Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Calories Stated on Packaging Allowed to be 20% higher

I found this brief article to be quite interesting for a few reasons.

1) Bell and Evan Grilled Chicken Breast Meal exceeded the stated calories by 31%
2) Lean Cuisine Shrimp with Angel Hair pasta exceeded the stated calories by 28%
3) Most shocking, the FDA considers a 20% discrepancy acceptable error!

Imagine if your job performance was within 20% of the target. Really, that is acceptable! Doesn’t sound like any job I ever had.

This is just another reason to eat real unprocessed food. Clearly the nutrition labels aren’t much more than a hint.


  1. Hence the phrase, "Close enough for government work." I just wish I could get a job with the government...sigh...

  2. Shenandoah,

    I think it is ridiculous that that an error rate that high is tolerated. Maybe if they (FDA) had a smaller tolerable limit, companies would be more accurate. It doesn't impact me since I don't buy packaged food, but I still think it is a shame.


  3. Just found your blog and love it. I've been a vegetarian for a long time and love to cook but find that a lot of veggie recipes are high fat or made out of starchy pasta or use exotic hard to find ingredients. So I love your healthy, inspiring recipes that use accessible ingredients. I'm also interested in nutrition, so your stories about health and how food affects it are awsome too. Looking forward to more informative entries.

  4. Shannon,

    I found that same thing reading other blogs. Those of us that want to avoid high fat food and flour seem to be in the minority. That is part of why I decided to start this blog. I felt it was niche that wasn't covered.

    Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoy what I post! :)


  5. i knew this was happening!!! i hate that. i think its another reason to not take the fda seriously either. way to hold yourselves to high standards guys!! lol i dont think so!

  6. Hi Alicia, hope you are having a good week! I just did a blog post on nutrition labels. The only thing I pay attention to is the ingredient list.
    Have been having trouble with the #@%* computer this week.

  7. and you are def filling a niche, i love that all your recipes are good (great) and that you use very little starchy things. it is so easy to make great tasting food....using high fat, high calorie ingredients....the REAL trick is making simple healthy food taste wonderul. so im with shannon!

  8. sadly, I'm not surprised by this! I used to eat packaged meals when I was single, and I shudder about them now.

    btw, I pay about the same as you for chia seeds, but I'm always looking around for cheaper.

    I love my Wii fit so far, I didn't know Daisy Fuentes had a workout for Wii!

  9. When I got out of college, I actually got hired by the FDA. My supervisor would not eat any processed tomato products because the government allows a certain percentage of maggots to infest the tomatoes before they're packaged. Glad I wasn't privvy to those plant inspections.

  10. Molly,

    We all used to eat processed food. It is scary to think about now though isn't it?

    If you find a better price on chia seeds please let me, I will do the same.

    Glad to hear you like your Wii. I love mine.


    Ugh! That is completely gross. I had heard of the acceptable bug parts per million before but this one is new. Time to go completely off grid and buy nothing even remotely processed.

    I guess I don't have to ask why you aren't with the FDA anymore. That job sounds too depressing for words.


  11. Michelle,

    Thank you so much for the very nice compliment. That was very sweet of you. And ... I agree it it is very easy to make food taste good that is high in fat and sugar. I cooked that way for many years (sadly).


    I enjoyed your post today. Since I don’t have the best memory for additives, I solve the problem by avoiding things that are processed. Like you if something contains a word that sounds remotely chemical I just don’t buy it.



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