FRESNO, Calif., Feb. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Western Pistachio Association (WPA) today announced its official partnership with USDA's MyPyramid, ramping up the WPA's nutrition educational programs to coincide with the announcement of the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The announcement was made at the WPA Annual Conference in Santa Barbara before more than 500 attendees, the majority of whom are growers in the American pistachio industry.
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"We're thrilled that the grower members of the Western Pistachio Association and their processors have joined 'Partnering with MyPyramid,' becoming part of a 3-pronged movement where government, industry, and education are taking aim at transforming the way America eats," said Nancy Montanez Johner, Under Secretary of USDA's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.
"The WPA's increased focus on nutrition education comes at a time when Americans are intensely interested in their health and wellbeing," said Brian Blackwell, WPA Chairman and a pistachio grower in Bakersfield, California. "With the new Dietary Guidelines, we expect American pistachios will find their way into more homes, due to their positive health attributes and how they fit into MyPyramid. We're pleased to share those attributes while encouraging families to apply the principals of MyPyramid to their own lives."
The domestic pistachio harvest - and Mother Nature - recently delivered a surprisingly large crop to growers in California, which produces 98.5 percent of the domestic product. The WPA membership of 400+ growers and independent processors in California, Arizona and New Mexico have concluded the timing is perfect to support the new Guidelines and MyPyramid, the tool that teaches the guidelines in a simple and fun format (MyPyramid.gov). Going forward, WPA's educational outreach will include the messaging of MyPyramid, extending the DGA reach while reinforcing the position pistachios hold in the MyPyramid scheme as a valuable food in the American diet.
"The purpose of 'Partnering with MyPyramid' is to equip consumers with the information that they need to make smart decisions about eating more healthfully and being more physically active, so Western Pistachio Association plays an important part in bringing that vision to reality," said Dr. Robert Post, Executive Director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
Western Pistachio Association is a non-profit voluntary trade association representing more than 400 growers in the United States. WPA is governed by an 18-member board of directors and is funded entirely by growers and independent processors with the shared goal of increasing global awareness of nutritious, American-grown pistachios.
SOURCE Western Pistachio Association