Nature Matching System Placemat


NMS­­—Nature Matching System was developed by Tattfoo as a reminder to consume your daily recommended doses of color. The shades of color displayed at farmers’ markets are more than skin deep, reflecting the inner potential of every fruit and vegetable; intense colors might even be called nature’s nutrition labels. They 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. Sadly, marketers of junk food apply the same technique used by nature to pollinate seed to their nutrition-deprived product. Color is a device that can do good or be deceptive and ensure the pollination of unhealthy eating habits. The colors on the placemat shown below are all actual food colors, taken from photographs of various fruits and vegetables. Match your meal to the placemat—it is truly a rainbow connection.



Food Colors, Nutritious

Suggested Reading:

What Color is Your Diet? by David Heber, M.D. published by Regan Books
Super Foods by Michael van Straten and Barbara Griggs
Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck




Nature Matching System placemat has been selected for inclusion in MoMA Design Store’s Destination: NYC Collection. It is the 11th location in the MoMA Design Store Destination: Design series and celebrates design in New York City. It is a product collection created by designers living and working in the five boroughs with all product manufactured in the United States. To assemble the product collection, the MoMA Design Store held its first Open Call allowing New York City designers to submit their work. More than 1,000 entries were received and reviewed by a design jury to culminate in a curated collection with the work of 75 designers. It be available in MoMA Design Stores in New York City (11 West 53 Street, 44 West 53 Street, 81 Spring Street) and Tokyo and at,, and beginning in May 2013 and running through August 2013. #MoMADNYC


Nature Matching System Vinyl Placemat
$40 for a set of four vinyl placemats, 11" x 17", made in USA + Free shipping in US


Disposable Paper Tablemat, edition 2007

NMS, 2007, 19" x13", disposable paper tablemat, offset printed on paper


Nature Matching System fan's review

Thank you SO much for the NMS set and the beautiful bread print - I am enjoying them all so much! - Faith Hopler / Managing Editor, Apartment Therapy,

I received the package and am giddy about how cool the sheets look! I'm definitely going to try to devise a way to put them up, as well as use them as placemats. I was happy to see the exhibit postcards you included, but the letterpress project really blew me away. A lover of words, art that includes words, printing, and food in general, I can't thank you enough for such a stunning inclusion! I can't wait to get it framed and hung. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and all my best! - Julie Ann Elefante

You are amazing! I just received the placemats, I was expecting 4, maybe 8, but this is just great!!! Thank you so much! Have you thought about selling them to a wider audience in the future? They would be a big hit. Btw, I plan to frame some for our kitchen wall and am sure it will look absolutely fabulous ;) - Nicole Stich /, Munich, Germany

I can't get over your Nature Matching System installation, and that you enlisted schoolchildren to help paint it. Very inspirational. May I buy six placemats from you? I have a beautiful dark wood round dining table, that seats six around, and your placemats would look stunning on it. Keep up the great work. I look forward to reading about your future projects! - Steve Slawsky

Tattfoo, as usual you continue to make my day when I get your emails because of the constant freshness, inventiveness of your work and how can I put it — it has a way of making people feel good about themselves and the world they live in, and of course food as art is always fab! - Cindy Suriyani, Los Angeles, CA

I am sure you are inundated after today's Times piece but I would LOVE to get a placemat - if only to keep up my constant battle cry with my kids to eat their fruits and vegetables! It's a beautiful project/concept and I hope you continue to spread it. Thank you! And good luck! - Susanne Beck, Cambridge, MA

I was just reading about your mural in Brooklyn and would love to have two placemats for my little ones, to inspire colorful eating! Thanks for making the world more beautiful. - Margaret Waters, Belmont, MA

Congratulations on your recent success! I saw a photo of your placemat in today's NY Times and was drawn to it. It makes me smile every time I look at it. It's fun and seems simple, although I'm sure it wasn't. It reminds me of paint samples, except that the colors come from nature. It's a great idea, and I like that the children were involved in the mural. - Caroline Chen, Durham, NC

I'm a Baltimore-based chef and slow food activist. I looooove your work. - Megan Ryan, Baltimore, MD

I am a teacher at a middle school in Arlington, VA. I LOVE what you are doing with the diet lessons and would like to share this with my students and the art teacher. - Alexandra Gerson, Arlington, VA

The project is a wonderful idea and I hope it improves awareness and intake of fruits and vegetables among children as well as adults. I am particularly intrigued in your work as a nutritionist and cancer epidemiologist. In 2004, I published a paper reporting findings on fruit and vegetable intake and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. In a press release for the paper, I was quoted saying “"The more colors on your plate, the better, because the more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the more packed it is with nutrients." Certainly this idea is not novel but as your work exemplifies creating appealing and straightforward health messages is one step to instituting change at the individual level. Thank you for your inspiring work! - Mia M Gaudet, PhD, New York, NY

I used to make collages from paint chips as a little girl...I am always oddly fascinated by colored squares. I love the source of your inspiration for these colors, and think they are just lovely. It will also be a reminder to eat my veggies. Also an inspiration for a middle school art teacher friend for something to do with his kids. He is a genius at using only recyclable stuff for his students...I know he will find a way to take this idea and run with it. - Annie Olson, Oak Park, IL

What a wonderful idea. I think I might paint squares such as you have and install it in our dining room to remind us to eat more color. You have opened a whole new world to me! - Jennifer Presley, Cupertino, CA

Just reread my NYTimes this morning and came across the article about your "Nature Matching System". I am a homeschooling mom from NH. Our family and our homeschool cooperative spent the last six months talking about issues of sustainability. We focused a lot on food and where it comes form, why we eat what we eat, etc. Would love to share the placemats with my kids and with our group. Really loved your project which highlights and reflects the need to think about beautiful foods simply, to enjoy simply beautiful food. - Lucy White, Portsmouth, NH

I am teaching a graduate class for future dieteticans and nutrition educators. The students are working the community with a YWCA program for teen parents and pregnant teens.  One of their projects is a cooking class for ten of the teens.  I would love to have some of the placements for this effort that my students can link to the beauty and variety of vegetables while they cook. I am looking forward to learning more about what you are doing in schools.  My dream is to have a way to make food fun, healthy, and accessible. - Margaret R. Savoca, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

I'm a dietitian who works (volunteers) at a free clinic here on Hilton Head, Volunteers in Medicine.  The patients I see are primarily diabetics and others who are overweight or obese--they need to be eating more vegetables and fruits (although on a limited income this is difficult, but that's another issue).  The placemat would be a great reminder for my clients to get as much "color" in their diet as possible.  - Betty Amer, Hilton Head, SC

I just saw an article about your NMS Mural in New York. I thought it was extraordinarily beautiful.  The vibrant colors from nature against a dreary man-made landscape was startling and powerful. I am a mother and a cancer researcher and I appreciate that your artwork could so easily help a child understand the importance of a varied and healthy diet, and the beauty that nature provides for us. - Ashley Powell, Mountain View, CA

I didn't previously appreciate the many ways in which color expressed a sense of tangible items and the idea that such could instill a thought process in a fanciful way, leading to an understanding of the extent of the food chain; have shared your site with my daughter, a dietician who has worked with children. -Robert Grochow, Westbury, NY