Planning your fast-food meals


I found an online version of the nutrition charts that you can get from fast-food outlets. I looked at the Tim Horton’s coffee shop site for warm meals – various soups, baked beans, or chili. If you want to plan your meals, you can select the healthiest two or three for your purposes. I also threw in one of the new “breakfast sandwiches”–the sausage patty & bacon on a tea biscuit.

The first thing I noticed was that all of them are pretty salty. But you can see that if you want to diet, the vegetable soup is has the fewest Calories; if you want a substantial meal without too much cholesterol, the baked beans are good, but they’re also the saltiest and by far the sweetest. The broccoli soup is rich and has almost 50% saturated fat. The split pea with ham seems like a good compromise, with less fat, less sugar, and more fibre.

One thing that’s not explained is the breakdown between “carbohydrate” and sugar: sugar is a carbohydrate, so is it included in “carbohydrates” or does the chart read “carbohydrate” when it means starch? UPDATE: Sugar is included: to find starches, subtract sugar.

I like the breakfast sausage because it’s hours before I’m hungry again; and from this chart I can see why: it contains about 1/4 of the calories and over half the fat I should eat in a day.

These are the Canadian values. The nutrition levels for U.S. stores are slightly different and seem to indicate a slightly larger serving of meat. Also, the U.S. nutrition charts give the calories from fat, which is useful: no more than 20 – 30% of calories should come from fat. And here’s a warning: the charts can be as much as 20% off in their nutrition analysis, which means that the calories, fat and sugar might be higher and the fibre, protein, and so on might be lower.

The interactive nutrion guides have a selection of the more popular foods; the PDF versions have more complete charts.

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls were revealed by science, after someone at NASA experimented with wavelengths and discovered that infrared light revealed the script on an age-darkened scroll. Here is a link to the Essene text, the Book of Secrets. Not too surprisingly, they have more old texts than were preserved in the Old Testament.

Demographics of "military brats"

Wikipedia has an interesting article about what it means to be a “military brat,” especially an American one. Some of my cousins are Canadian children of military personnel and they have the independence and enjoyment of travel that one would expect.

…only the United States has studied its military brats as an identifiable demographic. This group is shaped by frequent relocations, absence of a parent, authoritarian family dynamics, strong patriarchal authority, the threat of parental loss in war, and the militarization of the family unit. While non-military families share many of these attributes, military culture is unique due to the tightly knit communities that perceive these traits as normal. Although they do not choose to belong to it, military culture has a long-term impact on brats….As adults, military brats share many of the same positive and negative traits developed from their mobile childhoods. Having had the opportunity to live around the world, military brats often have a breadth of experiences unmatched by most teenagers. Regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender, brats identify more with other highly mobile children than with non-mobile ones. Military brats typically have a love for their country, and have been raised in a culture that emphasizes loyalty, honesty, discipline, and responsibility…. Many struggle to develop and maintain deep, lasting relationships, feeling like outsiders to U.S. civilian culture. This subculture cuts across other cultural identities.

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Tea for 74000 in Trafalgar Square

The average Britisher drinks 74000 cups of tea over his or her lifetime. To illustrate that number, 74000 cups were set up in Trafalgar Square.

Quoting Thomas Edison

Not one of my great heroes, but he did say

“The great trouble is that the preachers get the children from six to seven years of age and then it is almost impossible to do anything with them.” –Thomas Edison.

Science hype cycle

After reading about Gartner’s technology hype cycle, Pedro Beltrão of Public Rambling decided to construct a hype cycle for biology ideas. Follow the link for the Science Hype Cycle.

Glaciation traces

I was in Cambridge, Ontario, last week, formerly the three towns of Galt, Preston, and Hespeler. In the old town of Galt I passed a construction site on a hillside where the soil was cut away. Cambridge, in Wellingtown township, is rocky and hilly, and the farms are stony, with the detritus of glaciation. In this picture you can clearly see the relatively recent deposition of topsoil over a layer of glacial detritus, which is mostly stones and gravel.

Disposable vs. Reusable cups – lying with statistics

Bento Box has an interesting article on recyclable paper cups vs. foam cups vs. re-usable cups – are they or are they not good for the environment? I threw in a comment but, I fear, without reading the original article carefully enough. Check it out for yourself.

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