Monday, October 28, 2013

Experiment 4: Dear Tim, Run While You Can

Did you miss us? No? Well too bad! In this episode, I rant about why mixing nacho cheese and salsa is awful and give a mini-lesson on kit-kats!

College Kid 2

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Experiment 3- Part 2: You Get to Eat It By Yourself

Since College Kid 3 couldn't join us for experiment 3, we had her do it by herself because we are jerks=) And, well, it ended up interesting. Watch to find out!

College Kid 2

Music: Relient K- Anchorage

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Value in “Daily Value Percentages”

Hey guys, there’s something that I never really paid attention to before that really came to my attention when I did the sodium article. There’s something on almost every label you’ll see that says “Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.” Where did 2000 calories even COME From?

According to Marion Nestle, a writer on Food, “They proposed 2,000 calories as:
  • consistent with widely used food plans
  • close to the calorie requirements for postmenopausal women, the population group most prone to weight gain
  • a reasonably rounded-down value from 2,350 calories
  • easier to use than 2,350 and, therefore, a better tool for nutrition education
Whether a rounding down of nearly 20 percent is reasonable or not, the FDA ultimately viewed these arguments as persuasive.”

So what is needed for kids? Well ages 1-3 can look at 1,200-1,400 calories per day. Kids that are 4-6 are looking at 1,500-1,750 calories. Kids that are 7-9 are looking at 1,700-1,950. Yet on some kids’ foods we still see the nutrition labeled related to 2,000 calories a day. (

So that’s calories, but what really got to me was the Sodium Percentages that I was looking at. An adult is supposed to eat 2,300 mg of Sodium per day. Let’s take the Pepperoni Pizza Lunchables as an example. The nutrition facts say that it has 760mg of Sodium and that is 32% of your daily value. Now let me remind you, as I showed on my sodium article, kids should be eating between 1,000-1,500 milligrams of sodium a day. Let’s do a little math. 760 mg is in fact 33% of 2300 mg, THE ADULT SERVING FOR SODIUM, NOT THE KIDS. So for a kid, even if you’re healthily eating 2,000 calories, that doesn’t mean the sodium level is 32% of the daily value you should be enjoying.

Let’s go up to the higher end of the age spectrum 9-18 at 1,500 mgs of Sodium. 760 milligrams is FIFTY PERCENT OF THAT DAILY VALUE!!!!!! Just because they may eat 2,000 calories a day does NOT mean that the other daily values are accurate for a child’s needs and yet Lunchables, who are geared at children, are putting forward the ADULT SIZE FOR SODIUM. Not to make a pun, but we all need to read the daily values with a grain of salt.

College Kid  1

Sodium: Taking these labels with more than one grain of salt.

Sodium is a really useful little nutrient. It’s most commonly found in Salt which we find in just about everything we eat.

According to in 2013: “Sodium is needed for muscle contractions, nerve transmissions, maintaining pH balance, and hydration.  Sodium regulates the fluid outside of the cells and is needed to pump fluid into the cells as potassium carries by-products out.”

These are all REALLY important. Sodium is half of the chemistry that helps the electricity in your body function, (the other half is Potassium) and having adequate amounts of both in your system is SUPER important.

So how much of this awesome substance should we be eating? Well for ages 1-3, adequate consumption should be at 1,000 milligrams daily. A 4-8 year old should aim for about 1,200 milligrams. And anyone from the ages of 9-18 should shoot for about 1,500. So how do these numbers compare to the sodium levels in our Lunchables?

In a Cracker Stacker (no juice drink) Ham and Swiss Meal: 690mg of Sodium.
In a Cracker Stacker (no juice drink) Ham and Cheddar Meal: 670mg of Sodium.
In a Cracker Stacker (no juice drink) Turkey and Cheddar Meal: 620 mg of Sodium.
In a Pizza (with juice drink) Pepperoni Meal: 760 mg
In a Pizza (with juice drink) Extra Cheesy Meal: 620 mg
In a Chicken Dunk (with juice drink) Meal: 550 mg.

There are not small numbers compared to the total if we’re looking at 1000-1500 mg.

But why does it matter? What happens if you eat too much sodium? How does it hurt us? It makes you thirsty, it puts you at risk for high blood pressure, it sometimes may cause fluid retention, which in turn is the risk for heart attacks and strokes to go up as well. These are really huge problems, and we have to make sure that we keep our sodium levels in the healthy zone. This has been your jump into the salt shaker.

College Kid 1

Experiment 3 Rant

Welcome back everyone to another exciting response. This is to the Cracker Stacker Lunchable, and we made almost the same thing but with some tweaks. We used the turkey and cheese from a Hormel Snack Tray and used Wheat Thins as the cracker and it tasted pretty good! We listed the nutrition facts above in comparison to each of the other meals, and it wasn’t a perfect win. It wasn’t a complete sweep, but we were able to make something slightly healthier. If we had time and I had the money we would experiment with different combinations of meat and cheeses to get that optimum healthfulness, but sadly for you guys I was on a budget this week and had to keep it very simple. But LOOK AROUND!! Experiment with different meats, cheeses, and crackers until you find what works for you. Or if you want something, you know, bigger? Make a sandwich, it’s amazing.
There’s something I will always hold dear about crackers and cheese though, and I say cheese NOT cheese product, guys. That was another thing we looked at when we were making some comparisons, the number of ingredients and how many of them were chemicals. It is really disheartening when the third ingredient in the Lunchables ham is sodium lactate, and it gets less and less understandable and more and more chemically complex from there. I did a rough count and Lunchables turkey had 15 ingredients when the one from our counter recipe had eight. The cheese product had 14 ingredients where our real cheese had eight. The crackers they gave had 20 ingredients and the wheat thins had 12. It was hard to make these counts because you’re never sure if you count all the parenthesis or just the big ingredients but this is my rough count. So yeah, be careful when the ingredients label says “Pasteurized Prepared Swiss (or Cheddar) Cheese Product.” Why isn’t it cheese? Why is it a cheese product? All I know is I’ve never seen so many words that I don’t know on one piece of cardboard, and that worries me about what it is I’m eating. Start reading your labels, guys. It’s SCARY when you start to understand what’s really in some of our commonplace products!!!
Wish everyone a great evening,

College Kid 1

Experiment 3: We Can't Have Circular Cheese

Hey guys! We are experimenting with Cracker Stacker Lunchables this time. We stacked and cracked! Does that sound weird? Oh well.. Why is this meat circular? Is this really cheese? Why is there so much sugar in these crackers? Why am I asking you all these questions?!

College Kid 2

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Experiment 2 Flop: I'm Powerfuller Than You!

Hey guys! We recently tested out the pizza Lunchables. That means we need to find a easy, healthy, and tasty way of recreating that. But.. we have flopped with this one. We failed so bad, that we aren't gonna even tell you how we did these pizzas. BUT! We are going to tell you that we found a new buddy! College Kid 3 will be helping us with our project. So now, this is her initiation/ introduction video. Enjoy the silliness!

College Kid 2