January 18, 2009

Fuzzy math

I’m confused. But with math, I frequently am. You see, Matte and I were recently in Costco looking for healthy alternatives, and we came upon these frozen Kirkland ground sirloin burgers that are only 15% fat. Awesome!

Kirkland burgers 15% fat?
Of course we grabbed a bag, and I immediately turned it over to check the nutritional info. And am I glad I did!
Nutritional info

(Insert cartoonized version of me shaking my head violently, with aoiy-aoiy-aoiy soundtrack) WHAT?!? I almost always got Ds in math, maybe a C here and there, but even I know that a 330-calorie item with twenty-three grams of fat does NOT equal 15% fat. It is 60% fat. And with 25% of its calories coming from saturated fat alone, that’s nearly half a person’s daily allowance!

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So when you see a food product boasting low-fattedness, double-check the nutritional info.

And WTF, Costco?

3 people have roominated about “Fuzzy math”

  • That’s a bit shocking indeed. The Sherlock Holmes in me kicked in and I believe this is where they get the 15% Fat.

    One patty is 151g and total fat is 23g which is 15% of 151. So, what they really mean is that 15% of the burger patty itself is made from fat, and not that the % of fat in the meat itself is 15% which is how the calories are calculated. The packaging is very vague, and misleading.

    I hate how the beverage companies say “Oh it’s only 100 calories”…but that’s per serving and their bottle is actually 2 to 2-1/2 servings. Visually we assume one bottle is one serving because it looks small enough to look like one serving. That’s why I got more vigilant about checking the #of servings in the packaging. Those trickster marketers.

    btw. hope you had a great weekend 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Stephanie is right. The numbers on the package are based on weight, not on calories. All hamburger sold – at least in my state – has to have the fat percentage on the package.

  • Sandi says:

    Thanks to Lisa and Stephanie for the explanation! I had no idea! But I have learned to also check the number of servings because that’s where you can really get screwed up. Once I showed Ed how to REALLY read a label, he freaked out! He thought if he ate the whole bag of chips in one sitting, that was one serving! Poor little guy – hated bursting his balloon like that.

roominate on this yourself