While I was working on collecting information for an article on "cost per calorie", I was briefly confused by a box of lard.

 

Lard is pig fat. It is also known as manteca or saindoux. Baked items made with lard have lighter, flakier crusts than those made with shortening or butter. Lard also resists melting in the oven, giving dough time to rise higher.

Anyway, I was confused by the nutritional facts, which indicated that there were 105 servings of lard in this little box.

 

 

That didn't seem possible. The block was about as large as a can of tomato sauce, which couldn't possibly have that many tablespoons inside.

Sure enough, I checked a bunch of one-pound boxes of butter and they all listed 32 tablespoons per pound.

 

It was kind of hard for me to believe that the nutrition facts on a box could be wrong, but there it was.

I found ConAgra's address and wrote them a letter.

I send the letter off and sat down to enjoy my lard.

According to the label, each serving contains 120 calories, and there were 105 servings per pound. That would have been 12,600 calories for $1.15. Can you imagine?

About two months later I got a letter from David Short at Armour.

He wrote:

Dear Mr. Cockerham,

Thank you for taking the time to write us about the serving sizes printed on "one pound container" of Armour Star Lard. The correct serving statement should read: servings per container 35 (one tbsp=13g). The correct nutrition facts are now on all one pound containers being produced.

Awesome! They were changing the label!

 Enclosed with his letter were ten 35 off coupons for Armour Lard, enough for almost two weeks!

An added bonus is that my one-pound box with the error on it is now a COLLECTOR'S ITEM!

MSU Chemistry Department page on Fats | The Epicurious page on Margarine, Butter, Shortening and Lard | Universiti Putra Malaysia page on Fats in Food Science (very good .pdf file)

 

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