Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ottawa Citizen Nutrition Watch Week 7 - Bated Breath

So now we wait.

The Citizen folks have copies of the nutritional program I use to analyze their recipes, have seen how quick and easy it is to utilize and have heard why providing its readers with nutritional information would be beneficial to them.

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

Let's hope that the wait will be a short one and herein I'd like to make the Citizen one final offer:

If by chance, for reasons I will likely have difficulty appreciating, the Citizen determines it will be too difficult for them to in fact publish nutritional information with their recipes (even with me doing the legwork), I'd like to suggest that instead of publishing nutritional information with each recipe that they instead publish a link to my blog where I will continue to post nutritional values on a weekly basis. For the Citizen this would mean no weekly calculations and the addition of a single, predictable line at the end of each recipe directing their readers here. For me of course it will be a new source of traffic and given that my blog is entirely ad-free and non monetized (except I suppose for the penny a subscription I'd theoretically get from Kindle), not something ethically challenging to promote.

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. Norm Campbell, who among other impressive things is the CIHR Research Chair in Hypertension Prevention and Control, and the week before we heard from Kevin Willis the Director of Partnerships at the the Canadian Stroke Network as to why they felt the Citizen ought to take the initiative and publish nutritional information. This week we've got Rosie Schwartz!

Rosie is a Canadian dietetic treasure and is certainly one of the most well known names in the country when it comes to nutrition. A former columnist for the Citizen and National Post (and many more papers), a best selling cookbook author and a regular feature in magazines from coast-to-coast Rosie and I have had the chance to Tweet at each other regularly and via one such tweet she kindly agreed to weigh in on the matter. Here's what Rosie has to say about the value of newspaper nutritionals,

Rosie's Letter

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:

Tennessee Big Boy
(per serving): 459 calories, 14g saturated fat, 114mg sodium, 46g total carbs

Gus and Mary's Strawberries, Balsamic Vinegar and Cream
(per serving): 254 calories, 14g saturated fat, 24mg sodium, 14g total carbs

Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Poppy Seed Dressing

(per serving): 132 calories, 1g saturated fat, 112mg sodium, 8g total carbs

Delicious Strawberry Ice Cream

(per cup): 547 calories, 15g saturated fat, 119mg sodium, 64g total carbs
(by means of comparison, Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Ice Cream per cup has 460 calories, 18g saturated fat, 100mg sodium, 52g total carbs)

[All recipes calculated using Mastercook 9.0. Today it took roughly 2 minutes per recipe]