Beer Hit-Or-Miss

You’re About To Start Seeing The Calorie Count On Your Favorite Beers

The Beer Institute recently proposed an initiative called the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative that would theoretically allow for ultimate transparency with its consumers with labeling that includes nutritional information and much more.


The information that will be provided on the voluntary labels will include: suggested serving size, nutritional info (calories, carbs, fat, protein), a freshness dating or a date of production, alcohol by volume percentage, and an ingredient list. Currently, the only alcoholic beverages that require additional labeling are beers that make a nutritional claim like “light” beers.

The Beer Institute is an organization that was founded in 1862 as the U.S. Brewers Association. It represents the entirety of the beer industry including 3,300 brewers large and small. Their primary focuses include being an authority for industry information as well as community involvement, and personal responsibility.

The initiative comes in lieu of the FDA’s restaurant menu labeling requirements that are set to take effect next year, and will require restaurants with more than 20 locations to provide caloric information for their food items as well as beer choices that are listed on the menu.

The nutritional testing that will need to take place does not run cheap and has been reported to cost up to $1,000 per item, which may cause smaller breweries to decrease distribution of their beers to big chain restaurants. This may force chains to release any beers for which this information is not readily available in order to comply with new FDA regulations.

In 2007, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposed a labeling rule that, if passed, would require manufacturers to include nutritional information, but it only resulted in a similar proposal of voluntary labeling. Alcohol production and labeling is regulated by the TTB and not the FDA, which regulates nutritional info and labeling for food and non alcoholic beverages.

Brewers are encouraged to participate, and several of the biggest names in the game that comprise over 80% of beer sold in the U.S. have already jumped aboard with the initiative in efforts to remain relevant with full transparency of their product and brand, such as: MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch, HeinekenUSA, Constellation Brands Beer Division, North American Breweries, and Craft Brew Alliance.

People are becoming more and more conscious about where their food comes from and what’s in it, and according to this press release, “72% of beer drinkers think it’s important to read nutritional labels when buying food and beverages.”

“It seems everything else does. Why do they get a pass on telling you how many calories, sugar and sodium they contain?” –orbitalmonkey

“I’d really like to see the calorie content of beer when selecting. If they could just have AVB, IBUs, and calories that would be great” –reddit user

“Ok, but I still want to know how many calories it has. Is that so much to ask?” –van_zeller

Another user admits that he often thinks of the lack of labeling, and thanks the reddit community for bringing it up to him, while sober.

“I literally ponder this every time I’m drunk but never have the wherewithal to find out the answer. thank you for bringing this to light for my sober self” -aquaintencounter

The labels are a step in the right direction for consumers to know and base their purchasing decisions off of what’s actually in their alcoholic beverages. For the people who know how to and intentionally read nutritional labels, the information is crucial in order to make informed health choices.

These labels could be useful for consumers that have allergies or other health restrictions, but will it take away from the guilt-free beer drinking that we’ve known for so long?


Calorie Info Required on Vending Machines Under New Health Law


2014 will bring a new year along with some new health laws. What can be considered either good or bad news to vending machine junkies the FDA is requiring vending machines to be display calorie counts. The new labeling procedures are included in President Obama’s health care reform.

The final rules on labeling are expected to be released early next year but the FDA is optimistic that the move will better inform consumers to make healthier choices. No offense, but I’m not searching the bottom of my desk drawer for quarters just so I can get an apple, I’m just trying to get my afternoon Snickers fix.

Nearly five million machines across the U.S. will have to get updated with new caloric info. Costs to the vending machine industry to make these changes will be upwards of $25.8 million to start and $24 million every year after. Though the cost seems high savings to the health care system would be just as much assuming “0.2 obese adults ate 100 fewer calories per week”.

Opinions regarding the move have been mostly negative with companies affected by the new laws mostly concerned about the lack of return on investment, employee time spent updating the machines every time they restock and the sheer number of machines that have to be changed to comply with the regulations. Opposed consumers believe the whole thing is a waste of time considering that people usually turn to vending machines when there’s nothing else around.

Companies have a year to comply so expect to see your office vending machine get a healthy makeover within the year.

H/T + PicThx HuffPo


Here’s What 2,000 Calories Actually Looks Like

We’ve already been stung with the harsh reality of what 200 calories really looks like. A few Hershey’s Kisses, a spoonful of peanut butter — they’re teeny tiny portions. But since the folks over at Wise Geek introduced the concept, it might as well be taken a step further, right? You betcha!

Taking a cue from Wise Geek’s findings, BuzzFeed created this informative but pretty surprising video showing what constitutes 2,000 calories. While it might be easy to avoid eating 26 eggs or 50 slabs of bacon (debatable), it only takes 2.27 Cinnabons, 3.8 Big Macs and 2 Chipotle burritos to reach that 2,000 mark. Woof.

But all healthy thinking aside, sometimes we’ve just gotta indulge, man! Just don’t go for the Cinnabons, Big Macs and burritos all at once. It might do some funky things to your stomach.

Check out the video to see 2,000 calories visualized:

H/T + PicThx Buzzfeed


Testing for Accuracy: Declared Calories vs. Actual Calories


The golden rule of dieting says that in order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. At first, the concept seems easy enough. Just substitute that Big Mac for that pre-packaged turkey sandwich at the corner store, right?

Turns out, the Food and Drug Administrations allows a 20 percent margin when it comes to packaged food, while manufacturers can be penalized for selling underweight packages. This causes many companies to add a little more in order to avoid the FDA’s penalties, which becomes extra calories we may be unknowingly consuming.

In an investigation of this dilemma,  filmmaker Casey Neistat of the New York Times created a short documentary exploring  the discrepancy between declared calories by manufacturers vs. actual calories. Neistat enlists the help of two food scientists from the NY Research Center to find the actual calorie content of some of his daily food pickings around New York. Watch “Calorie Detective” as a Starbucks Frapp, a vegetarian sandwich, a muffin, a Subway sandwich, and a Chipotle burrito are put to the test.

H/T College Hack


Why New Year’s Resolutions Never Work: What 200 Calories Really Looks Like


Before you take a bite out of that Jack in the Box cheeseburger (above), consider this: About half of that burger carries the same amount of calories, 200 to be specific, that a tasty plate of kiwis or a few hearty slices of honeydew melon carry.

Thanks to wiseGeek, we can now visualize this comparison through a series of simple photographs depicting what 200 calories actually look like. While this is all very informative, the reality is that bacon is much tastier than a seemingly endless amount of celery, which is why we’d pick 200 calories worth of bacon 100% of the time, all the time.


Bacon = 200 calories



Hershey Kisses = 200 calories




Kiwi = 200 calories



Peanut Butter = 200 calories


Check out the rest at wiseGeek


A Nutritional Guide to Popular Video Game Food [Infographic]


With our nutrition label conscious society brimming to a healthy boil, it only makes sense that our video game characters ought to know what’s in their food before they consume it. While the FDA may not approve of magic mushrooms or cannibalism, it’s a video game, so it’s OK. Here are some nutritional guidelines by Complex to think about next time you troll the city playing Rampage and other vintage games:

Super Mario

With the D.A.R.E program in full swing as a kid, it bothers me now that one of my favorite video game heroes could eat magic mushrooms and I was completely OK with it morally.




I’m not saying I’d do it, but there’s never been a better argument for cannibalism than this.



Pac Man

If you think about it, it’s just like eating a lemon drop.


For more video game nutritional information, please see here.

H/T LaughingSquid + PicThx Complex