Your daily dose of color

Last year, I came across a great sign in NYC that stated "Remember to take your daily dose of color". I didn't know what it meant, but I was intrigued. I can't recall if I ever shared it with you- does it look familiar?
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In anycase, I just discovered what that's all about!

Nature Matching System (NMS) is a project designed to educate people about dietary needs via consumption of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. As explained on the site, "[Fruits and vegetables] get many of their colors from phytonutrients, compounds that play key roles in health and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. The more colors come together at a meal, the better." By making sure you eat fresh foods as represented by the colors on the products,  you'll be ensuring you're ingesting valuable nutrients at every meal.

The low down on phytonutrients- the more colorful, the more nutrients: yellow, orange, and red pigment in fruits and vegetables. Dark, green, leafy vegetables. Reddish pigments found in red grape skins and citrus fruits... you get the idea.

While iterations of the project travel around from location to location in the form of murals, seminars, and products, artist and founder Tattfoo Tan hopes the message will linger. "NMS hopes to re-educate [people] back to healthy eating habits, but not to deprive them of the fun and experience of eating colorful real food," said Tan. "Color is such a captivating element of food, but too often it's used to make highly processed junk food, which mimics nature's intention of using color to nourish us. NMS is not only art for art's sake but it also carries a deeper social and educational value that will carry on even after the mural is gone."(source)

For the Dumbo mural project, students from PS 307 attended workshops where Tan asked them to select a favorite fruit or vegetable, whose color the students then painted onto panels. Each of these panels was then incorporated into the mural, containing other panels painted by Tan.

It's been painted panels mounted to a fence under the Manhattan Bridge overpass in Dumbo, Brookyln (up until January 9th for those of you who can check it out)

as well as in the form of printed vinyl on glass windows in the Port Authority Bus Terminal, located in the Fashion District of New York City.

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Another application for NMS: Match your meal to the placemat and see how many of the colors show up on your plate. I would love a set of those for myself. Alas, when I emailed the artist to inquire if these were still available, he said they were out of production. Bummer.

But all hope is not lost! Want to remember on a daily basis? Download your very own screen saver!

''Marketers package food colorfully because color attracts people,'' said Mr. Tan, whose work often reflects the cultural importance of food. ''I wanted to create a visually tempting way to view the intangibility of nutrition.''(source)

Sounds good to me!