Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ottawa Citizen Nutrition Watch Week 6 - Great News?

It's been a very exciting week for the "ask before you order" campaign to encourage the Citizen to include nutritional information for its recipes.

(for a recap - click over here to understand what this is all about)

Last weekend, via the social media wonder Twitter, Ron Eade the Citizen's Food Editor and I had a quick back and forth that culminated in us having a nice chat on the phone about the issue. It became clear fairly quickly that we are actually on the same page about the utility and importance of providing readers with nutritional information and that barring any unforeseen logistical barriers, the publication of nutritional information in the Citizen is something he'd be willing to support.

Then two days ago I received an email from Wendy Warburton who had returned from vacation and she let me know that she certainly agrees in principle that publishing nutritional information would be great for Citizen readers and is hopeful there's a program/way out there to do so that's not overly onerous.

And then yesterday Gerry Nott, the Editor in Chief, invited me to come by tomorrow to see if we can't figure out a way to make this happen!

Kudos to the 3 of them and the Citizen for taking the time to honestly consider this.

As part of the campaign I've opted to collect the opinions of influential Canadian health professionals as to the utility and value of nutritional information. My hope is that perhaps some of my blog readers might these posts to help inspire their local papers to consider posting as well. Last week we heard from Dr. Kevin Willis from the Canadian Stroke Network as to why he felt the Citizen ought to take the initiative and publish nutritional information. This week we've got Dr. Norm Campbell.

Dr. Campbell is really a tour-de-force in the global hypertension landscape and among his many accomplishments he is the Canadian Institute of Health Research Chair in Hypertension Prevention and Control, he chairs the Steering and Executive Committees for the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP), a program designed to improve the treatment and control of hypertension in Canada. He also chairs the Outcomes Research Task Force for the hypertension recommendations process and is a past president of the Canadian Hypertension Society (CHS), the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control (now Blood Pressure Canada), and the Canadian Society for Clinical Pharmacology.

Here's what Norm had to say - use the slider to zoom in or the far right button below the PDF to get a full screen (email subscribers if you don't see an embedded PDF then click the title at the top to get taken to the blog),

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 access to the nutritional breakdown of the recipes published by the Citizen.

If you've got a moment, even if you've sent emails before, could you please take the time to drop the Citizen a line again to let them know how thankful you are they're seriously considering this initiative? Please email Editor-in-Chief Gerry Nott, Food Editor Ron Eade and Wendy Warburton by clicking here.

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

Szechwan and Heritage Beer Sauce
(per tablespoon): 13 calories, trace saturated fat, 22mg sodium, 3g total carbs

Strawberry Smootie
(per cup): 95 calories, trace saturated fat (assuming low fat yogurt used), 28mg sodium, 21g total carbs

Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse
(per serving (assuming 6 and 2 tbsp sweetened whipped cream per)): 441 calories, 25g saturated fat, 140mg sodium, 16g total carbs

Jasmine & Lychee Iced Tea
(per cup): 119 calories, trace saturated fat, 8mg sodium, 30g total carbs

Heritage Baby Back Ribs
(per serving): 1,494 calories, 31g saturated fat, 1,279mg sodium, 102g total carbs

Mill Street Coffee Porter Brownies
(per entire recipe): 5,411 calories, 200g saturated fat, 2,904mg sodium, 636g total carbs

Traditional Dark Lager and Cranberry Salad Dressing
(per tablespoon): 26 calories, trace saturated fat, 7mg sodium, 1g total carbs

Mill Street Coffee Porter Chocolate Cake
(per serving assuming 12): 399 calories, 12g saturated fat, 372mg sodium, 53g total carbs

Southern Sweet Tea Pops
(per pop): 248 calories, zero fat, 9mg sodium, 65g total carbs

Grape Pops
(per pop): 140 calories, zero fat, 9mg sodium, 35g total carbs

[All recipes calculated using Mastercook 9.0. Today it took roughly 3 minutes per recipe]