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The super-sized potatoes vs the info on the bag

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Last week I bought a 10 lb bag of Russet baking potatoes. They were on sale; we were expecting family during holidays, and we are descended from sturdy, potato eating, peasant stock. I was surprised to see nutritional information printed on the bag. I suppose in the “low carb” era, it was understandable that the company would want to tout the healthfulness of their product.

Only 110 calories per potato, read the information on the chart, for a 5.3 oz potato. The other nutrients also indicated a very healthy food choice. As a life-long consumer of carbs, a lot of them from baked potatoes, those numbers seemed low to me. Then, I weighed a few of the “spuds” in the bag.

Most looked like this.

14.2 oz which translates to 295 calories.

The smallest potato was this one

10.6 oz - exactly twice as large as the one described on the bag – 220 calories.

Of course, this is before any butter, sour cream or toppings are added.

There was no deception here. Everything was clearly and appropriately labeled. Yet, when have I ever seen BAKING potatoes half this size? Are potatoes growing larger along with everything else?

The lesson learned here is to be vigilant. I love my food scale. It keeps me honest.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post

    1867 days ago
    Not to get too peevish, but I have been shopping for glucosmine with condroiton tablets.

    On different BioFlex bottles the recommended dosage spans 1 to 3 per day. The nutrition label appears to be identical on each bottle! I spent a long time looking for the flaws in my reading and comprehension abilities, but I failed to find any difference in the ingredients.

    Check it out sometime and let me know if I am wrong. Just kidding, I know how busy you are, running a mile a day.

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    1867 days ago
    Serving size is so important for loss, and maintenance, and general health!

    Those are big potatoes. I remember when I found out that a little red potato was one serving, it made me realize that I needed to know more.

    Good post!
    1869 days ago
    Wow, and I know my sweet potatoes always are bigger than potatoes. My scale doesn't work real well and I don't think I want to know as this is my one real staple during the holiday months.
    1869 days ago
    I love my scale too. I would never know what an ounce of something is unless I stuck it on my scale.

    About potatoes though, it all about how you prepare them. Just by french frying them and cooking them in oil, the become twice the amount of calories from all the oil.

    Love baked potatoes!
    1871 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I love my food scale also! Great blog.
    1871 days ago
    Ouch! The second picture you posted looked like a nice size, but it's TWO servings?! I'll start using my kitchen scale more often. DH and I frequently split a sweet potato, so that helps.
    1871 days ago
    I love my food scale so much, I bought a little one that's about the size of my cell phone to carry in my purse!! (I just wish I could FIND it. I may have left it at my mom's house after Christmas!)

    I think you are right. Everything IS getting bigger, including produce! Look at apples. I often see apples that are bigger than my fist! I think they might be even larger than "large" apples in the tracker. I started a few months ago weighing my fruits and veggies, because I got tired of trying to figure out if it was a "large" or "extra large" banana, or a "medium" or "large" potato, or whatever. I weigh all my bananas and write the weight in grams on the skin with a sharpie, haha. Same for oranges. Apples I write the weight on the sticker with a pen.

    I recently bought a ton of sweet potatoes, because they had some that WEREN'T the size of my head!
    1871 days ago
    Yes, ma'am. I have a food scale in my purse, at work, at home, in my car, at my sister's house in AZ... LOLOL

    I wouldn't be able to figure what is going on or how much to eat, without it!

    1871 days ago
    I love my food scale also - it has been invaluable. Although the bag may have been labelled accurately, it still seems misleading to have a serving size smaller than what is possible only by cutting the potato. That's like a small bag of something that is labelled as 2 servings. You just have to read the fine print...
    1871 days ago
    Yikes! They're probably genetically modified, too.
    1871 days ago
    I prefer the smaller potatoes, more flavor. Still, it's good to know.
    1871 days ago
    As an exchange eater, 5 oz raw or 4 oz cooked has always been my guide. Where would we be without good kitchen scales? Use the kitchen scale and the bathroom scale will follow.
    1871 days ago
  • 62NVON
    I find the same problem with frozen chicken breasts and fish. There are a variety of portion sizes in the same bag, so like you... I weigh it to get accurate NI. =)
    1871 days ago
  • LEB0401
    I've had potato trouble in the past when trying to track them. SP has them down as "small, medium, or large" and gives no weight options. Is a small potato a fingerling or a new potato? Is a large your baking potatoes or one of those 8-oz. microwave wrapped ones? Who knows... I added potatoes weighed in grams to the database so I can figure it out.
    1871 days ago
    Thanks for the heads up! I will be using my scale alot more often this time around!
    1871 days ago
    Thank you for this heads up. I don't use my food scale often enough!
    1871 days ago
    Very good. That food scale is priceless! I'm proud of you.
    1871 days ago
    Wow , those taters are large! I haven't thought to weigh them.. no wonder i can't get the scale to move... too many taters.
    1871 days ago
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