Remember the new “My Plate” icon that the USDA put out a few months ago? Part of the new campaign is releasing specific marketing messages to the public. This is their first message:

Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables

This is borderline revolutionary. Can you imagine if every American filled HALF their plate with fresh fruits and veggies? And what if they did that at EVERY meal? I don’t care what’s on the other half of the plate – there is no doubt in my mind that we’d all be healthier (and likely less overweight). I applaud the government for such a straightforward and simple message. In my perfect world, the message would add the words “fresh” and “organic,” but hey, we have to start somewhere. Plus, if this motivates people to eat more produce, maybe they’ll start to experiment with new veggies and possibly even visit their local farmers market. Maybe they’ll start to understand how much better a tomato tastes in season. Maybe they’ll buy local and…I’m getting carried away. As you can see, I’m an optimist.

More of these USDA messages are coming soon. Here are a few you can look forward to:

Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less

Drink Water Instead of Sugary Drinks

Make at Least Half Your Grains Whole Grains

Avoid Oversized Portions.

Not bad. I especially like the portion control and drink water messages. I only hope that the campaign is amplified in a way where the public actually pays attention. There is so much competition in every area of marketing when you are competing against billions of advertising dollars. The USDA press release came out on 9/7 and I haven’t seen any major press on it (it is so not newsworthy if Snookie is not involved). In fact, I found out about it on Twitter. Wait, I just thought of the best idea ever: Make Justin Beiber, Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga, and Angelina Jolie spread the message and it would get mass media coverage every day! Okay, I digress again. Back to boring reality.

I’ll be keeping my eyes open to see if I actually notice one of these messages through my normal course of my day. If you see one, let us where you saw it and if it resonated with you. These are your tax dollars at work and we want to hear from YOU:

  1. Do you think these types of messages will help make Americans healthier? Are they a waste of money?
  2. Is it possible for the USDA to get their message across to the public and compete with the billions spent on junk food ads?
  3. What other government sponsored messages would you like to see?
  4. What should the government’s role be in the national diet?
  5. Live outside the US? Have you seen a government campaign to eat healthier that you think actually worked? What was it and why was it successful?

Read the full press release here: