WBUR's CommonHealth blog in Boston recently posted an interesting piece on ethnic "food pyramids," variations of the official federal food pyramid reworked by a non-profit to represent the healthiest foods in a "culture-specific" way.
The pyramids were put together after a lengthy research project spearheaded by Oldways, a Cambridge group that promotes healthy eating. There are food pyramids taking in traditional diets and foods from the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, with even a vegetarian food pyramid thrown in for good measure.
It's a nice idea, although the pyramids are more regional in nature than truly culture-specific. The Latin American pyramid lists, for example, the arepa, a stuffed corncake popular in Colombia and other parts of South America, but not in places like Mexico or Cuba. Still, difficult as it is to assemble a food pyramid based on such varied cuisines, the illustrated Oldways pyramids include a wide range of ingredients used in different countries. From the CommonHealth post: