This reminds me of the 4 food groups in the 70/80's when I was in elementary school.
Plate method -- it's certainly easier but not new or revolutionary. That's been a technique in diabetic lit I've read. Marion Nestle's blog posts others.
I'm not sure about milk even being on there. All adults have weaned. Why bother with the breastmilk of other animals? At best it it an optional food, like desserts and candies. Fun, tastes good, but not crucial.
Would prefer "starch" rather than "grain" because some veg are quite starchy.
Good that it is "protein" and not just meat.
But think on who it is by. USDA -- US Dept of Agriculture.
It's too weird to me that the USDA is the one that kicks out nutrition for the general welfare when it exists to promote agriculture.
From wikipedia the USDA...
"... aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and abroad."
Bit of a conflict of interest, no? To meet the needs of the farmers and ranchers (who sell stuff to eat) and then be making recomendations to the general populace (who buy stuff to eat.)
And nowhere in there does it say optimal nutrition... there are powerful food lobbies. And we are a nation of overfed and undernourished.
Overall, I suppose plate method helps people visualize better than pyramid though I think it could use some clarifying on portion sizes and optional and optimal foods on the accompanying lit.
I guess only time will tell if the general US population improves health wise.