You may or may not know this, but in a previous, BC life, I was a personal trainer. I worked with lots of women, and my speciality was weight and obesity management. I learnt how to read labels on foodstuffs that had labels and all kinds of metabological and physiological process relating to food at the body.
I had many a tantrum around the use of advertising in the form of an A4 piece of paper with “we only use vegetable oil so our fish and chips won’t cause weight gain” written in texta and stuck to the front window of the shop, and the blatan misuse of promotion and advertising around cholesterol and vegetable fats. It still makes me very cross.
I toddled off to uni after birth number one and I did stuff that involved a more detailed approach to nutrition and metabolism and physiology and, sad as it may sound, I really enjoyed it. Was fascinated by the whole process of how food works in the body, beyond what it tastes like.
Oh, and I love food.
So there I was, yeseterday morning, with a pack of “chocolate incing sugar mixture” that I have no idea why I had even purchased it. I don’t do packet mix stuff. No reason. No judgement towards others. I just don’t. I figured, given it was child number 3’s birthday cake, and the desire to create the entire Thomas the Fucking Tank Engine series out of mud cake and lime green icing made from scratch has waned considerably. And I didn’t want this packet kicking around in my cupboard, un-Tupperwared any longer.
I read the instructions, which require 1 & 1/4 cups of the stuff to make enough icing to ice one cake. I hold the packet up to hubby, because he is a Chef and knows these things and say “Is this one and a quarter cups.”
“Yes,” he replies.
And I believe him.
Although, it is quite possible I didn’t really, as I read the nutrition label on the back to determine the serving size. This would tell me if I could ice one or two cakes with the contents on the packet.
This highly valued label assured me that there were ninety four servings in the packet, which, for me, would produce enough icing for 7.8 cakes. Hrm.
I measure out the amount needed, and, indeed, there is enough there to ice two cakes.
Which leads me to ask, What planet do CSR Sugar live on?
Aside from suggesting a serving size is 4g (or one teaspoon, and we all know one teaspoon hosts 5g of whatever it is holding, unless, of course, it is not full) by my caffieined up reckoning, this would mean that my one, simple, round cake consists of 47 servings of icing sugar.
Which leads me to wonder how this works. It would require the standard sized cake be chopped into 47 pieces. I guess you could do those little cubelike cuttings, but what kind of 2 year old birthday would it be with little square pieced of cake? And they’d be teensy pieces. No, a birthday cake must be sliced.
If one were to slice an average cake into 47 pieces, it would be difficult to ensure even sliceage and work only for those who say “oh, no, just a sliver for me”. If you cut it into 47 piece everyone would get a sliver, and you couldn’t offer “just half a slice, thanks” to those annoying relatives who like you to think they are on a diet, yet you’ve just witnessed polisihing off the bottle of good bubbles and 7 sausages when they thought no one was watching.
In fact, if you cut a standard cake into 47 pieces, you would get crumbs. Followed immediately by tantrums from the seven year old about how his cake was “broken” and refusing to eat it until you cut him a decent slice, which you now can’t because the entire thing has fallen to pieces due to excess slicing.
A good friend over at the Retell Therapy Forums did advise me that the nutrition information and serving size was for those of us that can’t wait for the icing to go on the cake and eat it out of the bowl. Good point, however I would then argue that one serving size is equal to 188g (or 47 mini-teaspoons) of icing. A small bowl, if you will.
Personally, I think it is about time the food manufacturing companies took some responsibilty in including appropriate and non-misleading information on their labels.
In this case …
Serving size: Whatever you can fit onto one slice of cake
Number of Servings per pack: 12 – there was only a thin layer of icing on each slice, so you really needed the whole pack, not half a pack to ice it, and everyone knows the average sized cake can only be cut into 12 slices! If a slice is less than one-twelfth, you have been seriously ripped off and can take it to the Mumfia, who are hanging around their kids’ classroom each morning, and pass judgement on the mum who sliced the cake into 16 slices and thought she could get away with it.
Alternatively, Number of Servings per pack could also equal 1 bowl.
It’s no wonder people are confused about nurtition and serving sizes. The food manufacturing companies are lying to you! Or have no concept of reality.