Weekly Roundup: 12.18.10

Happy last-weekend-before-Christmas! I’m guessing those of you that celebrate this holiday are in final countdown mode, either frantically checking off your to-do list, or, happily watching kids gobble up the candy in that Advent calendar as we get closer and closer to Santa’s arrival.

Just last night 2Chili and I were talking about how it doesn’t really feel like Christmas to us, and decided it’s because we both work from home, take care of our procurement needs online (even groceries), have a home gym set up, and thus have to make a point to leave the house at least once a day. Lack of Christmas feeling notwithstanding, the  weather outside sure has been frightful lately. No, not snow. We’ve had rain, rain, rain, and lots more rain in Seattle. Wishing you a calm and relaxing weekend before the holiday “storm!”

Links I found interesting this week:

  • Yoplait reformulates; Giving away 1 million cups – Fooducate. Honestly, this is marketing ploy if there ever has been one, and Fooducate does a good job of explaining why. There was a time when I thought yogurt was healthy, and I had a serving a day of the “fruit-on-the-bottom” or blended fruit varieties. Then, one day, I looked at the back of the label and saw the sugar content and converted that into teaspoons (there are 4 grams of sugar in one teaspoon). Doing the conversion really hits it home, huh? I can’t picture a “gram,” but can certainly picture a teaspoon. Yikes! I have since switched to plain Greek yogurt and add my own fruit. If General Mills wanted to do its consumers a favor, it’d forget about adding nutrients to the yogurt and start removing sugar.
  • Kitchen Gift: Homemade Pancake Mix Jars – Good Life Eats. Nice idea to package up premade healthy pancake mix as co-worker/teacher/neighbor holiday gifts. Print the nutrition information on the back of the label and this one is a home run! (SparkPeople has a great and easy database for getting recipe nutrition info.)
  • Sweet Potatoes: They’re Not Just for Fries Anymore – A Veggie Venture. 10 ways to make sweet potatoes that are not fries, inspired by the sweet potato’s prediction to be a 2011 Food Trend (Food Trend Predictions for 2011 from Tanya Steel at Epicurious).
  • Is that Right? Soda Taxes Would Help Fight Obesity – Washington Post. While I don’t disagree that people drink way too much soda and they should stop, I seriously doubt taxing them higher will impact consumption. Just look at cigarettes. Washington state has the 3rd highest per pack tax in the country ($3.025/pack), and it really doesn’t seem to be slowing folks down. The argument that the tax would impact the wealthy more than the lower class doesn’t resonate either, as oftentimes it’s the lower income folks that consume gallons of soda. I say tax it to raise money, but don’t expect taxing soda to directly reduce obesity rates. People will find a way.
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