Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Does 300 Calories Look Like?

300 Calories, that's a nice little snack isn't it? Over here in the US, the food companies currently have Americans in a frenzy over "100 Calorie Packs" of food. And us silly Americans think that 100 Calories must be the perfect number that should be in a snack, I mean if the food companies tell us that, who are we to argue with them, right?!?

Well the food industries are making bucoupe bucks off of these things because there's a whole lot of extra packaging that goes along with these products and people pay a premium because they think they're getting more of something when in actuality they're getting a whole lot less.

I remember reading an article a few months back where they discussed the total cost of these "100 Calorie Packs" and it turned out that a lot of time, consumers were paying almost double the price for the same product only because it was packaged differently, and a lot of times it wasn't even the same product. For example, Oreos has a "100 Calorie" snack but cookies in the snack pack are nothing like the regular product, they're "wafers" sort of like those sugar wafer cookies that you can buy for a quarter a pack.

The other day in the store I saw pre-packaged deli meat in "single serve" packages. You get two lovely single serve packages, which equal almost 4 ounces of meat for the ultra low price of only $3.59. What a deal - but what if you figure out how much you're paying per pound?!? You're paying more than $14 a pound, just for the convenience of having something "pre-packaged" for you.

You'd be much better off if you just went out and bought a pound of deli-meat, a scale and divied up your own meat, but then who wants to go all of that effort, I mean we're American's after all and we shouldn't have to do such menial tasks like that.

The Roommate and I are big "divy uppers" we'll go to Sam's Club/Costco, buy the big family version of something and divy it up into smaller portions so that we can save money by buying bulk. Even though it's the two of us, it works out to be a big money saver. Our pantry is always full, we can barely shut the freezer door and we've got a "backstock" of our larger items, so if there's ever a winter storm and we're stuck in the house we'll have plenty of food to before we have to go all "Donner Party" on each other.

We're also pretty thrifty when we go grocery shopping, we go out of our way to shop at a "discount" grocery store and we're getting into the habit of using coupons to save even more money. We've found that we can go to our "discount" grocery store, spend $100 and have enough food for 3 weeks. When we go to our local grocery store that's within walking distance, we easily spend $30-40 and walk out of the store with 2 or 3 bags!

In this troubling economy, every dollar helps!

But I have digressed from my original reason to post. I found this really cool link the other day that shows you exactly how much 300 calories of a whole bunch of different types of food are.

You'll be amazed at the eating opportunities that will present themselves when realize that you could have almost 2 pounds of broccoli, 3 glasses of red wine or more than 3.5 pounds of tomatoes (of course not now that our entire crop has been hit by Salmonella) or you could really splurge and have 2 slices of bacon, 2 ounces of potato chips or 1.73 ounces of cod liver.

What will you choose to eat?!?

Check it out HERE


Here's a little video for you as well:


Andi said...

and with us being on a diet and all I just bought a bunch of those 100 calorie bags of chips and stuff.

Michael, you couldn't have posted this say, earlier? :-)

delmer said...

I'm pretty good at buying vanilla yogurt in a tub of some sort (about the same size as your average Cottage Cheese tub).

It cost the same as something like three Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits.

What I'm not good about is ever eating it. This morning I was digging around for something and found three unopened yogurt tubs -- one had expired 6 weeks ago. I brought that one to work to taste test it today.

I've moved the yogurts to a higher shelf in the fridge -- I'm hoping that by seeing it I'll remember to eat it.

The Big Finn said...

I'd probably just swipe all those $10 bills, drink the wine and beer, and then get the hell outta there!

Pete said...

such passionate, whistle-blowing writing, michael. you should turn this into a script and make "the insider 2", starring russell crowe.

as far as 300 calories goes, i did some research/math and figured that's at least 10oz of semen. yum!

David said...

And think of the energy used to process, package and ship that 100 calorie treat to our stores. This extravagant use of energy will end one day.

Michael said...

Andi - I'm so sorry.

Delmer - You'll probably think I'm a doofus, but I actually make my own yogurt, it's much cheaper and a whole lot better. And yeah I make my own Granola too - just ask Andi, she gave my secret family recipe away on her flickr page.

TBF - Ah, a man after my own heart.

Pete - Oh, uhm, ok, yeah that's a lot of semen.

David - I didn't even THINK about those costs - you're a true consumer - BUY IN BULK!

Feast of Fools said...

I worry that you don't get enough fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Consider buying fresh foods from Edgewater Produce. Its cheap, fresh and on your way home from work.

andy said...

Oooh, I love a bargain too, I'm always checking the different pack sizes to see which is the best value. Those 100 calorie packs sound like a right gimmick.

I cant even describe our freezer, it is so full of bulk bought stuff, we usually choose our evening meal based on what needs to come out of the freezer next :-)