Calories Vs. Content

IMG_1375I love a good conspiracy. So as it happened today when I was seeing some articles about alcohol nutrition labeling I had to check it out. Granted I think this is a good idea. We as consumers have a right to know what chemical cocktail is in the products we are consuming.

But when it comes to things like craftbeer or wine, for the most part these items are fairly straightforward. Beer is usually little more than water, yeast, barley, and hops. Wine is the juice from grapes or other fruit and yeast. But then that doesn’t tell us the full process involved. I am not going to go into all the different adjuncts and what not that can go into these different drinks. That is something for another time. We are here right now to talk about conspiracy.

So one of the articles I was checking out came from ABC News (this is the ABC News article). Something that caught my eye in their article gave me a chuckle but also put my conspiracy wheels a turning. One of the biggest things people are wanting to see on beverage nutrition labels are calorie counts.

Sure, this is something that is normal on food labels. But the people pushing for it are the ones who are in the battles for low cal beers. Do craftbreweries make low cal beers? What is the biggest selling low cal beer? I would imagine you are thinking the same thing I am right now.

So of course from a conspiracy angle, we have the biggest beer producers looking for a way to kill some of the business of craftbeer. When your only selling point is that you have fewer calories than everyone else, it seems logical to mandate legislation that highlights this point.

Granted in the grand scheme of things, the people who buy and support craft do it for reasons other than simply trying to get drunk with fewer calories. More important factors come into play like flavor and tradition. I just found it interesting that this would be one of the reasons for companies to push for the legislation.

What are you thoughts? Does it make a difference to you how many calories your beverage of choice has? Or is it more important to know what chemicals are in what you consume?

Time for a pint…

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8 thoughts on “Calories Vs. Content

  1. I would like to see calorie counts on all beverage containers, but the number of calories have never made me choose one alcoholic drink over another. Low calories too often equates with less flavor. I’ll take flavor any day, but try to do so in moderation. Though if wine bottles had calories counts, that would just mean feeling especially guilty on those days when two glasses just doesn’t seem to cut it ;)

    • For me it is going back to Breyer’s ice cream. They used to be able to show on their labels that they only used a couple ingredients. That was a huge selling point. They didn’t load their product down with chemicals.

      Calories are irrelevant because we will eat and drink what we like.

    • Everything being equal, that is a good use of the information. The funny thing about alcohol, there are so many factors that affect the flavors. The only people that will use the calorie information will be those specifically counting calories.

  2. I was so busy shuddering at the idea of low cal wine (what would that taste like?) that I almost forgot to respond. My husband drinks low cal beer unless he’s celebrating (i.e. trying to enjoy himself) and I think that pretty much says it all. :)

    • I am always reminded of the old Miller Lite commercials “Taste great, Less filling.” Sure we have a stigma about “diet” anything being lesser than the original product, but at the same time when you change the ingredients of something it is bound to be noticeable.

  3. When it’s time for a beer, I really don’t want to have to worry (or see) how many calories are in it. Seeing the number of calories could really turn what should be a relaxing time into a time full of guilt and regret. However, I understand that some people may want to know the caloric value of their beer. I would rather the brewing company just put that data on their website, rather than have it right on the label, for those who are interested.

    I also feel the same way about restaurants, putting calorie info right on the menu. If I’m out to eat, it’s usually to relax, and I don’t want to see the numbers!!

    • One of the restaurants I used to work at, even the healthy stuff was far from healthy. But that was the type of restaurant that it is, a special occasion kind of place. You shouldn’t eat like that everyday.

      I am in favor of having the information available. We have come to a time in our society where companies need to have a transparency for the consumer. We need to have the ability to make informed decisions about the products we buy.

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