Thursday, June 04, 2009

Help get nutritional information into the Ottawa Citizen!

Unfortunately it seems this may become a recurrent Thursday topic.

A few weeks agoI blogged about how I had written a letter to the editor of the Ottawa Citizen asking that they publish nutritional information for its Food Section recipes.

It didn't get published.

I then wrote Ron Eade, the Citizen's Food Editor with the same request and he informed me that it was a budgetary issue and suggested I contact Wendy Warburton the person in charge of making the decision to spend the $16.99 it would cost to buy the software to analyze the recipes.

And so I did.

She didn't write me back.

So I'm at it again.

The issue here is simple. There are tens of thousands of Citizen readers for whom nutritional information would be beneficial. Readers with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, kidney disease and those who simply are concerned about their nutritional health. Those individuals would greatly benefit from having the Citizen publish nutritional information along with their recipes and frankly it's dead simple and dirt cheap to provide it.

How dead simple and dirt cheap?

It can't get any easier than this:

If the Citizen provides ME with their recipes 24hours before their copy deadlines I will personally take the time to calculate the nutritional information for each and every Food Section recipe they print.
So what say you Ron and Wendy?

Zero cost, zero effort.

Feel free to email Ron and Wendy by clicking here.

If you're a local blogger or Twitter'er please repost. If you're not into blogging and such, just email this to your friends. Perhaps we can make enough noise to affect change for as you may recall, the Citizen's editorial board in their piece on posting calories on menus suggested that legislation isn't necessary to get restaurants to post calories but rather than consumer demand would do the trick. Please consumers - make some demands.

Until I hear back from them I guess you'll have to tune in here for breakdowns.

Here's the breakdown for this week's batch of Citizen recipes:

Saucy Spinach-Dressed Baked Spuds

(per serving assuming 1/16 teaspoon of salt per): 449 calories, 10g saturated fat, 826mg sodium, 25g total carbs [A lot of salt and calories for a side dish and even if you leave out the salt altogether sodium only goes down to 692mg per].

Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry Glaze
(per serving if you serve 6 and use 1/8 teaspoon salt to taste spread over the entire recipe): 487 calories, 817mg sodium (can easily trim this to 487mg by using light soy sauce and not adding salt to taste), 4g saturated fat, 53g total carbohydrates.

Grilled Brats in Beer

(per serving): 482 calories, 9g saturated fat, 832mg sodium, 31g total carbohydrates [This one will really vary dependent on your bun and bratwurst. I would take the numbers here as low estimates and figure they could easily double depending on what you buy - read your labels!]

To-Die-For Decadent Burgers
(per burger with NO fixings): 776 calories, 29g saturated fat, 592mg sodium, 22g total carbs [Obviously these numbers will climb with the fixings.]

Roast Rack of Lamb
(per serving with no salt to taste): 1,501 calories, 54g saturated fat, 871mg sodium, 34g total carbs.

Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad
(per serving): 36 calories, trace saturated fat, 98mg sodium, 7g total carbs.

Tube Steaks (Hotdogs) with Pickled Onions
(per serving not including ketchup or mustard): 554 calories, 13g saturated fat, 2,219mg sodium, 42g total carbs [Really, are hot dogs worth more than a day's worth of sodium? Your call of course].

[All recipes calculated using Mastercook 9.0. Today it took roughly 4.5 minutes per recipe]