by Marion Nestle
Nov 26 2011

The latest source of dietary advice: The Good Wife

I’m not much of a TV watcher so I missed the episode of The Good Wife in which CBS offered a new version of the food guide icon.

Fortunately, the Minneapolis Star Tribune got permission to reprint it.

According to the Tribune’s account of the episode, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,”  a character representing the cheese industry proposes a more dairy-prominent alternative to the USDA’s MyPlate:

As for me, I still miss the 1992 Pyramid, maybe because it did not lend itself to such easy satire (see previous post).


Try to find a way to view the episode. It’s a very compelling (and disgusting) view of the back room politics around food recs. The Good Wife is one of the best dramas on tv and I was pleased to see that they tackled this issue.

  • Margeretrc
  • November 26, 2011
  • 1:34 pm

It appears @Janet in Toronto got the actual message of that episode of The Good Wife–government food guidelines are not about science, but about promoting one lobby or another’s agenda. The sooner people realize that and stop taking the Food Pyramid, My Plate and other such nonsense seriously and return to eating real food in amounts dictated by their bodies’ needs–rather than some artificial framework–the better. I don’t really follow any pyramid, but if I did, it would be this one:,r:1,s:0 or this one:,r:14,s:0

  • Daniel Green
  • November 26, 2011
  • 3:09 pm

The full MyPlate/MyBody episode of “The Good Wife” can be viewed here:

  • Margeretrc
  • November 26, 2011
  • 6:58 pm

@tuned in, Touche!

  • NYFarmer
  • November 27, 2011
  • 1:23 pm

With the lack of ag reporters in big urban media, issues related to food and ag production are relegated to information gleaned from sit coms and Oprah. Reporting on American ag and food seems to be mostly sneer, snark and stunt. Its really too bad that media platforms are not geared towards serious discussion of regional agriculture, production methods, and the massive (and local) food systems that feed most of America. I guess like so many other aspects of American reporting, its just the dumbing down of American food and agriculture.

What ever happened to good common sense, and parents teaching their kids how to eat by example? We shouldn’t need the government to tell us how to eat, and the show rightly pointed out that it is all about lobbying and bottom line. Better lobbying practices should be about demanding REAL food, and safer practices as to how it is produced.

  • Carrie Kiser
  • November 29, 2011
  • 10:59 am

When I saw the episode, I had just finished the unit with Marion Nestle and Food Politics. I think excerpts of this show is a great way to show the ridiculous way nutrition guidelines are cared for by the US government–it’s not about science-it’s about what lobbyist(s) has/have the deepest pockets. It would be comical if the resulting recommendations weren’t so serious. Really disgusting.

I found the episode humorous. It pokes fun of the very real issue of the government and lobbyist trying to influence what the American public should eat. I have to believe that it made people think. I believe that much of the public has no idea of how unqualified the government is to make dietary regulation and how these regulations are mostly influenced by commercialism. The Good Wife Episode should have opened some eyes. Lighten up people. We don’t always have to be so serious to get important messages across. By the way, Joshua, the little man diagram was developed for the corn council, thus the corn was at the heart of the “pyramid”. I still have to laugh. You should watch the episode.

  • Jen
  • November 29, 2011
  • 9:02 pm

So there was just another show on ABC Tuesday 830pm east cost and it was about lying and cheating about going gluten free just caught a small segment but it was great it showed the desire and the challenge of upgrading our diet!!

  • cyndar
  • July 22, 2014
  • 5:22 pm

The episode was very funny. Disturbing, too. It showed pretty well the lobbying process that went into the ChooseMyPlate. Which should really be designed on science and not lobbyists. I laughed out loud a few times.

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