treat, a pig in a blanket wearing a parka (sausage link, wrapped in bacon and Canadian bacon folded around it). That made me giggle.

  29. Brick’s Pyramid:

    -Lamp-This much!
    – 3 Tablespoons Toasted Mayonaise
    – Chocolate Squirrel-Eat Sparingly

  30. The H. Lector one needs some fava beans in there 🙂

    I’d go for a Grok on Kleen Kanteen as well.

  31. Submitted by W.A. Yankovic (from bottom to top):

    Captain Krunch and Raisin Bran Group (enough to feed starving children in Japan)

    Egg Group (beaten)

    Chicken and Pie Group (broiled or fried)

    Yogurt and Spam Group (fresh or canned)

    Banana Group (1 or whole bunch)

    Tuna Casserole Group (just a touch)

  32. I learnt about the food pyramid at school and became obsessed with it and would follow it all the time. That’s what scares me. Children being educated the wring way about food at school.
    What next? The one that you have shown is such a mess and looks like the old one just changed around a bit.
    Who are they kidding?

  33. Obamas pyramid…10 servings of bullcrap topped off by fresh gushing crude oil. I think it’s low carb…

  34. Submitted by Super Mario

    Bottom Tier – 99 Green 1up Mushrooms
    2nd Tier – 5 Red and Wite Super Mushrooms
    3rd Tier – Fire Flower, Freeze Flower, Feather – Choose one as needed
    4th Tier – 1 Flashing Star
    Top Tier – Princess Peach (make it a quicky, don’t want to waste star power.)

  35. Missed the contest, but did want to argue the case that the new pyramid should include a piece about the exclusion of sugars and refined carbohydrates. I’m sure there are rich companies lobbying against that, but it would really help to teach kids and adults that they need to avoid those things, even if our government is subsidizing them. I just looked all over the mypyramid site and saw nothing about avoiding sugars. It does describe the difference between whole grains and refined carbs, but nothing noting that refined carbs should be avoided. Hopefully, they’ll get it right one day.
    The comments are open through Friday.

  36. It’s in reality a nice and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.