Back in the 1950s, the nightly airing of the world news on TV lasted only fifteen minutes. Back then only a few travelers paid much attention to Egypt. When the United States Department of Agriculture came out with a food guide, one that focused on four different groups, those four groups were displayed in a circle, one that had been divided into four quarters.
For more than four decades, meal-planners were encouraged to include a representative food from each group within any meal. The circular symbol used by the government had copied the shape of a typical round dish. Consequently, a majority of people began to see an empty plate as something that ought to contain three to four different foods, depending on the nature of a diner's chosen beverage.
By 1992, a growing number of TV viewers had made a habit of catching the news at any time of the day or night. The world seemed to be getting smaller. It was an excellent time to focus on a gift from Egypt, namely the pyramid. The Department of Agriculture replaced the quadrants in a circle with the different levels within a pyramid. That change made it easier to adapt the contents of those levels.
The New York Medical College made an important adaptation. It created a pyramid designed for vegetarians. In that altered pyramid, only one level had been divided into separate sections. The level above the bottom one, the one filled with breads and grains had a section for fruits and one for vegetables. Above that level, the major change became obvious.
Because the Department of Agriculture had designed a guide for meat-eating men and women, it had put meats, poultry, fish and other protein sources in one level's section. The section next to that had contained all types of dairy foods. The adapted version placed all the protein sources on the same level, one located above the fruits and vegetables and below the pyramid's topmost portion.
By creating something designed for vegetarians, the N.Y. Medical College set the stage for creation of pyramids that reflected the eating habits of vegans. While this writer has not yet seen a publication with such a pyramid, she has seen something close to it. She found it in a cookbook, one with this title: The Taste for a Living World Cookbook.
That pyramid's lowest level has been filled with a collection of fiber rich foods. Some of those colorful items represent tasty berries; others are larger fruits. Some are the stems or leaves that have been removed from a plant, i.e. vegetables. All of them are rich in cancer-fighting chemicals.
The grains and breads have been placed above the bottom level. Above them there is another undivided section. That section contains all the protein rich foods, including soy-based products. The topmost section contains the natural flavoring agents, things like spices and beneficial oils. This one pyramid's contents and design could well be used to make a pyramid for vegans.