Thursday, September 2, 2021

And a Snickers bar has 70 calories...

     "The eagle does not hunt flies," the great Samuel Johnson once said, an edict that Mike Royko recast as, "Never shoot a flea with a bazooka."
     Words to live by. Even after years of decline, the newspaper, or even this little blog, is a soapbox, a megaphone and a responsibility. Thus, for instance, I tend not to use the names of readers who write in saying vindictive, stupid things, to shield them from the embarrassment they're too thick to perceive. Be kind even if others aren't. 
     Certain businesses, too, are small enough and marginal enough that to hold them to professional standards is almost cruel. I've had some pretty watery lemonade at the lemonade stand of some tot. I'm not calling out the proprietor though. To what end?
     So I thought to let this go. But there is a larger point here. I had a taste for hummus and pita a few days back, and bought a container of always excellent Cedar's hummus, and a bag of Papa Filin's Pita,  a brand produced by Biondillo's Bakery, 4900 W. Division in Chicago.
     I watch my weight, so check calories and portions. The pita I took out of the bag weighed 4.1 ounces, and was pegged as 100 calories on the nutritional information label, which is impossible. More like 300 calories, easily. I cut the pita in half and recorded that as 150 calories. Still, three times the probable figure. Quite an error, really. If it was an error.
     Later, I phoned the bakery, but the owner never returned my call. Silence is often the strategy of the guilty. Papa Filin's are sold not only at Sunset, but at Jewel and Mariano's, and you'd think even if the bakery doesn't care, the stores might care a little about such wildly inaccurate packaging appearing on their shelves. Apparently not. At least not yet. They can't say they weren't told.
     The moral of the story is: you have to think for yourself. I could see somebody biting into a dense, delicious Papa Filin's pita and thinking, "Only 100 calories? Hoo-boy, bar the door Katie. I'm eating two of these." Or about 600 calories worth. What is too good to be true usually is just that. Let the buyer beware.

5 comments:

  1. with all respect mr. s you may owe papa an apology. the google says one 60 gram pita bread can range from 100 - 170 calories.

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    1. Perhaps the math has thwarted you. A four-ounce pita is 112 grams. So based on the data point you pulled from Google, at the very least the pita is almost twice as fattening as they say. At most, the figure I cite. This metric business, I know it's confusing...

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  2. I watch the sodium level myself, relying on the information shown on the package. And now I'm not sure I can trust that information. It's already obfuscated by the "so-called" serving size -- who the hell eats 6 potato chips! Or 1 slice of pita for that matter.

    john

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  3. "Today's Temptations," indeed.

    I've actually called them before, myself, and got to speak to someone. Lest there be any question about my nit-picking only applying to EGD! They don't seem to have a very robust presence online, ahem, so calling was the only option. I believe my issue was with their Sourdough bread, which was said to have 5 mg. of sodium.

    Akin to how you monitor calories, I keep an eye on salt. I was disappointed when I discovered how much sodium is in a lot of bread, so I was briefly delighted by the 5 mg. I wanted to believe... Alas, I, too am aware that "What is too good to be true usually is just that." I called and asked about that number. I forget the exact exchange, but she said they were going to be updating their labels soon. Which they did, though I still thought the sodium number was low. Stopped buying it after that...

    Ezekiel 4:9 bread has some good choices with relatively low sodium and one version with none. That may be too good to be true as well, but a guy's gotta believe in something, and surely a Biblically-themed name like that insprires trust! ; )

    I really like both versions of the aphorism leading off the post.

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  4. A late addendum to this post, that seems like it would have been apropos...

    https://twitter.com/CleverTitleTK/status/1433956565917261824

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