Law & Food: Nutrition Decoded

Nutrition facts
Nutrition facts

The FDA plays an important role in ensuring that the products you buy are properly labeled and non-deceptively enticing. While many of these decisions translate easily onto the “Nutrition Facts” label, others hide away and turn into gimmicky marketing schemes.

While your best bet towards a healthy body can be found in counting calories and measuring out daily values, there’s something to be said for understanding the quick-glance offers that food products claim. Here’s a quick educational guide to help you navigate the trenches:

Calorie Buzzwords

Calorie-free: A serving is less than 5 calories. Careful with those tic tacs as a box does indeed add up.

Low-calorie: Most food products end up at 40 calories or less per serving. Main dish/entrée products run right around 120 calories or less per serving.

Reduced-calorie: Calories for these products will measure out at 25 percent fewer calories than the original food product.

Total Fat Buzzwords

Fat-free: The product will have less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving.

Low-fat: The product will have 3 grams of fat (or less) per serving.

Reduced-fat: The product will have 25 percent less fat when compared to the original version of a food product.

Saturated Fat Buzzwords

Saturated fat-free: The product will have less than 0.5 grams of sat. fat per serving..

Low in saturated fat: The product will have 1 gram or less of sat. fat per serving size OR no more than 10 percent of calories coming from saturated fat.

Reduced saturated fat: The product will have 25 percent less saturated fat when compared to the original food product.

& Daily Value Guidelines

Percentage Breakdown: Don’t stress on terms like less, light, low, free, etc… It’s more important to understand your intake with some simple guidelines. For daily values, 5% is a low amount per serving while 20% represents a high amount per serving. Using these percentage points, make sure to balance different types of foods that are high and low in their respective daily values.

Being educated with these tips means you can cut down on time stuck in the grocery store while beefing up on some food math! Keep that in mind the next time you see the too good to be true “miracle” product and stick with your newfound intuition.



3 Ways to Win Your Coworkers’ Love


Valentine’s Day is upon us! It’s a glorious time of champagne, chocolate, and strawberries covered in chocolate.

I, however, join the ranks of single folks and am celebrating accordingly. In other words, I’ll chow down on some delicious takeout from whatever happens to have the quickest estimated delivery time. For me, takeout is an act of love and self-compassion. I’m pretty sure that definition of takeout can be found somewhere on the Internet (especially if self-referenced material counts).

Valentine’s Day is also a time where we can appreciate one another, single or not. While I’m throwing my feet up and ordering food Sunday night, I’ll have made a batch of cookies for the coworkers beforehand. I invite you to join me in bringing some cheer to your office through these quick cookie recipes that alleviate the Monday grind.


1. Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies by Kitchen Monki

Perfect for dietary restrictions and healthy lifestyle choices.

These are what I’m making. I score points with both my roommate and coworkers by going the gluten-free route.


2. Chocolate Chip Cookies by Amanda Gross

Classic and essential.

No one will scoff at the classic. This is the perfect choice for all around fun and good times.


3. Peanutty Valentine Cookies by Kathleen Kwiecien

Cook with love (and hearts).

Now is the time to take advantage of the surplus of heart shaped chocolates. Add in peanut butter and you’ve got a dangerous friend maker.


Super Bowl 50: Fans and Wayward Spectators Rejoice!


For the fans, this weekend will be all about the big game. For the rest, this weekend will be all about hanging by the cooler and catching up with friends and family. For all, this weekend will be about food.

Falling between the two groups puts me in a precarious situation. Unable to focus on the game or the camaraderie, I’ll probably settle on the potluck-esque feast that is to come. The feast itself will lead to its own problems, as I’ve yet to commit to bringing a specific dish (the cardinal sin of shared food activities).

And yet, when I think of what I could make, I always end up falling into the “pick up a sixer” category.  Just know that it’s not for lack of trying or an inability to cook. What it really comes down to lies in the fact that I know the “basics” are taken care of. So, cue a listicle of recipes that inspire and cut through the basic food necessities to help both you and I blow everyone out of the water.

Pro Tip: Save these recipes for later by clicking the “Bookmark” tab on each recipe page. Make sure to create a new bookmark category (Potluck, Sunday Funday, Superbowl)!

1. Buffalo Balls by Terry McBriarty
Frank’s RedHot Recommended


Finger food!
Perfect for when you want to avoid the bones. Great for kids, great for your uncle on his fifth beer who really shouldn’t be trying to swallow chicken wings whole. To top it off, you can make these in under an hour.

2. Buffalo Chicken Dip by Tiffany Holmes Lampe
Frank’s RedHot Recommended


Everything you love in one bowl.
Everyone loves a good dip. On top of that, everyone loves a good dip that indulges in a little gluttony. With this recipe you’ll be dipping your chicken and celery into a dish made with chicken and celery. This is innovation.

3. Pomegranate Cucumber Guacamole by Alicia Michelle


Guac with a fresh kick.
The perfect way to tailor a mainstay in order to combat the hot sauce that runs rampant in Super Bowl apps (see above recommendations). With the addition of pomegranate arils, you can even talk up the health benefits of double (read triple) dipping.

4. The Burger by Skillet Street Food


Back to the basics on a not so basic combo.
The Burger is the burger that brought the words “bacon” and “jam” together. This recipe gives you the opportunity to perfect a new classic and show off the professional chef that’s hiding inside all of us.

5. Bacon Jam Infused Vodka by Skillet Street Food


Okay, you’ve decided to go the bartender route…
Heat jam, mix with vodka, and infuse for 48 hours. Let sit while you dream of the weekend.

So, go forth, cook something delicious, and feel free to drop some food facts on Sunday courtesy of good ol’ market research:

*  1.25 billion chicken wings are eaten during the game
*  69.9 million pounds of avocados are mashed and munched upon.
*  11.2 million pounds of potato chips are consumed during the game. This doesn’t include the cumulative 1.1 million pounds everyone will find hidden in the couch after the game.


By Benjamin Porter