Next on John Stoessel Reports: Jumbo Shrimp? What’s
Up With That?
Okay. Someone, and we’re not sure who, actually pays John Stoessel for stuff like this:
On countless food packages, serving sizes have become a confusing joke.
I bought a frozen “personal pizza.” That’s what it said on the package, in big letters. From the name (and its size-it’s not very big), you would think a “personal pizza” is for one person — say, you. But according to the small print, it can feed both you and some other person: The serving size listed on the label is half a pie.
We took the “personal pizza” downtown to Little Italy in New York City for some expert opinions.
“I don’t think you could share this with anybody!” said Francesco of Sal’s Pizzeria.
One pizza baker said if he offered one of these little pizzas to his customers, “They’d throw it back in my face!”
Most people we talked to couldn’t believe the recommended serving size for the “personal pizza.” One young woman said, “My cat could eat that.”
Why should we care what sleight-of-hand a company pulls on its label when describing serving sizes? Because people worried about their health need information — and the information on the label is all based on the serving size. Unless people take their calculators with them when they shop, it’s easy to get confused.
Yes. I have often been baffled by the extraordinary disconnect between the size of the portion and the calories/fat content/percentage of daily values listed on the package. That’s when I wasn’t pondering the mystery of of why people who are worried about their health are eating pre-packaged frozen pizzas.
But since Stoessel doesn’t have a calculator he had to go elsewhere in search of an expert to explain it all to him:
If you like pickles and want one serving, you might have to throw away a piece of pickle, too: A jar of Vlasic Polish dill pickle spears lists three-quarters of a spear as the serving size.
People commonly eat three or four pickles as a snack, yet Tim Baker, who owns New York’s Guss’ Pickles, says that a spear is a quarter of a whole pickle. So if you eat three-quarters of a spear, “you only get three-quarters of a quarter of a pickle.”
Dude! He, like, totally did that math in his head! Awesome. Later Stoessel found a Time Square hooker to explain that size doesn’t matter…and it’s still fifty bucks, no celebrity discount.