Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Everything in (Not So) Moderation

This week the Food and Drug Administration proposed changes to nutrition labels on food for the first time in 20 years. The changes, they say, would give a more realistic idea of what we are stuffing in our mouths. What?! Three Oreos is TOTALLY a realistic serving size! Said no one ever. I have long chuckled at serving sizes. I am not an over-eater for the most part (except when it comes to popcorn), but calling a can of soup or a 20 oz. soda two servings each is rather ridiculous. I'm all for the revisions, though I think I might suffer from a heart attack from seeing what I'm actually eating, regardless of how much sodium is in it. This week, let's look at some serving sizes and nutrition content in the animal kingdom, shall we?

If you were a blue whale, this is what your daily intake of krill would look like. Krill are tiny crustaceans that are capable of planking on a fingertip like this:
A blue whale consumes 4 tons of these little buggers a day, which is enough to fill a dumpster. Pretty cool to think that one of the largest animals in the world subsists on one of the smallest animals in the world.

"Leche de Foca" translates to seal milk, and in this case, Northern fur seal milk, specifically. Young fur seal pups need to drink milk like any other mammal in order to grow, but their mothers spend a lot of time hunting, and not a lot of time nursing. As a result, the pups have to get a lot of nutrients in a very short time. A female fur seal's milk is 46% fat, which is comparable to heavy whipping cream (36% fat). Sure makes our whole milk of 3.25% look not so bad, doesn't it?

As you may recall from a previous blog, short-tailed shrews have some of the highest metabolisms in the animal kingdom. While it may sound good to be able to eat whatever you want (even seal milk) and still stay slim and trim, consider that they can starve to death in just a manner of hours. Because of their high rate of calorie use, a short-tailed shrew consumes between one to three times their own body weight a day. If we were to look at this from a human perspective, it would mean that the average 180 pound man would need to consume 180 to 540 pounds of food a day, or roughly somewhere between this...

and this....
every day. 
Our refrigerators would have to be a whole heck of a lot bigger.

These are just three of the nutrition labels you'd expect to see under the new Food and Drug Administration's revisions that reflect accurate and realistic serving sizes and nutrition content. Hey FDA, speaking of revised serving sizes, here's what I'd suggest for my own popcorn serving size, ok?
That should just about do it. 

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